ATC facilities can seem like an alien environment with disembodied voices on the other side of the headset. But as pilots, our relationship with those voices is integral. Viewing air traffic controllers in their work environment can help pilots better understand this important relationship. The Delta Pilot Network (DPN) has begun reaching out to different ATC facilities to set up tours for Delta pilots. The most recent DPN tower tour took place in Orlando.

Though participation was limited due to space constraints, eight pilots were able to tour the Orlando Control Tower and TRACON facilities on March 6 at this DPN event. Host controllers gave a behind-the-scenes tour of the tower training simulator, the tower cab and operations, and the MCO TRACON facility. In the tower cab pilots not only witnessed a spectacular view, but also observed how controllers keep the airport moving in a safe and efficient manner.

DPN has received nothing but positive feedback from the pilots who attend the tower tours. We received this feedback from one of the tour attendees:

The tour of the MCO tower, training facility and TRACON was excellent. The Tower and TRACON controllers were professional and informative. It was very interesting to observe our counterparts on the ground, doing their jobs. We were able to ask questions of the supervisor and see first hand how the operation is handled. This was a very well spent 2 hours and I was glad for the opportunity.” – MD88 Captain Greg J.

The MCO tower tour was DPN’s second pilot engagement event, and we have several more planned for 2018 including more tower tours in ATL, MSP and SEA. 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

The DPN would like to thank the FAA controllers at the MCO tower and TRACON, and all of the pilots who helped make this event a success. Keep an eye out for future opportunities to participate in these and other DPN events!