Fumes Disrupt Jacksonville Tracon

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A roofing project at the FAA tower and Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) in Jacksonville, Fla., has driven seven controllers to complain of illness from fumes, including dizziness, nausea and chest pains, according to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). "The majority of controllers currently are being forced to work six-day weeks and/or 10-hour days due to the tight staffing," according to NATCA. "The response from management regarding the exposure to this chemical is abhorrent," said NATCA spokesman Victor Santore. "The employees feel that the FAA does not care about their safety, health and welfare." FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told AVweb on Tuesday that the FAA "takes very seriously the health and safety of all its employees." She said FAA managers "immediately took steps" when fumes were reported. FAA staff vented the TRACON, moved workers to an adjacent building, suspended the roofing project and called in experts to gather air samples. "Results of the air quality tests revealed levels well below OSHA standards," she said. Employees who report they have been affected by the odor have been permitted to take necessary leave, she said, adding that the FAA "will take any and all necessary steps to ensure the safety, health, and comfort of all employees."