FAA Covering Up Serious Flight Errors: Controllers

Federal agency not retraining pilots after redesigns
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2008 12:32 PM CST
FAA Covering Up Serious Flight Errors: Controllers
Controllers are accusing the FAA of "covering up" by not reporting what some say could be hundreds of "pilot deviations" in which aircraft follow the wrong departure instructions.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Air traffic controllers at one of the nation’s busiest airports are accusing the FAA of “covering up” potentially dangerous aircraft deviations on the tarmac, the Record of Bergen County reports. Newark Liberty International Airport recently redesigned the airspace in an effort to ease delays and increase efficiency, but controllers and pilots say the changes have left them confused and scrambling to avert disaster.

“It’s a nightmare,” said an exec with the controller’s union. The FAA, which hasn’t set up courses to retrain pilots, says only four deviations have happened since September, but controller records show three incidents occurring on Thanksgiving morning alone. “Eventually we’re going to whack two planes together,” a union rep said, “and then they're going to say something about it.”
(More Newark airport stories.)

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