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Resource ID: #17688
Subject: Aviation
Source: Kansas City
Affiliation: 
Date: November

Description

Kansas City looks at the work of air traffic controllers at the Olathe Center, and reveals that they might be "just puppets or airline greed." The report finds that the controllers "may be the traffic cop in the skies, but ... [they are] ... not in charge of what happens on the ground." The story describes the stress of the job, and sheds light on the practices of random alcohol and drug testing at the traffic control center. The reporter finds that air traffic controllers "in fact are neither cops nor lords," as pilots often refuse to listen to their advice. A major finding is that controllers have a computer program that "would just make everybody fall into line," but are forced not to use it. The reason: "If such a rigid system were in place all the time, airlines couldn't pretend all those flights were leaving at 5;01 p.m."

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