socalatc
Posts: 416
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 5:16 pm

Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 1:35 am

I just wanted to know how many of you have been up in a air traffic control facility IE: Tower, Center, TRACON, FSS.

If so, How did you like it? What did you like about it? What didn't you like about it? What would you like to see happen different next time?

You reply will help me with what I do next time when I have a group come up.

Thanks a lot.
 
dc-10 levo
Posts: 3376
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2001 3:22 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 1:39 am

I had one about a month ago at EMA for my 16th Birthday and it was the best present ever. It was absolutely amazing - I've never seen anything like it before. The guy that took me around showed me in the radar control room where I could see all the aircraft in a 50 mile radius of EMA and then we went up into the tower. I just loved every minute of it. There wasn't a single thing I disliked about it.

Thanks to Pete Garrard and the rest of the ATC team at EMA!

DC-10
 
CVG777
Posts: 1211
Joined: Tue May 02, 2000 6:42 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 1:55 am

Last summer while I was working on my PPL at ERAU, my flight instructor, two others, and myself got stuck in Gainesville, FL for several hours while waiting for weather to pass. He took us over to the Gainesville FSS, and they happily showed us around and showed us the operation and explained the many different work stations and the purpose of each.

We saw one guy have a conversation with a business jet who was being vectored all over the place, and in the least direct method, becuase of the summertime weather. They called up to ask what might be the best way around the weather. It was neat to see that.

I must say it was definitely a good experience, especially when working on the PPL. I guess it really let me see that the people on the other side of the radio are really human beings, since up to then I had a slight case of mike fright, for fear that the big ATC controllers and FSS's and their almighty powers would do something evil to me if I were to screw up. That really helped me realize that they are really just there to help you along your way.

Since then I am very comfortable with talking over the radios, sometimes being conversationalistic when the controllers aren't busy. The controllers, I'm sure everywhere, but at least here in Daytona can definitly have a good time on the radios when they are able, but also serious when the workload is high, and I feel that makes me especially comfortable.

It was a very good experience, and something I would recommend to anyone who hasn't visited a place like that before. It at least is a very good idea to take student pilots to see a facility so they have some idea of who they are in contact with.

CVG777
 
cytz_pilot
Posts: 389
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 1999 3:34 pm

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:02 am

Students at Toronto City Centre Airport get a tour of the tower as part of the ground school classes. I remember going up there, but it was after a total of 2 classes and 0 air time, so I couldn't appreciate it as much as I would have been able to later during training.

I do remember seeing the radar screen, with the one or two small planes around downtown and then the solid line on aircraft on a 25-mile final to YYZ!
 
planemad
Posts: 509
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:35 pm

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:07 am

I have been to LHR control tower and Swanwixk control center. They were both excellent but i prefered LHR control tower.
 
apurnicus
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 8:26 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:11 am

I earned my PPL through Multi-Instrument at KOAK (Oakland International Airport). When I was working on my single-engine IFR ticket, my instructor took our class to Bay Approach TRACON (now called Nor Cal Approach and subsequently moved to a different location). The controllers were very informative. I was able to listen in while my ATC-mentor vectored planes into KSFO. It was a great learning experience and I feel it has improved my function in and around busy airspace. I strongly suggest that every pilot make a visit to the local ATC facility.

As an aside, my ATC-mentor suggest I buy a tranceiver (which I did) and listen in. Once your ears are tuned in, you can figure out how to communicate effectively.

Practice safe flying, use your checklists.
Apurnicus
 
v2fix
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2003 4:55 pm

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:23 am

I worked at Heathrow and West Drayton commissioning NAFTAS, the ATC system of London local ATC.

One of the best projects I have ever worked on. Seeing the systems and people cope with the workload was very impressive. Remembers average distanceses, height and time between aircraft are just that - averages.

All very demanding at times.

742; 744; DC10, DC3, 321, 320, 319, 170,190, 772, 773,333, 346, 343
 
goboeing
Posts: 2428
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 5:31 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:28 am

I toured Bangor FSS when I flew up to BGR in a Mooney. The people working there seemed like a bunch of moles who had seen light for the first time in months when we walked in. I don't think they got many visitors, especially in the winter! But they were glad to show us around.

I also have been up in the tower at ASH, which is just a class D 2-person operation, but there is radar now. I'd like to get a tour of MHT with some friends that did last year if they can arrange it.

Nick
 
skymileman
Posts: 577
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2001 2:32 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:39 am

Yes, a few years back, my dad got a tour for myself and some of my friends at peak time at Billings-Logan. It was fascinating. The tower is a busy place!
 
