Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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shAir Traffic Control

It's daytime, there.
  (+3)
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Nightshift air traffic controllers have it rough these days. Not only is the hardnosed boss not letting them catch a much-needed catnap during break and thus risking the lives of passengers on the redeyes, but have you actually tried to sleep in a traffic control breakroom? The furniture there is straight out of the dark ages.

This is a pretty simple concept which would require vast amounts of fault-intolerant triple-redundant IT and political security infrastructure. Why must these screen-starers operate near the area they control? Why not open an air-traffic control center in someplace nice, like Bali, or perhaps somewhere where the US already has an Air Force base presence, to control traffic over US airspace in important locations at nighttime? Now, no more nightshift. Everybody gets to sleep during reasonable hours. And when its daytime in New York and Nighttime in Shanghai, an expanded New York air traffic control could cover Shanghai's traffic.

Nighty-night.

RayfordSteele, Apr 21 2011

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       I think part of the job is actually looking out the window. I suppose you could add cameras for this, but getting a full 360 view with good enough resolution would be tough.   

       That said, I could see a central location to double- check the work of multiple towers. Maybe include a button that's linked to a loud alarm bell in the tower.
Worldgineer, Apr 21 2011
  

       Since the invention of the electric lightbulb, the concepts of daytime and night-time have become increasingly arbitary.   

       We no longer stop work at dusk. Artificially created time-zones and seasonal adjustment of time are further illustrations of humanitys contempt for natural daylight restrictions.   

       Perhaps businesses who need to operate at night should simply declare their own local time zones as required.   

       But seriously folks,   

       I'm not sure how much looking out of the window is involved in ATC, especially at night. Why does ATC need to be a tower at all. Clearly, there are historical reasons involving flag waving and shouting at passing pilots with a megaphone, but I suspect the tower is obsolete. As Rayford suggests, ATC could be located anywhere. (+)
Twizz, Apr 21 2011
  

       " flag waving and shouting at passing pilots with a megaphone" And, you know, during power failures or when your radar breaks.   

       "especially at night" That's what those lights on an airplane are for.
Worldgineer, Apr 21 2011
  

       So, I posted my idea to the Lockheed Bright Idea contest. We'll see if it goes anywhere.
RayfordSteele, Aug 30 2012
  
      
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