Meeting Air Traffic Controllers

Sorry for the late upload, guys! I have a construction site going on in my garden that’s keeping me busy. And, as usual with my projects, I underestimated the real amount of work I’d have to put in. I know that I always underestimate the effort, but this time I underestimated how much I underestimated it! Also, the fact that it has been raining every single day in the last weeks didn’t help to expedite the work. Today it has been sunny, so I’ve been working my hind end off to seize the sun.

Anyway, to the real subject: Air Traffic Controllers! They are real people, just like you and me. I’ve even met a few and they all were perfectly nice and normal. Only one thing I noticed: I’m sure I haven’t met a representative sample, but I got the impression that they tend to be a bit on the twitchy side. And one friend of mine, who is one of the most relaxed persons I know, started to become an ATC, but he only lasted a few months. So maybe there really is a certain character trait you need for the job?

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3 comments on “Meeting Air Traffic Controllers
  1. FredW says:

    In the mid 1970’s I was part of the engineering team designing and building the 20-inch diameter ATC displays for the US FAA terminal radar approach control facilities. As a nights and weekends project I wrote a simulator that generated targets appearing at random locations, altitudes, and airspeeds. The operator used a trackball and keyboard to sequence the simulated returns into a single runway where the aircraft would “autoland.” I got the heading and airspeed components working as expected, but abandoned development after realizing that I got sweaty and twitchy every time I sat down and ran the simulation – Obviously knowing full well it was a toy. So yes, there are character traits need for the job…

  2. JP Kalishek says:

    Ran into a former boss of mine once when I worked at the airport. He had gotten rehired as an ATC (One of WJ Clinton’s kept promises) and was explaining to me that if the tech levels had been the same back when Reagan fired them, there’d have not been a strike to get fired from.

  3. L says:

    Most traffic controllers are pretty cool/nice. I have spent hours in our local tower cab, yakking with the guys when traffic was light. But recently they got a brand new guy and he doesn’t like audience. Our trips to the tower are over now. 🙁

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