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What do You Think About the Kiddie Air Traffic Controllers?

By SUSAN RIVERA
Updated 2:02 PM CDT, Fri, Jan 13, 2012

A birds-eye view of La Guardia Airport

The Federal Aviation Adminstration has suspended a New York air traffic controller and his supervisor for allowing the controller's son and another child direct traffic at John F. Kennedy airport last month.

 

"As a retired 747 captain, I feel that what the children said over the radio was not dangerous. However, it was not very smart of the father or his supervisor since you do need a radio-telephone license to communicate on federal airwaves." -Jerry

 

"Just when I think that I've heard about the dumbest things ever, THIS story breaks. OMG! The [judgment] of the flight control employee that brought the children is so way out of line here. Not only did he compromise the safety of each and every flight while his children were with him at work but he just took being irresponsible to a whole new level. He should loose his job no questions asked. NEVER should visitors be allowed in the flight control towers, ever." - Anidra

 

"My Father was a controller at Chicago Center for over 25 years.  I remember doing the same thing when I was in grade school (1970's).  I did not figure out heading speed and altitude, just parroted what my father told me to say into the headset." - Brian

 

"We (including the media) need to stop and listen, the kid never once spoke to a a plane in the air, he spoke to planes already lined up for takeoff. The media is making this sound like he was landing planes or giving in air coordinates... Focus on something else."-Rich

 

"As a pilot in training myself, letting the child in the tower talk to the pilots was a bad decision, but the FAA took it too far. No one was hurt or seriously affected by this decision and frankly the children gave orders correctly adding humor to a very stressful job." -Mike

 

"I think the dad did make a bad choice, but he was there the whole time,.. the child was only relaying what the father would have said. Slap him on the hand and get on to more important issues, like why is O'hare the least secure airport?" -Sylvia

 

"I listened to the conversation on TV when it first aired, and I believe the FAA is making a mountain out of a mole hill.  Yes I can see where the father was in the wrong by letting the kids speak to the pilots but I believe the FAA is going way to far and is simply trying to make a point. The FAA should obtain a sense of humor and realize the child wanted to be like daddy." -Anonymous

 

"First of all, The AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER SHOULD BE FIRED! The lives of every person on every plane he navigated were in danger, Its real simple, stupid is as stupid does!" -Ed

 

"I suspect that the kids father was telling them what to say.  I also believe that he was right there with them and would have stepped in if it got busy.  I don't think it needs to be a huge deal - a learning experience and a warning that it not happen again." -Anonymous

 

"I think it's [appalling] to have the children in the tower, let alone on the air talking to pilots. It would seem that w/ all that has happened in America in the air, workers and authorities would be extremely cautious. Have we learned nothing?!?! They should be fired!" -Anonymous

 

"I feel like the air traffic dad should not have allowed his child to speak however I don't believe anyone was in danger.  I believe dad was in control & dictating instructions." -Aonymous

 

"It seems to me this might have been arranged between the pilot and controller ahead of time, if anyone notices, the pilot doesn't seem surprised or even questions the childs (voice), even tells him something like "good job", so I personally think it's being blown out of proportion." -Anonymous

 

"Can we say "you're fired!" -Louie Rivera

 

"I don't think the kids hurt anyone. Obviously the kids weren't "working" alone. Dad was telling them what to say." -Anonymous

 

"It would be absurd to think that the father and his supervisor were not the ones telling the child what to say. I do not think anyone was at risk. Parents take their children to work on special days and It is a great experience for both. The FAA needs to lighten up." -Pat

 

"The kids didn't cause any problems. They shouldn't have been there, but caused no problems." -Anonymous

 

"It was a distraction that neither the pilots in the sky and I'm sure the other air traffic controllers needed. I cant believe that the father thought this was OK to do." -Bill

 

"I initially thought it was cute but knowing how vital the position is of traffic controller, I think it was stupid. Would a police officer working a beat in the city that is well-known to be a violent area allow his/her kid in the squad car? I think not." -Lynn

 

"This action demonstrated considerable lack of good [judgment] on the part of the father and the supervisor. While I'm sure the father was right there and ready to take over, any delay could have been life threatening for all those passengers. Controlling air traffic is definitely not child's play!" -Diane

 

"What next, that was just plain stupid, what are people gonna get away with next?" -Glenda

First Published: Mar 4, 2010 7:24 AM CDT

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