Work Is Just a Game for Air Traffic Controllers

Illustration for article titled Work Is Just a Game for Air Traffic Controllers

Air traffic control horror stories are popping up left and right these days, but few stories have a description as vividly nerdy as the one found in Mother Jones' write up about the switchboard operators of the commercial flight world.

One day after Christmas, our computer system got gummed up with too many flights, as sometimes happens. It made it harder for me to track some of the 30 airplanes that I had on frequency-almost double what we'd handle on a heavy day 15 years ago. And I was talking so fast! It's like playing ping-pong with 10 people. As I was issuing a clearance to somebody, four of them tried to read it back.


Now who wants to go on a trip? [Mother Jones]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



I'm confused, Adrian. The headline seems to imply air traffic controllers don't take their jobs seriously, as it's "just a game" to them, but then the article itself is about how hectic things can get sometimes, with them struggling just to keep up, like someone playing a game of ping-pong with ten people.

I mean, the article is fine, but the headline might throw people off to thinking you're simply putting down air traffic controllers as people who don't take their jobs seriously enough. Thanks for considering a change help clarify things for people. :)