The FAA has tightened air traffic control tower staffing requirements following an incident last week in which a controller who was alone directing traffic into Las Vegas' McCarran Airport became what the agency called "incapacitated."

"The controller is no longer employed by the FAA," the agency said in an email. 

In a recording said to be from the McCarran tower, which was obtained by Air Transport World, the controller's speech sounds muddled and at times unintelligible. 

"Is there somebody up there that knows what they're doing," an Alaska pilot asks on the recording. 

There were no incidents at McCarran because of the incapacitated controller.

Under the new rule, two controllers must be in the tower working traffic until either midnight or 90 minutes after the start of the work shift, whichever comes later.

The policy took effect on Nov. 9 and applies to all towers that are staffed with two controllers on the overnight shift. 

The FAA hasn't elaborated on what caused the controller in question to become incapacitated.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI