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Features November 2014 Issue

Who's on First?

Deciding who goes first has many considerations besides who’s there first. In this case, the jet behind is on the same course as the piston single, so it makes sense to depart the faster airplane first.

Who's on First?

ATC’s departure sequencing isn’t just about who got to the hold-short line first. Controllers need to look well beyond the runway’s departure end.

Good judgment and quick thinking are hallmarks of the aviation mentality. Both pilots and air traffic controllers are in the decision-making business. For controllers, every moment our headsets are plugged in, we’re making choices that affect the safety and flow of traffic in our airspace. Some choices are easier than others, such as not clearing anyone for takeoff when I’ve got a Gulfstream IV on short final.

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