U.S. air traffic control errors spike

The Washington Post

Federal investigators confirmed Monday that errors by the nation’s air traffic controllers have increased sharply, challenging the Federal Aviation Administration’s contention that most of the jump was due to better data collection.

The inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation, in an audit released Monday, said that “the increase in reported errors was linked, in part, to a rise in actual errors rather than increased reporting.”

The report cited a 95 percent increase in controller errors reported in 2010 at the facility that supervises air traffic into Washington’s three major airports — Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport.

It was the fifth-highest increase between 2009 and 2010 in the nation, outranked only by error increases in Southern California, Central Florida, Houston and Miami.