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How airport control towers keep operating after workers test positive for coronavirus

When a traffic control tower worker at Palm Beach International Airport recently tested positive for the coronavirus, the staff evacuated the tower to allow for a thorough cleaning. A makeshift tower to temporarily direct planes was then set up at the top of a nearby parking garage. The incident is one of several in the last few weeks that demonstrate how air traffic control workers have had to turn to creative alternatives to keep airlines operating in the midst of a pandemic that has so far… ( Daha Fazlası...

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ed lang 8
very well written and actually interesting. Thanks for posting it
jptq63 5
View this shows again, like 9/11, how important it is to have a HUMAN BEING in ATC; nothing like a person’s ability to adapt, create, and improvise that no machine can or ever will be able to do, unless, of course, a machine actually starts reproducing humans for its own progeny…. I am NOT saying automation is not useful, and even CRITICAL, at times, just that as long as a person cares about the survivability of another, people will do their darndest to keep someone else from harm, if possible. Please note, even an un-towered airport has a type of ATC called the person operating the plane.
New york center was cleaned over night . it cost a small fortune but its a lot bigger than a tower cab . makes are now being provided by the faa and sometimes Natca. Gloves i don't believe are being provided . there , at the moment seam to be enough bacterial wipes and hand sanitizer along with working with the same few people per week and shift .
Impressive how ATCs can handle a problem
Would be curious to know if staffing shortages are happening in other ATC facilities ? Are the ATC personnel required to comply with wearing masks and gloves ? Do the controllers have to supply their own PPE or is FAA providing this ? Lots of unanswered questions here, I am sure FAA does not want to talk about this very much ...........
I don't know if you'd call it a staffing shortage per se, because capacity comes into play. Let's take KLAS for example, as a controller there tested positive for COVID, and lead to the tower there being closed and cleaned for 2 weeks.

1. They couldn't reopen the old tower that is still there, because all of the equipment was moved out of it to the new tower. So the tower was literally closed. The TRACON was open (which is still below the tower), but the actual tower was closed.

2. with only mandatory flights being operated, and the hotels being closed, no major service is running at KLAS, so 98% of all flights have been cancelled: private, commercial, GA, or otherwise. This caused them to shut down 2 runways at all times, and sometimes 3. Yesterday morning, they were landing and departing 26L only. 26R/ and both 1s/19s were closed. Clearance Delivery and Ground were combined on one frequency. HELO control and Tower were combined on one frequency.

3. the 2-week period of solid cleaning of everything there should have destroyed any traces of COVID in the tower, so while it would be safe there without a mask, anywhere outside of that may be a different story. I'd be surprised if the FAA didn't supply a mask for them to wear, and PPE would be overkill, as they aren't dealing with other people coming in constantly that have caught COVID.

4. Remember that controller that had the stroke? she was at KLAS. because of that, the FAA still has in effect the order to keep at least 2 people in the cab at all times (I forget the JO number). So with that, and combining services on frequencies (see #2), and having a SUP there, and possibly one for relief, that leaves them with 4 in the tower. I wouldn't necessarily call that a "shortage", seeing that the shortage would also depend on needing the demand for them because of too much traffic needing to be handled.

But if you're really wanting to find out, since this doesn't necessarily involve security or impact on security, this info could be given by FOIA.
Mark Gibbs 0
The use of ultraviolet light to disinfect enclosed spaces looks very promising.


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