Of­fi­cials probe why lone Las Ve­gas air traf­fic con­troller went silent

Santa Fe New Mexican - - NATION & WORLD -

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.

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