Can Air Traffic Controllers participate in Q&A?

Bret Copeland
  • Can Air Traffic Controllers participate in Q&A? Bret Copeland

    While asking the question in chat How do we get controllers on the site? @egid suggested there may be FAA or union restrictions on participating in Q&A. That would be sad since pilots and controllers communicating with each other improves safety and efficiency... but certainly doesn't mean it isn't true.

    Does anyone know of specific restrictions placed on controllers by the FAA or NATCA (National Air Traffic Controllers Association) which would prevent them from answering questions on this site?

    I realize this blurs the line slightly between the main site and meta, but I'm asking about legal reasons, not speculation about why we haven't attracted any controllers yet (that I'm aware of).

  • The full FAA regulations covering controllers can be found at http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Order/ATC.pdf.

    Looking through the table of contents (page 25 onwards), I couldn't find anything related.

    I also searched the document for the phrases: forum, internet, online, discuss - nothing relevant was found.

    Furthermore, the ATCA (Air Traffic Control Association) has been running annual conferences on air traffic control for 58 years, where they obviously discuss ATC; and they also have members of the FAA on the committee.

    I've searched Google too, and can't find anything relevant.

  • I am not aware of any legal limitation for air trafic controllers to speak out on a public website, but there could be one.

    StuckMic.com is however an ATC forum in which FAA ATCo's seem to participate actively. This leads me to believe that they are allowed to speak out on a public website. There are very likely restrictions on what they can share.

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