From the mouth of babes (uh, I mean kids)

JFK's air traffic control tower

JFK's air traffic control tower

We’ve all heard of “Take your Son / Daughter to Work” days. Okay, but in New York, the idea may have gone too far.

A just released audio reveals that in February a child directed pilots from the air traffic control center at John F. Kennedy Airport, one of our country”s busiest airports. The Federal Aviation Association has said it’s investigating.

In an official statement, the FAA said “This behavior is not acceptable and does not demonstrate the kind of professionalism expected from all FAA employees.”

In mid-February, schoolchildren throughout the New York area had a week-long winter break. The audiotapes show that during that time kids authorizing pilot take-off wasn’t a single incident.

JFK control tower.2A child can be heard on tape making five transmissions to pilots. 

In one instance, the child can be heard saying, JetBlue 171 contact departure.” The pilot responds: “Over to departure JetBlue 171, awesome job.”

The child appears to be under an adult’s supervision, because a male voice then comes on and laughingly says, “That’s what you get, guys, when the kids are out of school.”

In another exchange, the youngster clears another plane for takeoff, and says, “Adios, amigo.” The pilot responds in kind.

FAA spokesman Jim Peters said children of the tower’s employees are allowed to visit but need to get approval from the FAA first.

The union representing air traffic controllers condemned the workers’ behavior.

Was this a potentially dangerous situation? Or was it a Dad giving his kid a chance to try their hand at something amazing, to inspire him / her, while closely monitoring for “just in case”?

What do you think?

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