Error Reports (And Drama) Up At New York TRACON...

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Understaffing Or Bad Blood?

Union leaders and politicians say a cut in overtime at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control center has mushroomed the rate of operational errors (19 in the last month compared to 24 in the previous year) and they're urging the FAA to relax the restrictions. But it's also worth noting that the errors have, according to The New York Times, been reported through an anonymous tips line that roared to life after the apparently unpopular manager of the TRACON put a tighter lid on overtime on Jan. 12 and, as AVweb told you Jan. 13, 15 controllers were fired for alleged discrepancies in their medical records. In fact, the 226 controllers at the TRACON signed a Feb. 3 letter saying the manager had embarked "on a reckless mission" by reducing controller strength when traffic is increasing, according to the Times. There's even a racial angle to the fracas. The Times says the letter alleges that when "corrected" on unspecified "performance deficiencies" the manager, who is not Caucasian, filed an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint against his superiors.