Officials probe why lone Las Vegas air traffic controller went silent
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Federal and airport authorities said Friday they are investigating why an air traffic controller became incapacitated and went silent while working a night shift alone in the tower at busy McCarran International Airport.
“No safety events occurred during this incident,” the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement about what amounted to a 40-minute span during which the controller slurred her words and then apparently lost consciousness shortly before midnight Wednesday.
Five inbound aircraft remained airborne during the incident, and aircraft on the ground held positions or communicated between themselves to maintain safety while moving, the FAA said. Some begin talking between themselves about something being amiss.
Officials said a controller who had been on break was summoned to return to the tower and paramedics were called to treat the other controller. The planes landed without incident.