Wednesday, December 05, 2007

FAA History Lesson -- December 5

From the FAA Historical Chronology, 1926-1996...

”Dec 5, 1969: FAA announced a major program to expand and modernize the physical plants of 20 air route traffic control centers in the contiguous United States to accommodate the personnel and equipment needed to handle the increasing volume of air traffic. The basic plan of the modernization program called for an additional three-story administrative wing at each center to provide space for training and administration. Space would also be provided for the automated air traffic control systems being delivered to the centers, for additional engine generators, and for future expansion of mechanical, electrical, and communications systems. The plant modernization program would continue through the early 1970s. “

Lest anyone forget, the buildings the Center controllers (and staff) work in are old. Most were built in 1960 and as you can see, were updated in 1969. During my 25 years at Atlanta Center, we moved into a new control room that was actually smaller than the old control room. The old control room had asbestos. The new control room has mold.

I was always fascinated by the fact that the control room got smaller and the administrative wing just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. I’d make a guess that the administrative space tripled in my career. It wasn’t anything to brag about though. We called one of the buildings the “Alabama Mansion.” It looked like a two story trailer and was painted “government green.”

Don Brown
December 5, 2007

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