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  • Writer's pictureFlying Smarter

Inside Air Traffic Control with Andy Watson

Episode 39 ·

This episode starts by looking at which planes have an upper deck. Andrew then talks with air traffic controller Andy Watson to get an inside look at what goes on inside the world of air traffic control.

  • Have you ever seen a double-decker aircraft? Or have you ever been on one? Find out how to tell what they are in this episode.

  • Andy Watson shares insights from his experiences as an air traffic controller in this episode of Flying Smarter. He talks about who your pilots talk to throughout your flight, where air traffic controllers work, and much more.

  • What happens from the perspective of air traffic control during an emergency? Why is bad weather so challenging for air traffic controllers? Andy provides a look behind the scenes of this important aspect of the global aviation system.

Andy Watson is an air traffic controller, pilot, author, and public speaker. He has worked as an Air Traffic Control Specialist and Front-Line Manager at several Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) facilities in places such as Cleveland, Chicago, Charleston, and Washington D.C. He has also served as a subject matter expert for the FAA’s Air Traffic Safety Oversight branch at FAA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He is the author of the book The Pilot’s Guide to Air Traffic Control, which helps pilots and passengers gain a better understanding of all that ATC does to keep the flying public safe. You can learn more about Andy and his book at

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Andy Watson is an air traffic controller with over 15 years of experience working at several FAA air traffic control facilities throughout the eastern United States. He is also the author of the book The Pilot’s Guide to Air Traffic Control. The book offers a rare glimpse into the hidden world of air traffic control, and is designed for anyone from the airline passenger without enough leg room to the professional pilot.

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