We know that JFK is woefully understaffed in the air traffic control tower, but this is downright silly. The FAA has confirmed that a newly uncovered audio file is indeed that of a young child controlling air traffic over the radio to planes waiting to depart the busy NYC airport.
Over the course of a few minutes, the child speaks to several different planes, including flights for JetBlue and Air Mexico. The pilots on the other end appear to be aware that they are speaking to a juvenile, and it sounds like he is being coached what to say by an actual air traffic controller.
Listen for yourself:
The FAA has released the following statement:
“Pending the outcome of our investigation, the employees involved in this incident are not controlling air traffic. This behavior is not acceptable and does not demonstrate the kind of professionalism expected from all FAA employees.”
And the union repping Air Traffic Controllers has this to say:
“We do not condone this type of behavior in any way, and it is not indicative of the highest professional standards that controllers set for themselves and exceed each and every day in the advancement of aviation safety.”
While this is obviously alarming and against regulation, does it impact your current feelings about the safety of air travel?