Bad air traffic control procedures in Florida are creating 'hazardous' risks of mid-air plane collisions, according to a whistle-blower complaint that was confirmed by investigators
- Air traffic controllers at a Florida station have been non-compliant with FAA safety standards, according to a whistle blower.
- When managers found out, they changed the station's standard operating procedures, instead of taking corrective action, according to a new report from the US Office of Special Counsel (OSC).
- An FAA investigation corroborated the whistle blower's complaint, but the administration did not take any action to fix the situation, according to the OSC report.
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Air traffic controllers in Florida have not complied with FAA safety regulations, leading to a greater risk of planes colliding in mid-air, according to a new report from the US Office of Special Counsel (OSC).The OSC report stems from a whistleblower complaint from an air traffic controller at the Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) in Hilliard, Florida.
When the ARTCC managers found out about the breach in protocol, they reportedly failed to take corrective action. Instead, they rewrote the station's standard operating protocols to make them reflect the controllers' actions. The rewritten protocols did not meet FAA standards, the whistle blower complained.Although the FAA launched an investigation and corroborated the whistle blower's complaint, the agency did not do anything to change the ARTCC's procedures again, or to enforce its safety standards, according to the OSC report. The OSC reports that was the case even though controllers and supervisors interviewed as part of the investigation all called the changes "hazardous" or said the procedure change "introduces risk."
The employees also described the center as having a "culture of noncompliance with certain elements of required coordination," the OSC said in a letter to the Trump administration.The OSC did not state why managers decided to change the procedure, rather than take corrective action, nor why the FAA had not acted on the results of its investigation. The FAA did not return Business Insider's request for comment.
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