Air Traffic Controller Suspended For Being Drunk On The Job

Posted Jul 19th 2011 10:00 AM



Getty File

An unidentified Denver air traffic controller is being investigated for the "possibility" of being intoxicated while working.

The veteran controller was reportedly found to have a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit during a routine, random test, the FAA told Denver's KMGH.

FAA spokeswoman Sasha Johnson said in a statement to CNN that the "controller in question is not working air traffic" and that the FAA is investigating.

Denver's KMGH reports that the incident took place on July 5 at Denver Center in Longmont.

A family member of the controller told KMGH that the controller was allowed to chose between resignation and rehab and the controller chose rehab.

Since there were no incidents during the controller's stint, the controller will not be charged with a federal crime and will be allowed to return to the job.

The President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, Paul Rinaldi, told CNN that the incident was "deeply troubling."

Air traffic controllers have caught a lot of flack in the past few months. In March, a controller was found sleeping on the job at Washington's Reagan National, leading to an outcry over tough work schedules and attention spans. In April, three public incidents occurred involving air traffic controllers who were either sleeping, watching DVDs or sending 737's to check on small air craft.

Just last week, the FAA issued new rules for preventing air traffic controllers for sleeping on the job.

FAA Issues Anti-Fatigue Rules for Air Traffic Controllers

Filed Under: Air Travel, News

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

Lundy, perhaps?
Sure would not doubt it. Still miss him from WV.
Who is this person? Inquiring minds need to know.........

July 23 2011 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hi bev

Any person that is found to be drinking or has been drinking to the point alcohol can be detected at work should be fired instantly. The USA, sad to say, leads other countries with an alcoholic problem and we shouldn't find that acceptable. These people have many lives in their control and one mistake could be a diaster. Fire him and don't give another thought about him for it was his decision to drink too much.

July 20 2011 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe Sr.

Just finished reading all the comments made to this point; WOW, apparently everybody forgets about the "ACLU" and thier version of "Workers Rights", by the ACLU standard this individual has a RIGHT to drink and go to work, or drink at work, its not UNTIL he/she causes a disaster that the ACLU will back off, and then only to let his UNION defend his RIGHT to kill the unsuspecting air traveler. Maybe "Spock and Vulcan" theory is correct, the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few, sorry had to put a Star Trek note in there. But in all sincerity, I doubt anyone held a gun to his/her head and said "Drink or Die".

July 20 2011 at 9:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
old aol welcome

Reagan had it right fire all the bums.... there's plently of people that want the jobs and will do it properly...this is worse than DRUNK DRIVING

July 20 2011 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow what don't they check them for POT. I know some that work in Indy that are high on pot most of the time!!!!!

July 20 2011 at 9:10 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

a .02 alcohol reading is not being "drunk"

July 20 2011 at 9:04 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

what about taking prozac, using a cell phone, texting every second, smoking, over dosing on Starbucks all day...I'd rather see folks have a few drinks instead ;O hahaha!!!

July 20 2011 at 8:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Automatic firing if he is found out to be guilty. To critical of a job to be impaired in anyway.

July 20 2011 at 8:45 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I dont see the problem,the guy proved he could function even after a few cocktails.People act as if drinking is a crime,well prohibition died in 1933.People are so judgemental these days,they should just mind their own business.

July 20 2011 at 8:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to trmnatr2's comment
hi bev

It seems from what you wrote you might have a drinking problem yourself to accept this kind of behavior as norm.

July 20 2011 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

SUSPENDED? Why not just slap him on the wrist and call him a "naughty boy"? What the heck is wrong with people these days? They are not only unconcerned by the fact that this idiot could have been the cause of hundreds of people being killed because of his drunkenness, they are STUPID! HE should be FIRED and sent to AA. Such stupidity as this is why I don't fly any more. If I can't get where I want to go by automobile, I don't go. I'm not putting my life in the hands of anybody who even hires people like this man. All they care about is MONEY!

July 20 2011 at 8:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Around the Web

  • Even when you're traveling, follow what's going on in your neighborhood.
    Get the Patch app.
  • .