Accidentally
Posts: 612
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 7:33 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:45 am

As soon as, and if, theyre ever allowed in the US again, I've got one set up for PHL.
Indianapolis, IN
 
socalatc
Posts: 416
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 5:16 pm

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:51 am

As soon as they are allowed?? Where did you get that information? Although they are more strict about who is let up and at what time you can still get in. For the most part here in the US you must me a US citizen and have ID. Just get into contact with the facility manager and he will let you know what is going on. I would suggest that you do not try and get into a busy Class B airport, You will probably not be successful in trying to get into there. But a nice class Delta should do you just fine. Leave the big guys alone for a while, they are pretty stressed out, and are under very strict security measures
 
Tom in NO
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:54 am

Many, many times: all pre 9/11. I'll try to list them all (west to east): SEA, SFO, LAX, SAN, ONT, LAS, PHX, DEN (Stapleton), ELP, DFW, IAH, MCI, STL, ORD, MKE, MEM, HSV, PNS, ATL, CLT, JAX, DAB, MCO, TPA, FLL, and MIA. I might have missed one or two. Back in the day, all it took was either an airport ID badge or a simple interest in the tower. Most times the controllers were happy to have visitors.

Of course, working at MSY for almost 17 years, I know most of our ATC, and have spent many, many hours in our tower.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
jblake1
Posts: 262
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 10:25 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:55 am

When I was in highschool my Mom arranged through her government contacts a tour of ATC, tower/ground and the entire facility at LAN. It was really neat to see the operation and watch them handle the few flights that Lansing handles.
 
goboeing
Posts: 2428
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 5:31 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:57 am

Accidentally,
How can someone try to get a tour at PHL tower?

Nick
 
socalatc
Posts: 416
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 5:16 pm

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:59 am

I will admit that it was a lot easier to get in pre 9/11 But we do let people up, just not for too long at a time. And it has to be pre arraigned pretty much the facility manager.

 
Dtw757
Posts: 1270
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:05 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:01 am

I've been in the tower and approach/departure control at the my closest tower controlled airport-TOL which is Class C airspace.

It's neat to see. I did the tour while working on my instrument rating. It's interesting to put a face with the voices of some of the people you've been talking to on the radios. We flew in and had to talk to the very same people that were going to be giving us the tour. We had a treat that day, the Ohio Air Guard F-16's were taking off.

Is it allowed post 9/11?
721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,346,388,146,CR2,7,
 
frontiers4ever
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 1:35 pm

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:03 am

Although It wasnt a big airport mainly just Cessnas and Pipers the airport did have one certainly special thing about it. RNT or Renton in washington. Both the 737 and the soon to be dead 757's are made there currently. I got to go through the tower and it was fun, a slow day but non the less it was awesome, speciffically because all 737's, 757's, 727's, 707's maiden voyage were from RNT.

-Frontiers4ever
Until you prove, your right, your wrong
 
socalatc
Posts: 416
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 5:16 pm

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:10 am

Yes DTW757,
It is still allowed post 9/11. I suggest the smaller airports, not the large ones. You will have better luck!
 
N766UA
Posts: 7843
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 1999 3:50 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:12 am

I've been in CLE ATCT, PIT ATCT, BKL ATCT, and CLE ARTCC. I've been to Cleveland Center about 20 times since my father works there.
This Website Censors Me
 
sushka
Posts: 4657
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 1999 12:33 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:15 am

I went up in the Ogden class D tower. There was just one guy in thee at the time but he managed to show my instructor and I around. It was pretty cool inside.

After hat I went and did my solo tower landings.

I have also been invited about three times to go in the Cedar City FSS but still haven't gotten around to it yet.
Pershoyu Spravoyu Litaki!
 
a3xx900
Posts: 392
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2004 8:03 pm

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:18 am

Last year in july I made a one-week internship with the DFS in MUC. I could be in the center as long as I wished, watch the ATCs do their job and ask all the questions I had and so on. I also visited the control tower once, and, which I liked best, could use the DESIM, a simulator for ATCs.
It was pretty cool and I can only recommend this to everyone interested in the job.

