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Air traffic controllers banned from having cell phones, cameras in tower

18 Comments

The Transportation Ministry has imposed new restrictions on air traffic controllers after a Haneda Airport controller caused a security panic last month by posting the flight details of Air Force One.

In line with the restrictions, air traffic controllers will be forbidden from posting job details on blogs, and will not be allowed to bring cameras and cell phones into the control tower.

The incident came to light amid a worldwide travel alert issued by the United States ahead of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The air traffic controller in Japan leaked classified Air Force One flight plans of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Tokyo last year on his personal blog.

According to the transport ministry, the 56-year-old controller obtained the flight plans -- detailing scheduled routes, transit times, and flight altitude -- from computer screen shots he obtained while working at Haneda Airport.

The controller reportedly also disclosed data on the U.S. surveillance jet Global Hawk, which has flown above the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant several times since the March 11 tsunami triggered Japan's nuclear crisis.

The controller has told investigators that he "wanted his friends to see" what he obtained, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper said.

Meanwhile, a Japanese committee of air traffic controllers this week submitted an interim report reviewing laws and ordinances and compliance levels. The report suggested more intense training for air traffic controllers and increased surprise inspections in the future. The report also called for better confidentiality guidelines and regular roundtable meetings.

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18 Comments
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this measure is desirable but might create stress and cause more accidents...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's a shame it has to come to air traffic controllers being treated as misbehaving students but you can blame this one chucklehead for these measures.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

After being interviewed he went to 7 Eleven to buy his favorite manga.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

some14some - you think? I would rather the guy controlling my flight was watching where we were going, rather than taking screen shots and posting them on the net ;) !

Seriously though - I would have thought not using cellphones was a given - dont they interfere with communication channels, like in hospitals?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Don't think it'[s the communication channels as such (mobile phone wavelength is different from the frequencies that they will use in the tower. Think they are banned from hospitals, partly for consideration for others, and partly because the equipment there can be very sensitive to signals from other devices. Think Michael J. Fox mentioned this in his autobiography.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At least he was not taking up-skirt pictures.

Cell phones admit as much radiation as beepers, and those are allowed in hospitals. Why?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If JAX or ESA witness this Incident Problem ahead for someone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No Japan Gal, beepers are basically receivers (like a radio), not transmitters. Admitted there are beeper types to be used inside factories or laboratories, which have an answering channel, but this is on a much lower power compared to cell phones.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This controller and his friends sound like real idiots! Anybody with half a brain could understand that the flight plans for any US president, including Mr.Obama must be secret and putting them up on facebook etc..would get you in plenty of hot water right??

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Air controlers are paid to work not spend time on their mobiles any distraction could lead to a major accident

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I am wondering what happened to this guy. Was he fired? Was he brought to justice? No doubt he's been under the radar of the US Secret Service and will be for a while.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Piglet-I was wondering the same thing too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Think they are banned from hospitals, partly for consideration for others, and partly because the equipment there can be very sensitive to signals from other devices.

Cell phones that are not PHS phones emit a signal that can interrupt sensitive equipment like you mentioned, however many hospitals have areas in them that cell phones can be used. PHS phones use a different signal band and many hospitals give them to doctors and nurses for use in keeping contact.

In the article I would have thought that no cell phones was a gimme as they are distractions from the job at hand. About time to make that call.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One incident that caused no actual trouble and so they go and make a grand new rule?

Who put the children in charge?

Anyone actually think Obama is in any real danger? If you do, you might be watching too many movies.

So now we wait for some happening that everyone will say could have been avoided if only the ATC had his cell phone handy. I hope it wont be my flight.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope the guy was fired. Honestly, where is the common sense?? What jobs do "allow" you to take photos of your work and post it? Idiot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can we extend this rule to other forms of transportation? It would be great if train and bus drivers didn't have the temptation to text or talk while driving.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

DoYouRikeSushi What a racist name... faggot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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