Child Heard on Tape Directing Planes at JFK
A Boston news station uncovered an audio clip of what is clearly a child's voice giving the all-clear to pilots as they take off and land commercial airplanes on some of the country's busiest runways.
"Jet Blue 171, cleared for takeoff!" the child can be heard telling one pilot.
The boy seems to have made at least five transmissions from the control tower. Adults can be heard on the tape as well, laughing with the under-aged air controller in their midst.
A pilot tells the youngster he's doing an "awesome job." From the air control tower, a male voice suggests a snow day may be to blame. "That's what you get, guys, when the kids are out of school," he says, sounding bemused.
The Federal Aviation Administration, which requires air traffic controllers to be licensed, is investigating and says it's not sure when the youngster was in the tower.
"Pending the outcome of our investigation, the employees involved in this incident are not controlling air traffic," the FAA said in a statement to the New York Daily News. "This behavior is not acceptable and does not demonstrate the kind of professionalism expected from all FAA employees."
The air traffic controllers union told the News that what happened in the tower "is not indicative of the highest professional standards that controllers set for themselves and exceed each and every day in the advancement of aviation safety."