Interview With An Air Traffic Controller

With morale among overworked and poorly supported air-traffic controllers bottoming out, “a combination of fatigue and frustration is laying a dangerous groundwork,” reports Time magazine. The spokesman for their union says, “”We’re left trying to hold the system together like MacGyver — with duct tape and scissors and string.” Time interviewed a controller to find out what’s going on, and what the consequences could be if we (or the airline industry and the FAA) don’t address the problems.

What are the inherent difficulties in pulling together that process?
One of our Achilles heels is a very antiquated communications system. We use 1950s technology to communicate in a 2010 environment. The frustrating thing is, there are incredible technologies available for communicating — via data-link or digital voice radio systems — and I’ve seen people die because we haven’t implemented those technologies.

“Air Traffic Controller Sounds Alarm” [Time]
(Photo: moogs)