FAA Air Traffic Chief Resigns over Sleeping Controller Incidents

Air Traffic Organization Chief Operating Officer Hank Krakowski has resigned as the Federal Aviation Administration deals with a growing controversy over air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job.

The Chief Operating Officer of the Air Traffic Organization, Hank Krakowski, has resigned his position with the FAA amid a growing controversy of air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job. FAA’s chief counsel, David Grizzle, will take his place until a permanent successor can be found.

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt issued the following statement on the resignation:

Over the last few weeks we have seen examples of unprofessional conduct on the part of a few individuals that have rightly caused the traveling public to question our ability to ensure their safety.  This conduct must stop immediately.  I am committed to maintaining the highest level of public confidence and that begins with strong leadership.

This morning I met with the head of our Air Traffic Organization, the part of the Federal Aviation Administration charged with operating our air traffic control system.  Hank Krakowski has submitted his resignation and I have accepted it. Hank is a dedicated aviation professional and I thank him for his service. Starting today, I have asked David Grizzle, FAA’s chief counsel, to assume the role of acting ATO chief operating officer while we conduct a nationwide search to permanently fill the position.

We are conducting a top to bottom review of the way we operate our air traffic control system.  We are all responsible and accountable for safety–from senior FAA leadership to the controller in the tower.  Employees at the FAA work diligently every day to run the safest air transportation system in the world. But I will continue to make whatever changes are necessary to ensure we concentrate on keeping the traveling public safe.