On Wednesday, July 30, Lanier Flight Center Flying Club members accompanied by Assistant Chief Flight Instructor, Juan Leon, experienced the world of Air Traffic Control at the world’s busiest airport. Jim Flock, Tony Herdener, Michael Higdon, Andy May, Drew Reggie, Travis Rogers, and Erik VanName toured the ATC tower at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, and learned about the complexities and precision of the controller’s role in keeping the skies safe.
The participants agreed that pilots are lifelong learners, and a better understanding of air traffic control would be beneficial to everyone who used radio communications. After viewing an overhead photo of the airport and learning about the massive construction project of the fifth runway, “we moved on to the top of the tower,” said Erik VanName. “It’s the third tallest in the world. The planes arriving and departing looked like toys in slow motion. We even caught the Korean Air A380 departing the south runway. It comes to ATL twice a week. Its gross take-off weight is up to 1.3 million pounds! (We) also learned that controllers handle about 2,000 flight ops per day. I think the record in one hour was 319,” that’s 5.3 per second!
“Michael Houghtaling gave the tour,” added Michael Higdon. “Everybody enjoyed his insight and good humor. The tour guide can make all the difference and Michael did a great job.”
All of the participants wish to thank Lanier Flight Center Flying Club member, Jim Flock, for coordinating this informative and engaging field trip for pilots.