Starr’s Mill Aviation Club learns about air traffic control

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The Starr’s Mill High Aviation Club got an up-close look at different career opportunities with a tour of the Air Route Traffic Control Center.

The Aviation Club, with members either currently or previously in the aviation courses at the school, took a tour with an air traffic controller, and they saw the training area where controllers new to the center learn the airspace, procedures, and everything needed to work the Atlanta airspace.

Afterwards, they met with a supervisor in the flow control department where decisions are made to keep the aircraft efficiently moving into, through, and out of the Atlanta airspace based on weather, traffic volume, and other factors. Then, they met with the meteorologist and learned how weather affects the air traffic and how they handle different situations to keep things operating smoothly. They went to the floor where the actual controllers work airplanes and talked to other controllers who showed them how they work planes in the airspace.

They also got a brief look at the break room downstairs where they were surprised to find controllers on break playing video games. It is a high-stress job, so good break rooms are a must!

Flight operations and fundamentals of aerospace instructor Stacy Brown enjoyed the students getting a firsthand look at career options.

“I hoped that they got a good idea of what goes on in the air traffic controller side of the industry. I know they found out about what a career looks like in that job,” said Brown. “All of the employees we talked to at the center gave them a good background on what it takes to work in this field.”