UPDATED 03/02/11 10:03 a.m.
CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – Mistakes are way up among air traffic controllers at O’Hare International Airport, according to new data.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s David Roe reports, the increase in errors has prompted federal investigators to pay a visit later Wednesday to O’Hare air traffic control facilities to look at staffing levels and other safety issues, according to the Chicago Tribune.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s David Roe reports
The Tribune reports there were 17 air traffic control errors in the most recent one-year period, up from six errors the prior year.
Most of the errors involved failure to maintain the required distance between planes. While two of the errors were considered serious, five more took place while new air traffic controllers were being trained, the Tribune reported.
In the worst incident, the wake from an airplane caused turbulence for another plane flying nearby, but no one was injured, the newspaper reported.
FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory told CBS 2 the FAA has moved to a non-punitive error reporting system for air traffic controllers, which has resulted in increased reporting and helped the agency learn more about problems and safety risks.
Isham added that certified professional controllers are expected to help train new controllers with simulators.
“O’Hare is now selecting future controllers who already have certified as controllers at other air traffic facilities, to ensure they will arrive with a high level of awareness and experience,” she said in a statement.