Author Topic: Article why Air Traffic Controllers are so Special  (Read 13971 times)

Offline KB4TEZ

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Article why Air Traffic Controllers are so Special
« on: January 04, 2024, 07:23:21 AM »
Found this on my LinkedIn feed, enjoy, and thank you for what you do.

The general public hate us when they go on holiday because of ‘air traffic delays’ but
they don’t understand us or what we do.
We hold more lives in our hands in one average shift than a medical doctor does in his or
her whole career.
Some pilots think they are the only aircraft in the sky and don’t get that speed control is
not for our entertainment but to help them. Level allocation is the same, if someone is at the level you
want and is right above you, you ain’t getting it.
Everything we say is recorded. Everything. And we have to be prepared to defend every single word we
say in a court of law should the unthinkable happen.
We are responsible for knowing more rules than humanly possible, and those rules are subject to daily
We can't imagine doing any other job.
We carry around in our heads the equivalent amount of data as the average metropolitan phone book -
we don't have time to look anything up.
We aren't allowed to make mistakes.
We don't have a God complex.
We receive more training than physicians.
We can't make our "clients" wait in a waiting room until we're ready for them.
We are always in control.
We control everything in our environment.
This affects our personal life in ways that a non-controller cannot fathom.
We can't bring the job home, but it is always with us.
We all have crash dreams.
We will control traffic in our sleep.
We never have to worry about a foot-high inbox when we come into work.
We can't put an airplane back in the inbox to deal with later.
We take extreme pride in the quality of our work, no matter how negatively the aviation authorities,
the media, or the public view us.
No, you can not imagine the stress.
We aren't able to tolerate a read-back error at a drive thru restaurant.
Indecision is unacceptable in ANY scenario.
We don't get bathroom breaks whenever we need them - we learn to hold it until we get a break.
There is always something that needs to be done right now.
We have a lack of tolerance for miscommunication.
We get grumpy when we don't have enough airplanes to keep us busy. We get grumpy when we have
too many. And we are the only ones who know where we draw this invisible line between the two.
We love gallows humour.
We expect people to say what they mean and mean what they say.
Everything in life is either black or white - there is no grey.
We can drink a hotel bar dry in about two hours.
We use anticipated separation when we drive. We can't understand people who don't know how to
calculate speed differences to hit gaps on the highway.
There is something "off" about ALL of us.
We are not allowed to treat our depression or anxiety with approved medicine, or even admit out loud
that we suffer from either as we will lose our jobs if we do.
But we can drink our weight in Jack Daniels as long as we stop at least 8 hours before our next shift.
Most of us look 10 yrs older than our age and act 10 yrs younger.
We know all the different variations of the word "stress".
We are drawn to extremely dangerous pastimes.
We don't know what normal sleep patterns are. We're not allowed to use sleep aids.
We work in the middle of the night and on Christmas and weekends and public holidays.
We will never have "normal" days off.
We will never have a regular social life.
We can't participate in our kids' school or extra curricular activities.
Our friends won't understand that we can't just leave work or get a day off work.
People think that we are the guys on the ramp with the table tennis bats and that we get to fly for
free. We are not, and we don’t.
We are fluent in three languages: English, Acronyms and Cursing. We speak all three simultaneously
and loudly.
Controller sweets comes in two flavours: TUMS and Ibuprofen.
When a cold or flu strikes we just suck it up 'cause we can't take over-the-counter cold medication
without being medically disqualified.
We are brutally, ridiculously, ruthlessly hard on each other.
We will be the last person a pilot talks to on this earth. We will hear the terror in their voice. We will
calmly use every tool we have to bring them down safely. We will hear their screams. We will never
forget it. We will relive it again and again. We will go right back to work the next day and do it again.
We aren't allowed to cry.
When one of us fails we will laugh at them.
When one of us succeeds we won't acknowledge it.
We don't have time to pat ourselves or each other on the back.
We have vectoring to do...

Offline Journey Skyes

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Re: Article why Air Traffic Controllers are so Special
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2024, 12:35:45 AM »
I tried the like button on this article, but the button must not be working properly. 

Two thumbs up!!

Offline martyj19

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Re: Article why Air Traffic Controllers are so Special
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2024, 01:42:18 PM »
"We use anticipated separation when we drive"

Offline KB4TEZ

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Re: Article why Air Traffic Controllers are so Special
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2024, 10:48:14 AM »
Now that's funny !!!! (anticipated seperation :) )