For Immediate Release

March 25, 2011
Contact: Laura Brown
Phone: (202) 267-3455

Effective immediately, we are instituting an interim plan to ensure we do not repeat another situation like the one at Reagan National Airport Wednesday morning. While we review overnight staffing at selected airports around the country, I have directed all radar controllers to contact air traffic control towers at those airports to confirm that there is a controller prepared to handle the incoming flight. In addition, I have reminded all air traffic controllers that proper procedures dictate that they must offer pilots the option to divert to another airport if they do not make contact with the control tower. Finally, I have ordered a nationwide review of the air traffic control system to confirm the appropriate backup procedures and equipment are in place and in use. I am determined to make sure we do not repeat Wednesday’s unacceptable event.