Air Traffic Controllers Union Speaks Out, LaHood Still Unhappy

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The union which represents air traffic controllers is once again at odds with transportation officials: Air traffic controllers will continue to push for a controlled nap schedule in order to reduce fatigue despite significant resistance from officials, USA Today reports.

Despite a slew of bad publicity in recent weeks--from sleeping air traffic controllers to a near miss with the First Lady's plane--Paul Rinaldi, the president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, defended the air traffic system and those who work it.

In a statement, Rinaldi said "It is safe to fly. It has never been safer to fly."

The union will push for 12 ways to reduce fatigue, including monitored naps, anti-fatigue training and medical testing to make sure controllers don't have sleep disorders.

It's not all about fatigue in the air traffic controllers room, however: A controller was suspended earlier this month for watching "The Cleaner," a 2007 Samuel L. Jackson movie, while he worked the midnight shift.

Last week, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood went on PBS's "News Hour" to condemn the controllers and ensure a nervous public that the numerous incidents were nothing to fear.

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