In the wake of reports that air traffic controllers at Miami and Washington airports fell asleep while on duty, the U.s authorities are to issue stricter guidelines within the next few days.
The Federal Aviation Administration are conscious of the need to restore the public's faith in their industry so they will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that all the boxes on the health and safety issue are ticked.
FAA chief Randy Babbitt issued a forceful statement to the press and media earlier today :
"Everyone here at the FAA are determined to maximise safety for all passengers in our airspace.
Effective from May 1st, we will be beefing up air traffic controllers shift schedules to such an extent that there will always be at least one waking controller on duty in every control tower serving all major airports.
All controllers on duty will be wired up to their own personal body monitor that will send an electricity charge to anyone whose breathing patterns slow down so to such a low level that might suggest they are nodding off".
Babbitt would not, however, respond when one of the assembled reporters suggested that, while this measure might lead to fewer sleeping air traffic controllers, it might actually bring about more dead ones.