In this audio show, enroute air traffic controller M.T. answers two questions:
- Can a ATC Center controller vector an airplane to a final approach at an airport that does not have a terminal radar approach control (TRACON).
- A listener’s question about what to do when a pilot says “Say again,” to an air traffic controller, but still does not understand the clearance.
M.T. talks about Operation Raincheck, in which any pilot or student pilot can visit an air traffic control center for a tour of the facility. If you go, you will not only get to tour the center, you will be able to talk directly to air traffic controllers and watch them work air traffic. There are two ways to find out about Operation Raincheck in your area.
- Go to FAAsafety.gov and do a search for events in your area, or,
- Call the air traffic control center near you and ask about visiting.
Here is a .pdf list of phone numbers for air traffic control centers in the United States and Canada. I’d recommend calling the number listed under the heading “Administration”: ARTCC phone numbers
Know What’s Really Important?
Did you notice the most important thing about this audio show? M.T. answered a question sent in by a listener. That means you can get your questions answered too.
- Had a clearance from ATC that didn’t make sense?
- Heard something on the radio that sounded crazy?
- Have a question, any question, about air traffic control?
- Ask and you will get an answer. Use the comment box or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call our voicemail at 678-719-2823. (Yeah, I know it’s not toll-free, you cheapskate. Use your free nights and weekends minutes on your cellphone if you don’t want the long distance charge.) Talk to me Bubba!