WSJ Climbs Inside DFW's Control Tower

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As it turns out, according to an article that just appeared on the Wall Street Journal's website, life inside the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport air traffic control towers -- otherwise known as the Terminal Radar Approach Control facility, or TRACON -- is sort of a cross between Airplane! and Pushing Tin. Or ... perhaps not. Still, though, not for the faint of heart:
As more planes come onto his screen and check in, [Bill] Shea talks faster and faster. He's got nine different planes spread across his airspace. A jet carrying a medical patient -- labeled a "Lifeguard" flight so it gets priority -- is flying south toward Dallas Love Field, and another jet is flying eastbound from north of DFW. A third plane -- a slower propeller-driven aircraft -- is coming up from the southwest. Mr. Shea recognizes long before the FAA computers that they all want the same runway at Love Field, and in fact are on paths that will put them all basically at the same place at the same time.

"I've got kind of a situation here," he says.
And: The Google Machine informs me that this here website allows you to listen to the live feeds from the east and west towers at DFW. Might as well. Nothing on TV tonight.
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gabbahey
gabbahey

Thanks for the TRACON link, Robert. I think I just pee'd a little... No, seriously.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

I'm right there with you.  Awesome.

gabbahey
gabbahey

After eavesdropping for the last 45 minutes, I can only imagine what the radio traffic would be like for somewhere, oh say, London-Heathrow, or Frankfurt. Those skies over Europe are CROWDED.

Pauldodell
Pauldodell

I was gonna fly out today ... I'll just take the bus instead.

Montemalone
Montemalone

I thought we were gonna get us some computermerized air traffic controlling to tell the planes to line up in a row and land one at a time.This is Reagan's fault.

Deep-Sigh
Deep-Sigh

Live ATC is the app for the iphone and ipad....

Nick R.
Nick R.

I picked a hell of a day to quit using my computer

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