Federal Aviation Administrator Randy Babbitt expressed outrage at a lapse in air traffic control at Washington’s Reagan airport and promised a probe of the incident. In a statement Babbitt said:
“The FAA is thoroughly investigating Wednesday’s early morning incidents at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport’s control tower. While that is taking place, we have suspended the air traffic controller from all operational duties. I am determined to get to the bottom of this situation for the safety of the traveling public.”
“As a former airline pilot, I am personally outraged that this controller did not meet his responsibility to help land these two airplanes. Fortunately, at no point was either plane out of radar contact and our back-up system kicked in to ensure the safe landing of both airplanes,” Babbitt said.
At least two passenger aircraft landed safely but without the aid of Reagan’s s air traffic controller who some allege was sleeping while on duty.