disciplinary or punitive action. Relief from operational duty is to remain in effect until the
ATCFO has determined the probability of controller involvement.
If after the preliminary investigation the controller is found NOT to be a responsible or a
contributing factor, the controller will be returned to operational duty.
If after the investigation the controller is found to be responsible, the following action
must be taken as a minimum prerequisite to reassignment to operational duty:
A detailed and complete review of the incident/mishap should take place with the
controller including a discussion of circumstances related to the incident/mishap.
A reevaluation of the controller on the position(s) should be conducted to
determine if additional training is necessary.
If retraining is required, it should be conducted with particular emphasis on any
weakness revealed during the investigation of the incident/mishap.
Retraining, including demonstration of a skill level at least equal to that required for the
appropriate portion of sector/position "check-out," is to be considered a recertification of
In some cases of carelessness or negligence, disciplinary action is a possibility. Owing
to the seriousness of such action to the controller, use of the terms carelessness or
negligence must be carefully considered. These terms should only be used in cases
where the controller is careless or negligent beyond a reasonable doubt.
If there is personal injury or property damage, a lawsuit may be filed. Should a lawsuit
disciplinary or other actions taken, may be subject to disclosure to the attorneys for the
litigants and produced in court.
If disciplinary action appears warranted, action must be initiated in accordance with
appropriate military and/or Office of Personnel Management directives.
Air Traffic System Hazards (Operational Errors/Deviations)
While an aircraft receives ATC services, air traffic system hazards sometimes take
place. Hazards occur because ATC equipment, ATC procedures, or other air traffic
system elements fail. Failures result in a departure from standards contained in
operating manuals, handbooks, or supplementary instructions. The ATCFO, in order to
maintain an effective ATC facility organization, must identify any and all deficiencies and
take appropriate corrective action.