What It Takes To Be An Air Traffic Controller At The World's Busiest Airport

Air traffic controllers at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport are in charge of 909,431 takeoffs and landings at the world’s busiest airport (in a normal year). But the job isn’t easy. Not only are lives on the line, but any mistake at Atlanta could cause a ripple effect of delays across the country and the world. Pre-pandemic, Business Insider went up inside America’s tallest air traffic control tower to learn what it takes to be one of 58 air traffic controllers here.

Correction: The video incorrectly states that Atlanta tower directed 190,000 flights in 2019. The accurate number is 909,431 flights in 2019.

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What It Takes To Be An Air Traffic Controller At The World’s Busiest Airport

50 Comments

  1. Kolby Claxton on November 14, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    "Atlanta tower navy 1 holding short of dixie"
    "What was the aircraft that had a fetish with saying the word dixie"

  2. Carly McDonald on November 14, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    I used to be a flight student at a class Charlie airport (for non aviators, it means not as busy as a bravo like Atlanta. Think smaller airports like Midway instead of Chicago O’Hare). And I was overwhelmed there. JFC

  3. Dave Blane on November 14, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    what is with the HAIR??? LOL

  4. Coco Nut on November 14, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    And here’s me forgetting someone’s name right after they tell me their name

  5. Egg Luver on November 14, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    Only lunatics use "tree" for 3

  6. Sunnchilde on November 14, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    Wow. I have absolutely no desire to do this job. I don’t want the responsibility. No way.

  7. Carls Berg on November 14, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    Still busy?

  8. anurag lohat on November 14, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    Whoever reads this comment is gonna have bad luck for a week

  9. K R on November 14, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    I would last 5 mins… lol

  10. Joe Black on November 14, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    AI. AI. AI. It’s here and it will take over…. Less than 20 years half those guys will not be needed.

  11. KoalaBearPup on November 14, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    Are they recruiting? lol good luck 🙃

  12. Mean Vecktor on November 14, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    Wow 😳 omg 😱 lol learn something new everyday

  13. Ben Rodgers on November 14, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    Why is one of the busiest airports in the world still using poster strips? Even the not so busy airports in the UK use electronic strips, they are so much easier once you get used to them

  14. Captain Price on November 14, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    My mom is an air traffic controller here, she always comes home after work and goes straight to bed lol

  15. Blue International on November 14, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    AT Controllers No Mask 🤮🤮🤮😷😷

  16. Mitchell Fox on November 14, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    This man has the vocal chords of Donald Trump

  17. Raa Santhosh on November 14, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    Someone please explain why are they still using the age old analogue radio to communicate information in the digital age? Why can’t they send & receive in voice/text/graphic in digital format?

  18. Steroid Sp on November 14, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    TIL the air traffic controller from Die Hard 2 (actor Fred Thompson) ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 https://trend.financesheff.site/today-i-learned/til-the-air-traffic-controller-from-die-hard-2-actor-fred-thompson-ran-for-the-republican-presidential-nomination-in-2008/

  19. PsychicFX on November 14, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    "Efficiency, Efficiency, efficiency."
    Would it just more be efficient to say ‘Efficiency’ just once?

  20. The Lion on November 14, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    that rolando rally dude looks like a leader of a tribe.

  21. Ruminant Design on November 14, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    Reminds me of breaking bad

  22. Official DRIVER Studios on November 14, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    9/11 was an inside job

  23. Kipruto Bett on November 14, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Isn’t the busiest airport London’s Heathrow?

  24. Miles Harrison on November 14, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Frankly, this looks like childs play compared to London Gatwick.

  25. I H on November 14, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    It’s Atlanta ??? I thought it was .. 60666!! That’s Ohares zip code !!

  26. Alaeddin Dhahri on November 14, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    seriously $145K?? they are not paid enough

  27. Dharav Shukla on November 14, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    ATL is my fav city and I all of a sudden I want to do this job. But I can’t even remember 1 thing😭

  28. Lis Oc on November 14, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    All Democraps. Reagan Fire their ass off

  29. YaHu on November 14, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    ATCs are people to lazy to become pilots.

  30. Dooriel Fisheries Limited on November 14, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    That boss needs a haircut

  31. KoalaBearPup on November 14, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    Nah

  32. Ben Rodgers on November 14, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    Air traffic is so different in the US to here in the UK, must be hard for pilots flying between both

  33. Nico St. Angel on November 14, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    That plane is werid

  34. matsurisouri on November 14, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Anyone seen Pushing Tin?

  35. R C on November 14, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Grew up in a tower playing with the binoculars and spinning chair while dad worked (domestic airport with hardly any flights) 😊 luv you Dad!

  36. Big Lumpy Taters on November 14, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    666k views… nice

  37. Ulysses Lee on November 14, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    The Invisibility Elite of caring the Sky safety.

  38. 帅伯我爱 on November 14, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    Busiest is not = BEST

  39. CHYESENG YAP on November 14, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    OLD AND PRIMITIVE WAY TO MANAGE FLIGHTS !!!

  40. kevingame895 on November 14, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    We all know this is the GTA airport

  41. Gleb Rodionov on November 14, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    Shit, their’s equipment is ancient!

  42. Bones on November 14, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    that’s my state😄

  43. Supreme Larceny on November 14, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Y’all know good and well they’re not busy.

  44. Kim jong Un on November 14, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    1 plane / 2minutes woooww

  45. brad ainsworth on November 14, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    amy winehouse

  46. P45 on November 14, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Underrated Job profession !!

  47. Nick Vanni on November 14, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    WOW, a video that does a good job showing what being ATC is really like! I’ve seen a fair number before and no videos by major news sources have been this detailed, great job!

  48. Kelsey Burr on November 14, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    4:47 that cowboy phraseology. Lol

  49. Supreme Larceny on November 14, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    If they’re so "busy"….then why is their stock going down?

  50. Mattia Schlientz on November 14, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    This was so informative. Really cool to know about random stuff like this

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