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Air Traffic Controller


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Air Traffic Controller Essay
Air Traffic Controller is an occupation were you work with pilots and guide them safely from the time they push back to when they park at the gate. Being an Air Traffic Controller is a difficult job, they have a big responsibility which is to keep everyone safe in the skies. They are responsible for the safety, separation and sequencing of aircraft. I was told that in the tower that this is a job where you have to be alert to all of the surroundings, weather and pilots doing what they are supposed to be doing. This job is not like some people say it is. It’s not easy; this job takes a lot of training and a lot of patience with the pilots.
In ATC you have three positions: the first is “Clearance Delivery” is when the pilot calls the tower to request his clearance to their destination. The pilot calls clearance and he’d say the type of aircraft they are flying, were his parked at and their destination. For example: “Vieques 892 requesting clearance to Boriquen” then the controller tells the pilot: “Vieques 892 you are cleared to Boriquen via the assigned route and gives them an assigned transponder code.” The Boriquen airport is the name for Aguadilla airport or in the aviation language BQN is the three letter identifier. In Luis Muñoz Marin international airport the larger companies like Delta, JetBlue, United and others have a service they pay for. It’s a third party company that gives them the clearance information in a short computer message that is sent to the aircraft when the pilot requests a clearance without ever having to talk to the clearance controller. After this happens the pilots contact ground control.
Ground control is one of the most difficult positions in this type of work. Ground control is the controller the pilot calls to ask for their clearance for pushback and taxi. The pilot does this “Delta 422 requesting clearance to pushback and the gate number they are parked at”, and then the controller tells the pilot “Delta 422 cleared to push (the direction he is going) and to call when ready to taxi”. Once they are call that they are ready the ground controller will issue instructions on how to get to the runway. Ex “Taxi to runway 10 via Hotel 6 right turn on Hotel and hold short of runway 10”. Also the controller has the responsibility of sequencing aircraft correctly and all other movements in the FAA controlled areas. Also the controller is responsible for issuing taxi instructions to arriving aircraft as well. For example the pilot calls ground and says: “Delta 597on H9 Requesting taxi to the gate”, The Ground Controller responds “Delta 597 take N3 and right on to N to the assigned gate”.
Ground control is not an easy job and is not an easy position to train on, this position when you train on it could get a little difficult and busy. But is a process that every controller has to go through because an Air Traffic Controller has to work any of the assigned positions when they receive their certificate, and the next position is Local Tower.
Local Tower is when and a pilot calls and request clearance for landing or for takeoff. When they are going to takeoff they call the tower and say: “Delta 422 holding short of runway 10 ready for takeoff” and then the controller working the tower position will tell the pilot if he is cleared to takeoff “Delta 422 you are cleared for takeoff” or the controller might say “Delta 422 line up and wait”. Then when the airplane is out and climbing the tower calls the aircraft and says: “Delta 422 contact departure”. Tower has the responsibility of every airplane coming in and going out of the airport. Tower has the responsibility of all of the airplanes in their airspace and it’s their responsibility of any aircraft flying around or inside the controlled airspace.
This line of work is not for everybody and the people that currently work them are sometimes stressed and tired. I like this profession because I enjoy working with pilots and the aviation community as a whole. My favorite position is Tower, because I can work with airplanes. I like this position because at times it can get a busy and you have to be on top of everything that is going on. In conclusion all of the positions are good as long as you can do something you love and truly have passion for. The only thing I have to say is I can’t wait to work in ATC.

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