Behind the Scenes with Oshkosh Air Traffic Control

As you may know, EAA Air Adventure is fully underway at Oshkosh. Here’s some information about the portion that I find the most interesting, the controlling. By Megan Esau, EAA Assitant Editor:

With more than 10,000 airplanes in attendance, the 65 air traffic controllers who sign up to work at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh every year are instrumental in making the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration a safe and successful event.

The controllers are divided into 16 teams of four people each, and every team has one veteran team lead who has worked AirVenture for three years or more, one AirVenture rookie, and two limited members, with one to two years of AirVenture experience.

Air traffic staff from across the FAA’s 17-state Central Terminal Service Area and from the Eastern Service Area, including controllers, supervisors, and managers, compete in an application process to work at AirVenture. Veterans bid against other veterans, limited bid against other limited, and rookies bid against other rookies for a spot at what they call the “Super Bowl” of air traffic control.

The 16 teams rotate in shifts through the Oshkosh control tower, the Fond du Lac tower, the Fisk approach control site, and the mobile departure platforms scattered around the grounds called MOOCOWs, or mobile operating and communications workstations.

The controllers’ job is an important one, not just because they are relied on to make sure AirVenture is a safe and efficient operation, but because they are also the first voice to welcome incoming pilots to Oshkosh.

I listened to the Fisk VFR Approach and Tower frequencies, yesterday, and will continue to turn in for the rest of the week. It really is an amazing site to see and one I’d like to learn more about. Tune in and listen on LiveATC.

References:
1. “Behind the Scenes With Oshkosh Air Traffic Control” by Megan Esau on July 25, 2018, from the original.

July 22, 2019 by Kyle Boas