POSTED: 5:28 am PDT September 2, 2005

SYDNEY, Australia -- A groggy air traffic controller left dozens of airline passengers up in the air over Australia's national capital after oversleeping and arriving late for work.

"The guy slept in," acknowledged Ben Mitchell, spokesman for Air Services Australia, the government-funded organization that oversees air traffic control towers throughout Australia.As a result, the tower at Canberra International Airport opened 20 minutes late Wednesday morning and a Qantas Boeing 737-800 from Perth was forced to circle over the city before getting clearance to land.

The plane, carrying 68 passengers, touched down 12 minutes after its scheduled arrival time.

Mitchell said the passengers were never in danger. more at link: