An hour as an air traffic controller

Last year I flew into Brive Dordogne Valley Airport shortly after it had just become operational. The airport is very small but an excellent gateway to the Lot and Dordogne regions of France.

Whilst at the airport I was actually invited to go up the control tower and see the air traffic controllers in action. Now for a travel obsessed airport and aeroplane geek this was like a kid getting a full bag of pick ‘n’ mix every day for the rest of their life!

I can’t imagine I will ever get the opportunity to spend some time in a control tower again so I literally spent every second I was allowed taking photos, videos and asking questions.

Like I mentioned Brive Airport is small and there wasn’t really much coming and going of aircraft, although I did get to see my actual departing plane arrive, this however was actually a really good thing as the air traffic controller could take time to explain the systems they use and answer all my questions.

Below is a short video captured whilst in the tower.


For me this was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. Has anyone else ever had the opportunity of going behind the scenes at and airport? I’d love to hear your experiences too if you have.

2 thoughts on “An hour as an air traffic controller”

  1. I’ve been behind the scenes in a company which provides the hardware & software solutions for air traffic controllers. They had all these monitors which were linked up to various airports around the world so that they could immediately see first hand what was going on in an airport if they ever had computer issues. You could see the airplanes moving across the screen – pretty cool too but not like actually being in a tower.

    1. That’s sounds pretty interesting too! I love getting the opportunity to see behind the scenes of anything – its always great to find out how things work 🙂

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