Four Managers at Swiss ATC Facility Convicted of Manslaughter

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In the continuing fallout from a 2002 midair collision in Swiss-controlled airspace in which 71 people died, four air traffic control managers on Wednesday were convicted of manslaughter, Reuters reported. The judge said the managers were responsible for ensuring that at least two controllers were on duty at all times, and the collision could have been averted if any one of them had acted to prevent the second controller on duty from taking a coffee break. That left just one controller working at the time of the collision. The lone controller was later killed by a Russian man who lost his wife and two children in the crash. The four managers, who are employees of SkyGuide, an air-traffic company, were given suspended prison terms and fines. Francis Schubert, Skyguide's interim CEO, said the company has "learned the lessons from this tragic event and has done everything to ensure that an accident of this kind cannot happen again."