This whole fiasco surrounding ATC Dad was created and blown out of proportion by the FAA. The controversy started ATC Dad back in February when a LiveATC listener heard a seven year old on JFK ATC. He then proceeded to record the boys transmission and share it on YouTube. The ATC Controller’s only mistake was that he did not consider the PR his action would create. Some of the facts surrounding this incident:
- All the planes were on the ground
- The controller could interrupt his child if something was going wrong
- The pilots knew ahead of time a child would be transmitting
The real problem with this incident is how the FAA worded their press release. Had they said, “Air Traffic Controlling is an exciting and challenging career, and we occasionally children to explore this field under the supervision of an experience controller.” Or if they were even smarter they could have been proactive and release a possible press release before the media caught wind of the youtube video, “Today, pilots at JFK airport heard a different kind of voice on the radio, as part of the FAA’s mentoring program.” If they were to have done this, then this news story would have made the Friday feel good story of the day.