FAA air traffic chief resigns

April 14, 2011

FAA Air Traffic Organization (ATO) Chief Operating Officer Hank Krakowski has resigned. The announcement followed several incidents in which air traffic controllers fell asleep during their shifts.

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a statement April 14 that “examples of unprofessional conduct on the part of a few individuals” over the last few weeks have raised safety concerns among the traveling public and that maintaining public confidence begins with strong leadership, adding that he had accepted Krakowski’s resignation.

“Hank is a dedicated aviation professional and I thank him for his service. Starting today, I have asked David Grizzle, FAA's chief counsel, to assume the role of acting ATO chief operating officer while we conduct a nationwide search to permanently fill the position.”

Krakowski, who came into the position in 2007, has been responsible for all aspects of the air traffic control system. The ATO includes 38,000 of the FAA's total workforce of 48,000 employees, the agency’s website notes.