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Features October 2012 Issue

When ATC says “unable”

Most controllers want to grant pilot requests. When they decline, it’s not just for amusement or out of lassitude. There can be a lot going on backstage the pilot can’t see.

Judgment is the cornerstone of the air traffic control profession. This basic trait, common among thousands of successful air traffic controllers worldwide, allows controllers to face a variety of situations—including unusual pilot requests—and act appropriately.

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