Bring your-kid-to-work-day took on a decidedly different turn last week when a tower controller at New York's JFK evidently had a child communicate with aircraft on the outbound local frequency. Recorded audio reveals the child made a handful of transmissionsobviously coachedand the controller said on the frequency "that's what you get guys when the kids are out of school." The kid's directives included takeoff clearances and frequency switches to departure. Although the pilots on frequency appeared amused, the FAA and controller's union, NATCA, are not.
In a statement to Fox 25 in Boston, the FAA said "pending the outcome of our investigation, the employees involved in this incident are not controlling air traffic. This behavior is not acceptable and does not demonstrate the kind of professionalism expected from all FAA employees." NATCA released a statement saying "we do not condone this type of behavior in any way and it is not indicative of the highest professional standards that controllers set for themselves."