Rene
BTW, I took some nice pics, but they weren't accepted  Sad
Why is 10 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9.
 
pilot kaz
Posts: 4591
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 9:07 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:25 am

Yes,

I was on a Cadet camp for the summer and for work experience i asked for ATC,
It was at RAF Cottersmore, (Harrier GR-7 base),
They took me all round the place, up in the ATC tower, into TRACON.
I was there for a few days and in that time they gave me a little training, It was really cool lol i had my own station and a instructor with me, lol best RAF visit ever, Im soon going into ATC and cant wait  Big grin


p.kaz
-
 
usairways85
Posts: 3536
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 11:59 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:33 am

Accidentally: How do you have a tour set up at PHL if ppl are ever allowed back up? I'd love to go up into PHL's new tower between Terminals B and C
 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:35 am

I've been into the following facilities:

Houston Center (ZHU), Ft. Worth AFSS, Ft. Worth Alliance Tower (AFW), College Station Easterwood Tower (CLL), Houston Hooks Tower (DWH), Houston George Bush Intercontinental Tower (IAH), Kelly/Lackland AFB Tower (SKF). I've also been up in Delta's ramp tower at DFW.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15215
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:43 am

I've visited the new control tower at JFK (whoa) and the control tower at PBI, where the controller and I argued whether the aircraft that just landed was an Air Canada 767-200 or an A300. It was obviously a 767, but he wouldn't give up thinking it was an A300=P.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
Mir
Posts: 19092
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:54 am

I visited the tower at Grand Rapids, MI when I was visiting Western Michigan University. Traffic was very slow, so I just talked with the single controller there. He had a PC off in the corner that was supposed to be playing relaxing nature sounds, but in my opinion the birds sounded like sirens and the crashing of waves sounded more like Darth Vader breathing.
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
jsnww81
Posts: 2294
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 3:29 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:14 am

When I was seven years old, I got to go up the control tower at Kahului Airport (OGG) on Maui... my aunt was dating an air traffic controller and arranged for our whole family to go up there.

This was OGG's old WWII-era tower, which stood where the current main terminal was built in 1990. We had to climb a rusty flight of steps inside the tower, but when we got up there we could see the whole airport. This was back when OGG's old terminal was still in operation, and the Aloha 737s and Hawaiian DC9s parked at angles along the apron.

This was also a few months after the Aloha 242 incident. I remember meeting one of the controllers who guided the stricken aircraft in. The plane was still parked off to one side of the OGG taxiway, with a black tarp stretched over the hole in the fuselage and the "Aloha" named painted over on the tail. Very impressive.
 
flysc
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:49 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:20 am

Back in 1999 when I was in high school, I had the opportunity to tour the tower facility at CAE in Columbia SC. This was a great experience. The controllers really gave my group a lot of info on how both the tower and approach controllers did their job. They also gave us a few demonstrations on how the equipment works. I have not been in any towers recently but I am a student at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and would love to get a tour of the tower at DAB. I drove over that way recently and it looked heavily guarded. I may check around and see what is required to get a tour.
Fly Safely,
Jason D.
I do not fail!!! I succede at finding what does not work!!!
 
FoxBravo
Posts: 2769
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2003 1:34 pm

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:22 am

I once visited the tower at JFK (the old one, shortly before it was torn down), many years before 9/11. I was doing a research paper for high school, and had called to see if it would be possible to interview a controller or two. Much to my surprise, when my mother and I got there (I was only 15, so no drivers license yet!) they took us right up to the control room. It was the middle of the day, when not much was going on (JFK is VERY quiet until the afternoon and evening, when the flights from/to Europe arrive and depart, and was even more so before JetBlue), and it was surprisingly laid back. They seemed very professional when it came to dealing with the few aircraft that were moving at that hour, but otherwise there was music playing and they seemed happy to throw their two cents into my interview. It was an incredible experience, and I have always been very appreciative of those controllers for taking the time to talk with a 15-year-old!
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
 
DLMHT
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 11:49 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:29 am

I visited Boston Center about a year ago, courtesy of a friend of mine that works there. He was working international arrivals that were being handed off to him from Gander, so it was pretty neat to hear all the heavy aircraft calling in.
Course, the guard in the guard shack really grilled us before letting us on the complex, but it was a really neat experience to see how enroute Centers operate.

DLMHT
 
airman99o
Posts: 871
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 1999 4:15 am

RE: Anybody Ever Had An ATC Facility Tour?

Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:30 am

I managed to get a tour of the new tower in YYZ. What a sight. Saw a couple of my airlines planes land, that was pretty cool. When I was up there there was not much in the way of radars or anything in there. But wires everywhere. I would like to see what a fully functional tower looks like.

Airman99o
Safety is Everyones Responsibility.