JFK Air Traffic Control In The Hands Of A Kid

Real Estate Agent


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

Comments (13)

MaryBeth Mills Muldowney
TradeWinds Realty Group LLC - Braintree, MA
Massachusetts Broker Owner

Kind of like letting a child in an operating room to do heart surgery...not appropriate behavior!

Mar 03, 2010 12:34 AM
Jeff Craig
Hang Me Up Photos - Jamestown, NC
Greensboro Area Real Estate Photography

I saw that on the news this morning.  What were they thinking???  Someone should be accountable.

Mar 03, 2010 12:42 AM
Linda Metallo DiBenardo
RE/MAX Impact, Lockport, Illinois - Lockport, IL

You've seen families where the kids are running the household.  This is just another example of idiotic thinking, kids should not be running the show!

Mar 03, 2010 12:59 AM
Broker Nick
South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc. - Coconut Creek, FL
Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service

Congratulations this post is now featured in the Silent Majority Group of Active Rain.

Mar 03, 2010 04:02 AM
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

I heard this on the radio and actually kind of laughed.  Definitely this dumb dad should have known better. 

Mar 03, 2010 04:19 AM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Rush made the point that if it was a daughter during BRING YOUR DAUGHTER TO WORK DAY, this would not be an issue....no child should be in the control tower - PERIOD!!!

Mar 03, 2010 04:34 AM
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Mary Beth - Kinda like that, except the kid can only kill one person.  This one could kill hundreds.  Shows how seriously his father took his job responsibility.

Mar 03, 2010 05:24 AM
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

jeff,  I just heard several employees were put on administrative leave pending an investigation.  I have to commend the FAA for acting swiftly.

Mar 03, 2010 05:24 AM
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Linda,  Yes I have seen households run by children.  First the father was an idiot and then every co-worker who was present and did not tell him to get his child out of there.  From my understanding even adult family members are not permitted in the control tower.

Mar 03, 2010 05:27 AM
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Nick, thank you for the feature.

Mar 03, 2010 05:27 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Some things just don't need to be tampered with.  common sense, once again had left the building!

Mar 03, 2010 10:43 AM
Delaware Junk Removal Residential And Commercial Hauling Clean Outs
Delaware Junk Removal 302-530-9186 - Wilmington, DE
Whole House Clean Outs, Basements, Garages, Attics

When I was a Air Force firefighter we would never think about doing something like this.  The person in the Tower you speak with has your life in their hands.

For example we might ask for permission to cross a runway

The tower would say "R-5 approved clear to cross runway 31"

We had to say back  "understand R-5 approved clear to cross runway 31"

Same text everytime Pretty serious stuff

Mar 03, 2010 11:31 AM
John Walters
Frank Rubi Real Estate - Slidell, LA
Licensed in Louisiana

It was cute but not very smart.  One has to double think everything these days because it will get out to the public.

Mar 04, 2010 06:55 AM