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FAA Brings Back Familiarization Trips  
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7279 posts, RR: 6
Posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7535 times:

Not sure how new this news is and could not find anything on a search but the FAA is bringing back Familiarization Trips for ATC. So ATC will be aloud to take jump seat flights to see what it is like in the cockpit during a flight. Seems like a good idea to bring it back since it was taken away after 9/11. Probably wont be the same way as it used to be as ATC could just go on these trips when they wanted etc. IIRC. Article says the controllers will be vetted well and go through good security etc.. Here is a link from CNN.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/04/20...air.traffic.controllers/index.html


"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineEagleboy From Niue, joined Dec 2009, 1917 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7521 times:
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This seems like good industry practise to me. Always good to have a notion of what the other guy is doing in their dealings with you. 2 points:

1-Will the reciprocal visits to a tower be permitted?
2-I would assume that ATCOs are already 'vetted well' why do they need more?


User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2266 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7317 times:

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 1):
2-I would assume that ATCOs are already 'vetted well' why do they need more?

Yes, very well. In the ARTCCs they hold a Secret Security Clearance.



I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlinedptpa From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 16 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7305 times:

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 1):
1-Will the reciprocal visits to a tower be permitted?


As long as I've been an FAA employee, visits have always been allowed by pilots, although it rarely happens.

As an Air Traffic Controller, I'm excited to see this development. I look forward to the opportunity to ride up front and see it all from the pilot's perspective. I wonder how pilots will feel about having controllers up front with them once again?


User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 4, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7233 times:

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 2):
In the ARTCCs they hold a Secret Security Clearance.

I'm not 100% sure they do... I have a friend that worked a number of years (past 2001) in Washington Center with no clearance.

NS


User currently offlineKLASM83 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 633 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7085 times:

This is good that this is happening. There was a NATCA meeting at UND that hinted at doing this, and I echo the sentiment that this will benefit the controllers. When I get an assignment, I can't wait to do one of these.   


Don't you want to hang out and waste your life with us?
User currently offlineLONGisland89 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 741 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7049 times:

Any chance that controllers will be CASS certified or are FAM trips going to be a separate thing?

User currently offlineTower From United States of America, joined Feb 2011, 107 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7022 times:

Quoting gigneil (Reply 4):
I'm not 100% sure they do... I have a friend that worked a number of years (past 2001) in Washington Center with no clearance.

Controllers carry government clearances. All of us do.


User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7279 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6998 times:

Quoting Tower (Reply 7):
Controllers carry government clearances. All of us do.

What type of clearances. I carried a government clearance when I worked for a Member of Congress on Capitol Hill it was not much. A FBI agent have top secret clearance etc.. There are different levels of clearance of course. But of course I would imagine ATC to have good background checks done etc.. Just if not better then airline pilots themselves. But at the same time not as good as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer or Investigator.

Quoting LONGisland89 (Reply 6):
Any chance that controllers will be CASS certified or are FAM trips going to be a separate thing?

Do not think it will work that way. Seems like it will have to be prior approval etc.. The trip has to be done in 8 hours. So no flying somewhere for a weekend coming back etc.. But that is just rumors right now.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlinestratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1658 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6982 times:

Quoting dptpa (Reply 3):
As an Air Traffic Controller, I'm excited to see this development. I look forward to the opportunity to ride up front and see it all from the pilot's perspective. I wonder how pilots will feel about having controllers up front with them once again?

From what I am hearing they welcome it just as long as the FAM ATC rider doesn't have priority over pilots that want the jumpseat.

Quoting LONGisland89 (Reply 6):
Any chance that controllers will be CASS certified or are FAM trips going to be a separate thing?


I wouldn't count on it.. In fact I have heard it will be more restricted than in the past. No int'l and only one fam trip per quarter and not for controllers on vacation and within 8 hrs. I guess in the past they had controllers jumping to exotic destinations with their families in the back with paid tickets. Actually I am all for everyone in aviation doing some time in other aviation positions or observing it might have more appreciation for what each person does.

