FAA official out amid sleeping-on-the-job cases

first_imgLifestyleTravel FAA official out amid sleeping-on-the-job cases by: – April 14, 2011 Washington (CNN) — The Federal Aviation Administration official in charge of operating the air traffic control system has resigned amid revelations that several controllers have fallen asleep on the job this year, the FAA chief said ThursdayStepping down is Hank Krakowski, who has been the head of the FAA Air Traffic Organization. David Grizzle, the FAA’s chief counsel, will be the acting chief of the unit during a search to fill the post, according to Randy Babbitt, the agency’s administrator.“Over the last few weeks we have seen examples of unprofessional conduct on the part of a few individuals that have rightly caused the traveling public to question our ability to ensure their safety.This conduct must stop immediately,” Babbitt said in a statement.“I am committed to maintaining the highest level of public confidence and that begins with strong leadership.”The development came after another air traffic controller apparently fell asleep while on duty, the sixth such incident this year that the FAA has disclosed.The latest incident occurred Wednesday morning at Reno-Tahoe International Airport in Nevada “when a controller fell asleep while a medical flight carrying an ill patient was trying to land,” the FAA said.U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called the trend “absolutely unacceptable,” and transportation officials immediately began making changes and reviews to address the problem.For example, Babbitt and LaHood said the FAA will assign an extra air traffic controller on the midnight shift at 27 control towers that have been staffed with one controller during those hours.The FAA said Babbitt and National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Paul Rinaldi “are launching a nationwide ‘Call to Action’ on air traffic control safety and professionalism” and will visit air traffic facilities to underscore those points.The move will include “an independent review of the FAA’s air traffic control training curriculum and qualifications and the expansion of NATCA’s Professional Standards committees.” The FAA is also reviewing staffing and scheduling.“We are conducting a top-to-bottom review of the way we operate our air traffic control system,” Babbitt said. “We are all responsible and accountable for safety — from senior FAA leadership to the controller in the tower. Employees at the FAA work diligently every day to run the safest air transportation system in the world. But I will continue to make whatever changes are necessary to ensure we concentrate on keeping the traveling public safe.”Along with the Nevada incident, cases of sleeping controllers occurred at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and the McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, Tennessee. Three incidents involving the same person occurred at King County International Airport/Boeing Field in Seattle.The FAA said it also suspended two controllers in Lubbock, Texas, for an incident in which they failed to hand off control of a departing flight to the Fort Worth Air Traffic Control Center, and responded only after several attempts by the same center to hand them control of an arriving flight. An FAA statement did not indicate whether the Lubbock controllers were thought to have been asleep. 30 Views   no discussions Share Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! Share Tweetlast_img read more

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USC student launches delivery business for affordable bicycles

first_imgAfter spending a semester searching for an affordable bicycle, sophomore Micah Greenberg found an original business opportunity instead. Seeing that many other students also had a hard time finding cheap beach cruisers, Greenberg started Dormbikes, a business that offers a cheaper alternative to traditional stores.“Last year, as a student living in Parkside, I spent about an hour every day walking in between classes to my dorm, fraternity and to social engagements,” said Greenberg, who is majoring in international relations and business administration. “I remember seeing an old used bike being sold for $95 at the University Village’s bike shop and thinking to myself that there had to be better, more personalized, more efficient ways to buy and sell a bike.”Pedal pusher · Dormbikes founder Micah Greenberg personally orders, assembles and delivers custom beach cruisers for students living near the USC campus at cheaper prices than the local stores. – James Watson | Daily TrojanSince the idea was born in December 2008, Greenberg has been preparing to launch Dormbikes. The company assembles and delivers new custom beach cruisers to USC students for as little as $95.The company began promoting its service during the summer and made its first delivery Friday.Students can log onto the Dormbikes website, www.dormbikes.com, and choose a bike model and color and accessories such as baskets and locks. Greenberg then receives the orders and sends an inventory request to wholesale suppliers.Greenberg and his employees rent out a truck to pick up and deliver the bikes, which they assemble themselves. They deliver on Thursdays and Fridays to the USC campus and surrounding areas.Currently, most of hisemployees are friends who want to help assemble and deliver bikes, and spread the word of his business. Some of his friends joined because they’re too were in the same situation as Greenberg last year.“I joined because freshman year I was looking for a bike and could not find one at the local businesses,” said Melanie Mathis, a sophomore majoring in political science and international relations. “I respect anyone who is taking that lead to help students.”Greenberg runs his business from his room at the Theta Chi fraternity house, which keepsoverhead costs low, but Greenberg said he will still need to sell a large volume of bikes to make a profit.“By customizing what we buy to the needs of our individual customers, we cut down on a lot of the expenses associated with a traditional bike shop,” Greenberg said. “Currently, we are hoping that volume will make up for the near wholesale prices our customers receive.”Greenberg said he tries to sell his bikes for as close to wholesale price as he can.Nikke Soremekun, a senior majoring in business administration and Spanish, said though Dormbikes’ prices can be cheaper, there are certain perks to buying a bike from a store.“Compared to a store, the price would be lower because its coming from wholesale,” Soremekun said. “But a store would be able to handle and offer a warranty differently plus offer additional services than just a person. The only worry is that if this business gets bigger it won’t be able to offer what it is offering to its customers at a larger scale.”Greenberg plans to make sure his business gives back to the community by giving 5 percent of his profit to a local charity. He also hopes to reduce Dormbikes’ environmental impact by recycling any packaging or waste throughout the whole process.“I have strong ideals as to how a company should behave — its responsibilities towards its customers, workers and community,” Greenberg said. “I wanted to prove that all businesses can be managed responsibly and still be profitable.”Greenberg said he drew inspiration from his father’s andgrandfather’s entrepreneurship — both started separate small businesses — and his business education.“The goal of the company is to create a more efficient, competitive, customer friendly way to sell bikes,” said Greenberg. “As Dormbikes matures, I intend to direct even more of its resources towards philanthropic giving.”Greenberg’s focus right now is taking care of his local customers and he said he remains hopeful for the future of the company.“Right now, we’re just making sure we do USC right — Dormbikes has the capacity to expand regionally and even nationally,” Greenberg said. “To really break into the market, we’re just trying to spread the word about who we are and what we offer.”last_img read more

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