We talk to controllers all the time, but do you know what really goes on inside an air traffic control tower? The Delta Pilot Network (DPN) reached out to the ATL tower to set up a tour for Delta pilots.

Though participation was limited due to space constraints, 23 pilots were able to tour the Atlanta Control Tower on February 6 at this DPN event. Host controllers gave an in-depth presentation and answered questions from the pilot group, and the pilots visited the tower cab where they observed how controllers keep the busiest airport in the world moving in a safe and efficient manner.

The tower tour was the DPN’s first pilot engagement event, but we have several more planned for 2018 including more tower tours in ATL, MCO and MSP. In addition, we’re planning a tour of Delta Tech Ops and TRACON/CENTER facilities in our base cities. If you have an idea for a pilot engagement event, contact dpn@alpa.org.

The DPN would like to thank the volunteers from NATCA and all of the pilots who helped make this first event a success. Keep an eye out for future opportunities to participate in these and other DPN events!

Air Traffic Control (ATC) Fun Facts

  • At 398 feet, the Atlanta Air Traffic Control Tower is the tallest in North America
  • ATL Tower personnel handle close to one million flights and 50,000 tug operations per year
  • The ATL record for the most operations handled in a single day happened in the summer of 2008
  • Most air traffic controllers in the U.S. are federal employees
  • English is the official language of all ATC operations across the world