FAA Changes Stance on Disciplining Controllers

New FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt has a fresh view on how to handle controllers responsible for "operational errors." These events are defined as when proper distance between aircraft is not maintained. Previously, the controller on duty had his or her name included in the report and was automatically removed from their position. Under the new rules, said Babbitt, "We're moving away from a culture of blame and punishment." Controllers will still be held accountable, he assures, and necessary training and disciplinary action may still result. The event will also be recorded on the controller's record. But effective immediately, controllers will not be automatically removed from their positions after an operational error (unless necessary); and it is hoped that removing the controllers' names from the incident report will lead to better communication with the "front-line" people and help eliminate the core cause of the errors.