[Edited 2011-04-22 22:25:45]

[Edited 2011-04-22 22:26:42]


NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 10, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6749 times:

This news is excellent, particularly when you think that in the last 10 years the number of new controllers who have never seen the inside of a flight deck let alone the coordination between the Captain and First Officer.....not to mention the high workload during certain phases of the flight and so much more. How the FMC operates, the flight displays, the overall performance of the aircraft, and the simple interaction between the pilots and controllers that has been so missed.

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 1):
Will the reciprocal visits to a tower be permitted?



Only during FAA kneejerk reactions to something have pilots not been allowed in the local facilities, particularly airline and corporate operators.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2266 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6712 times:

Quoting gigneil (Reply 4):
I'm not 100% sure they do

I am. I had to have and maintain one for 25 years.

Quoting Tower (Reply 7):
Controllers carry government clearances. All of us do.

What's a "government clearance"?

Quoting flymia (Reply 8):
What type of clearances.

Secret.



I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlineboeingkid From United States of America, joined May 2009, 117 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6597 times:

I think that this is a great idea and I am all for it. I like the idea that the pilots should come up in the tower and see what ATC does. On that note on the airline side of it dispatchers have to do time in the cockpit and the pilots should have to sit in dispatch

User currently offlinemodesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2819 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6344 times:

Glad they're bringing back the fam flights. When I was flying, I visited the LAX tower and as IAHFLYR can confirm, I also visited the Houston TRACON. Both were great experiences!

User currently offlineYYZatcboy From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1098 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6304 times:
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Quoting boeingkid (Reply 12):
On that note on the airline side of it dispatchers have to do time in the cockpit and the pilots should have to sit in dispatch

I think it would be great as well for the pilots to see what dispatchers do, but at the same time there are so many of them (pilots) that we would have two or three following us around every day 24/7 365...



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User currently offlineLONGisland89 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 741 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6243 times:

I am really happy this is coming back. I am about to finish my studies at a CTI school and it scares me how little my fellow students (those doing ATC) know about aircraft, airlines, and the overall airline industry. As some of you said earlier, It is sad that many controllers have no idea what goes on in a cockpit.

User currently offlinedc10srule From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 6176 times:

I hope NAVCANADA and Transport Canada are listening to this and allowing us to do the same up here.

We still have FAM trips but NO cockpit access - yet.


JA



Giggity-Giggity..!
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 6127 times:

To my ATC counterparts; welcome back. Its a shame you guys couldn't ride for a while. Hope to see some of you guys soon.


Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineCharlieNoble From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 6103 times:

Sounds like people are getting wrapped around the axle here on "clearances". Here's what I know about it...

A clearance is an administrative determination of trustworthiness. The government issues 'clearances' which are a pre-requisite to getting access to classified materials (Clearance + Need To Know = Access). The three main levels of classified information are Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret, which refer to the level of damage to national security that would be suffered if the info was compromised. There are even tighter requirements than Top Secret but that is very specialized stuff.

In order to be eligible for a clearance you need to have some degree of background check done...the checks are more stringent and done more frequently as you go up the scale from Confidential to Top Secret. A lot of different factors go into issuance of a clearance such as financial situation, criminal history, substance abuse, association with foreign nationals or known subversives etc. Basically they want to make sure that you are reliable and not likely to be compromised for money or blackmailed into selling out the country. Secret seems to be the normal level of clearance issued, I know they don't like to go to the trouble of TS and above unless absolutely necessary.

I don't know what type of classified information civilian ATC would need access to but imagine that the requirement to maintain eligibility at a given clearance level (Secret) is so that the person would be subject to standard government background checks every X years. In theory it ensures a given level of reliability.

[Edited 2011-04-23 13:12:45]

User currently offlineandyinpit From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 320 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 5646 times:

Like others have said, if there are pilots that want to tour towers, centers, TRACONs, by all means call up and ask. I'm glad these FAM trips are back. Even though it's a voluntary program, I would encourage all ATCs to take advantage of this and see how things are down on the other side of the radio. Just as pilots should go see what controllers do. And don't just sit in the background and observe the operation, ask for a headset and plug in next to someone so you can listen/watch them work.

