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National Air Traffic Control Day

National Air Traffic Control Day

Today, National Air Traffic Control Day, and by Presidential Proclamation, “we thank the hard working men and women of the Federal Aviation Administration as we unite behind our shared commitment to safe and efficient management of our skies.”

More than 14,000 highly trained and ever-vigilant FAA air traffic control specialists provide a vital public service to guide pilots, their planes and 2.2 million daily passengers from taxi to takeoff, through the air and back safely on the ground. These certified professional controllers work every hour of every day to keep aircraft safely separated in the sky through the most complex and voluminous airspace system in the world.

air traffic controllers in the Charlotte, NC airport tower

An equally talented team of technicians, engineers and electronics specialists keep our systems and air traffic equipment running non-stop. It’s worth recognizing their efforts every day, but today we look back at more than 80 years of air traffic accomplishments by marking the initial creation of the U.S. air traffic control system on July 6, 1936.

The complicated choreography of arranging aircraft in the sky, and the technology required to do so safely and efficiently, has evolved significantly since the days of Archie League – the first air traffic controller.  However, as the Proclamation notes, “we must do better to equip our air traffic controllers and meet the needs of our growing system of air travel.” 

To that end, the Administration, Congress, DOT, FAA and stakeholders are working vigorously on principles and new ways to transform America’s air traffic control system and to speed its modernization.  This effort should “lead to accelerated innovation, fewer flight delays and cancellations, and more direct flights to more destinations.”

On National Air Traffic Control day, we reaffirm our commitment to building a safer, more efficient and cost-effective air traffic control system that befits the dedicated team of professionals entrusted with operating it.

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