Contract dispute adds strain to ATC, controllers' union claims

06/30/2009 | MSNBC

A brief interruption in air traffic over North Carolina earlier this month is prompting questions over staffing levels at the nation's air traffic control system. An FAA spokeswoman says a lone controller was left responsible for North Carolina flights when four other employees were unable to come to work. After working two staffers' jobs for more than eight hours, the controller finally had to take a break, forcing flights across the region to be redirected. Though the FAA insists no flights were at risk in the incident, the union representing air traffic controllers says short staffing is commonplace amid an ongoing contract dispute between controllers and the FAA.

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