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FAA: Controller watched movie while on duty

An Ohio air-traffic controller and his manager were suspended after the controller was found to be watching a movie while on duty, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

An Ohio air-traffic controller and his manager were suspended after the controller was found to be watching a movie while on duty, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

The suspension, which was announced late Monday, came on the first day of a multicity tour by FAA officials to discuss new regulations on rest, scheduling and professionalism with controllers.

The national tour was a response to several incidents that have alarmed regulators and safety advocates in recent weeks, including a lone controller at Washington’s Reagan National Airport falling asleep on March 23 with two jetliners en route.

The suspended controller from the Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center had inadvertently filled the airwaves with the soundtrack of the movie he was watching for more than three minutes on Sunday.

During that time, pilots could not communicate with the tower. The pilot of a military aircraft used an alternative frequency to notify air traffic control of the problem.

The FAA statement said that portable DVD players and other devices are not allowed on the floor of the radar room.

 
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