|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : tpa.tower|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : supervisor|
|Experience||controller military : 6.75|
controller non radar : 3.5
controller radar : 11
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|ATC Facility||procedure or policy : tpa.tower|
staffing : tpa.tower
Tampa ATCT is using controllers instead of supervisors to staff the tower cabin attendant supervisor and cabin attendant coordinator position. This occurs on a daily basis; even when there are 3 or more supervisors on shift. Most interesting is that when 2 FAA officials from the eastern terminal services unit were visiting the tpa ATCT last month; a supervisor was in the cabin attendant (but only during the visit). Once the visitors left; the supervisor left the cabin attendant and directed a controller to staff the cabin attendant supervisor position. 2 days later; when another aircraft was moving through the tpa; no supervisor was in the cabin attendant. This practice; allowed by the air traffic manager; robs desperately needed controllers from the floor to staff a supervisory position. Controllers are regularly working 2 hours straight on position with minimum breaks; while supervisors are working a '1 hour on; 2 hours off' rotation at the TRACON supervisor position. The stress is apparent at tpa; where operational errors have skyrocketed in the last 18 months. Tpa ATCT's FAA-mandated number of controllers is 67. At present; there are only 60 controllers working traffic; with no trainees 'in the pipeline.' of those 60; 10 are eligible to retire; with 5 already announcing their retirement by yr's end. Yet; on a daily basis; controllers are staffing what even the 'ig' said was a supervisory function. I've been at 2 other (then) level V airports. Tpa is the first tower at a big airport where supervisors are rarely; if ever; in the tower. Safety-related? You bet.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: TPA CTLR EXPRESSED CONCERN REGARDING MGMNT'S POLICY OF UTILIZING CTLRS TO STAFF TWR SUPVR POS IN LIEU OF SUPVR CTLRS.
Narrative: TAMPA ATCT IS USING CTLRS INSTEAD OF SUPVRS TO STAFF THE TWR CAB SUPVR AND CAB COORDINATOR POS. THIS OCCURS ON A DAILY BASIS; EVEN WHEN THERE ARE 3 OR MORE SUPVRS ON SHIFT. MOST INTERESTING IS THAT WHEN 2 FAA OFFICIALS FROM THE EASTERN TERMINAL SVCS UNIT WERE VISITING THE TPA ATCT LAST MONTH; A SUPVR WAS IN THE CAB (BUT ONLY DURING THE VISIT). ONCE THE VISITORS LEFT; THE SUPVR LEFT THE CAB AND DIRECTED A CTLR TO STAFF THE CAB SUPVR POS. 2 DAYS LATER; WHEN ANOTHER ACFT WAS MOVING THROUGH THE TPA; NO SUPVR WAS IN THE CAB. THIS PRACTICE; ALLOWED BY THE AIR TFC MGR; ROBS DESPERATELY NEEDED CTLRS FROM THE FLOOR TO STAFF A SUPERVISORY POS. CTLRS ARE REGULARLY WORKING 2 HRS STRAIGHT ON POS WITH MINIMUM BREAKS; WHILE SUPVRS ARE WORKING A '1 HR ON; 2 HRS OFF' ROTATION AT THE TRACON SUPVR POS. THE STRESS IS APPARENT AT TPA; WHERE OPERATIONAL ERRORS HAVE SKYROCKETED IN THE LAST 18 MONTHS. TPA ATCT'S FAA-MANDATED NUMBER OF CTLRS IS 67. AT PRESENT; THERE ARE ONLY 60 CTLRS WORKING TFC; WITH NO TRAINEES 'IN THE PIPELINE.' OF THOSE 60; 10 ARE ELIGIBLE TO RETIRE; WITH 5 ALREADY ANNOUNCING THEIR RETIREMENT BY YR'S END. YET; ON A DAILY BASIS; CTLRS ARE STAFFING WHAT EVEN THE 'IG' SAID WAS A SUPERVISORY FUNCTION. I'VE BEEN AT 2 OTHER (THEN) LEVEL V ARPTS. TPA IS THE FIRST TWR AT A BIG ARPT WHERE SUPVRS ARE RARELY; IF EVER; IN THE TWR. SAFETY-RELATED? YOU BET.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.