WASHINGTON (AP) — A lightning strike that injured an air traffic controller at Baltimore's main airport has exposed a potential vulnerability at airport towers during storms. The Sept. 12, 2013 incident at the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is prompting Federal Aviation Administration officials to inspect hundreds of towers nationwide.
The FAA will be looking for problems with the lightning protection systems for airport towers, where air traffic controllers do the vital job of choreographing the landings and takeoffs of tens of thousands of flights each day.
The FAA told the AP about the planned inspections after responding to a Freedom of Information Act request.
The FAA says the agency plans on "assessing the condition" of lightning protection systems at the 440 air traffic control towers it's responsible for nationwide.