Sun, Apr 01, 2012
Pharmaceutical Company Produces 'No-Doz'
ANN April 1st Special Edition
The FAA said April 1st that it has signed a multi-million dollar contact with Novartis Pharmaceuticals to supply the nation's air traffic control centers with No-Doz. The move comes after numerous reports of controllers having difficulty staying awake during long overnight shifts.
"While we don't advocate drug use, this is a safe, over the counter product that we think will help controllers stay alert and focused during long periods of low activity," said acting FAA administrator Michael Huerta. "The safety of the traveling public and the aviation community is our primary concern, and an alert controller is key to that safety."
Huerta said that no controller would be required to use the stimulant, but that it would be there if they thought it was needed. "It's no different than having a contract for a coffee service in the break room ... and to be honest, it'll cut down on the number of restroom breaks controllers who consume a lot of coffee require. We'll also realize a significant savings on sugar, artificial sweeteners, and creamers many controllers prefer in their coffee. A lot of that stuff is bad for you anyway," Huerta said.
NATCA president Paul Rinaldi agreed that it could be beneficial. "We want to be ready when the planes arrive. I think as a voluntary measure this can be helpful for our membership."
Novartis is expected to begin delivery of shipments of No-Doz to the FAA immediately.
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