WSJ Climbs Inside DFW's Control Tower
As it turns out, according to an article that just appeared on the Wall Street Journal's website, life inside the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport air traffic control towers -- otherwise known as the Terminal Radar Approach Control facility, or TRACON -- is sort of a cross between Airplane! and Pushing Tin. Or ... perhaps not. Still, though, not for the faint of heart:
As more planes come onto his screen and check in, [Bill] Shea talks faster and faster. He's got nine different planes spread across his airspace. A jet carrying a medical patient -- labeled a "Lifeguard" flight so it gets priority -- is flying south toward Dallas Love Field, and another jet is flying eastbound from north of DFW. A third plane -- a slower propeller-driven aircraft -- is coming up from the southwest. Mr. Shea recognizes long before the FAA computers that they all want the same runway at Love Field, and in fact are on paths that will put them all basically at the same place at the same time.
"I've got kind of a situation here," he says.
And: The Google Machine informs me that this here website allows you to listen to the live feeds from the east and west towers at DFW. Might as well. Nothing on TV tonight.