Air traffic control

Airports mark Int’l Air Traffic Controllers Day

On October 20, airports around the country – and the world – gave thanks and shared great photos in honor of International Airport Traffic Controllers Day. See how many towers you recognize. And read till the end so you can see a very cool airport control tower tattoo!

Let us know if we missed your airport and we’ll add it in.

And look at this new tattoo!

The above tattoo is of the old air traffic control tower at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Here’s a photo of that, courtesy of Carolyn Russo, from her great photography book Art of the Airport Tower.

Souvenir Sunday at 08 Left

It’s Souvenir Sunday, a day to take a look at some of the fun things you can buy at airports.

This week’s treats aren’t for sale at any particular airport (yet..) but can be found online at the website of 08 Left, which has a line of travel, airport and air traffic control-related designs that they can put on everything from coasters (below) and t-shirts to clocks, prints and shower curtains.


“08 Left happens to be a runway in Paris where our family visited a few years ago and we loved it! So we went with it,” says Ryan Miller, who runs the site from Spokane, WA with his wife Heidi. “It’s been a blast to talk to all kinds of pilots, air traffic controllers and travelers about airports, cities, and art that might help them remember and represent where they’ve been,” said Miller.

Here are some more images from their line:



Reagan Airport: self-service landings?

Even more alarming than the video of Snoop Dogg and my furry friend Rico
is the audio of two American Airline pilots chatting with each other about the fact that there was apparently no one home in the air traffic control tower at Reagan Washington National Airport early Wednesday morning.

Here’s the audio from that the Washington Post put on its website this afternoon.


And here’s more information about what officials say did – and did not happen.

Sort of scary….

Listen to your airport

While working on a column about airport viewing areas I came across at least one airport that provides a link on its Web site to audio of the communication going on between pilots and the air traffic control tower.


The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) includes a pre-recorded sample of the chit-chat and promises that you’ll get to hear the live feed when you visit Founder’s Plaza, the airport’s well-appointed viewing area.

Want to hear what’s going on at, say, your airport?  There’s a good chance that the air traffic control communications are feeding in real-time on It’s got a live feed from DFW airport and keeps adding more airports all the time.