The FAA is investigating employees at the JFK air traffic control tower.
It would appear that employees allowed a school age child to make transmissions, which included instructions to pilots. While the child was under adult supervision at the time, the incident is a highly serious infraction of protocol.
- The lives and safety of airline passengers and crews could have been seriously compromised. The tapes indicate the pilots knew it was a farce and were amused at the time it occurred. The Federal Government was not.
Safety is no laughing matter. The transmissions appear to have been innocuous. Nevertheless, a child in the tower is a distraction, not just for the employee coaching the child, but for all other controllers.
A traffic controller is under incredible pressure to monitor all air traffic within its control. Distraction is the last thing needed in such a tension filled environment. A few seconds of mental diversion could result in a disastrous event.
JFK is by far one of the busiest airports in the United States.
New York Daily News Article