For Immediate Release

March 3, 2010
Contact: Laura Brown
Phone: (202) 267-3883


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Aviation Administration announced today that two employees at John F. Kennedy Airport Tower are on administrative leave following an incident last month when a child was permitted to talk with pilots on an air traffic control frequency.

“This lapse in judgment not only violated FAA’s own policies, but common sense standards for professional conduct. These kinds of distractions are totally unacceptable,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “We have an incredible team of professionals who safely control our nation’s skies every single day. This kind of behavior does not reflect the true caliber of our workforce.”

The two JFK Tower employees, a supervisor and an air traffic controller, are on administrative leave pending the outcome of an official FAA investigation into the incident which is already underway.

In addition, all unofficial visits to FAA air traffic control operational areas, such as towers and radar rooms, will be suspended during the investigation. The FAA Administrator has directed a team to conduct a full-scale review of air traffic control policies and procedures related to facility visitors.

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