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FAA suspends controllers for DVD watching

April 19, 2011 at 12:58 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 19 (UPI) -- An air traffic controller and manager who were found to be watching a DVD while on duty were suspended this week, U.S. aviation officials said.

A military pilot reported he heard 3 minutes of a movie coming from the Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The FAA said the incident occurred Sunday.

"For a little more than three minutes, the controller's microphone was inadvertently activated, transmitting the soundtrack of the movie over the radio frequency for that airspace," the agency said.

The FAA has suspended seven controllers this year for napping or sleeping on duty. Also Sunday, new rules were released that increase the turnaround time between shifts from 8 hours to 9 and extends the time managers must be in control centers to 1 a.m.

Officials said portable DVD players and similar electronic devices, such as the one involved in the Cleveland incident, are not allowed in radar rooms.

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