If anyone needs any help gathering phone numbers, shoot me an email at atcandoo@gmail.com


User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4317 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 5289 times:

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 14):
Quoting boeingkid (Reply 12):
On that note on the airline side of it dispatchers have to do time in the cockpit and the pilots should have to sit in dispatch

I think it would be great as well for the pilots to see what dispatchers do, but at the same time there are so many of them (pilots) that we would have two or three following us around every day 24/7 365...

  

As a dispatcher I am required to go out once a year, but I try to get out more than that as there is only so much I can see in one trip, plus there are so many things that I would like to see that I couldn't see in one day. (i.e. Maspeth Climb out of LGA and the expressway visual there in the same day) Since I have joint responsibility with the Captain on Operational Control issues, I try to get to know as many of my pilots as possible, however with 800 pilots and only 18 dispatchers at my company...do the math. I would love for Captains to come up to SOC to see my side of it.

Quoting andyinpit (Reply 19):
Like others have said, if there are pilots that want to tour towers, centers, TRACONs, by all means call up and ask. I'm glad these FAM trips are back. Even though it's a voluntary program, I would encourage all ATCs to take advantage of this and see how things are down on the other side of the radio. Just as pilots should go see what controllers do. And don't just sit in the background and observe the operation, ask for a headset and plug in next to someone so you can listen/watch them work.

I agree. Would a Center or TRACON have a problem with a dispatcher coming by as long as I have my certificate with me?


User currently offlinethenoflyzone From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2685 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 5171 times:

Quoting dc10srule (Reply 16):
I hope NAVCANADA and Transport Canada are listening to this and allowing us to do the same up here.

We still have FAM trips but NO cockpit access - yet.

Which begs the question.....why the hell are we still calling them Fam flights...lol....Anyways, i just e-mailed the CNN link to someone i know on the bargaining table.....Every bit helps....

Thenoflyzone



us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
User currently offlineandyinpit From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 320 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 4922 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 20):
I agree. Would a Center or TRACON have a problem with a dispatcher coming by as long as I have my certificate with me?

I highly doubt it would be a problem. We have people coming through my facility on a daily basis pretty much. And they all have the red Visitor badges on (versus the blue Employee ones). Just call up and say who you are and what you do, and you'd be interested in seeing the operation.


User currently offlinejetracer5 From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 4135 times:

Quoting dptpa (Reply 3):

Your welcome on my jumpseat out of Atlanta any time! Most pilots will welcome ATC in the cockpit, no problem. Great way to have some time to discuss ways to help each other out!


User currently offlineatcsundevil From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 1230 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 3674 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 20):
I agree. Would a Center or TRACON have a problem with a dispatcher coming by as long as I have my certificate with me?

Pretty much anybody can have a tour at most FAA facilities. You'd just need a driver's license and an appointment -- nothing special...you wouldn't need your certificate or anything. You'd go through security (metal detector and a wand -- no backscatter!) and get a temp badge requiring escort. Having a contact in the facility you want to visit doesn't hurt. You may have an issue with parking, depending on the facility. PHX/P50 doesn't allow visitor vehicles in the FAA lot without authorization, so most people have to pay to park in Terminal 3 and walk over (the tower/TRACON is right next to it, so aside from paying to park, it isn't a hassle. Towers/TRACONS/ARTCCs do get plenty of visitors, so when you make your appointment, I'm sure they'd have somewhere for you to park if you can't get in the FAA lot.


User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 25, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 3526 times:

Quoting andyinpit (Reply 22):
Just call up and say who you are and what you do, and you'd be interested in seeing the operation.



For sure, just don't show up a the gate as that pisses off the security folks. Also, setting up the tour will ahead of time will help make sure you have someone who knows the operation is your guide and can answer your questions.

Quoting modesto2 (Reply 13):
I visited the LAX tower and as IAHFLYR can confirm, I also visited the Houston TRACON. Both were great experiences!



Confirmed, I just wasn't sure the great experience was the cavity search at the security gate.   



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
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