The FAA says it's moving forward to fire a controller caught sleeping on the job at Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport in February. According to the Washington Post, the incident was revealed on Wednesday when FAA administrator Randy Babbitt was testifying before a House transportation subcommittee. Babbitt told the committee he learned of it shortly after the widely publicized incident at Washington's Reagan Airport when a supervisor nodded off while working a midshift.
Knoxville has a so-called "up and down" facility, with a tower controller in the cab and an approach controller in the radar room in a floor below. According to Babbitt, when the radar controller went to sleep, the tower controller covered for him. Evidently, according to ABC News, the controller didn't just nod off but made himself a comfy bed using cushions and a blanket from the break room. Pilots inbound to Knoxville complained that they couldn't get a response on the approach control frequency.