A podcast for people who are curious about the wide world of aviation. Join the FAA as we nerd out about the future of flight, drones, and ways to make the National Airspace System safer, smarter, and more efficient.
How to Become an Air Traffic Controller
Welcome to the first installment of our summer career series! We're answering your questions and doing a deep dive into careers in aerospace and the steps you can take to get started in the field. Today's episode is one of our most requested topics — how to become an air traffic controller as an entry-level applicant. FAA experts will walk you through everything from the application process to training at the FAA Academy and certification.
For more information about air traffic control jobs at FAA, visit our careers page. Or, if you're curious about other types of careers at FAA, visit our jobs page.
Equity in Aerospace
Aviation is for everyone, and the Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) is working to ensure that everyone feels included. During the DAC's last meeting, FAA requested that they explore a potential language change. For example, the technical term for drones is unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS. Unmanned. Now the committee is looking at ways to make that terminology gender-inclusive, because really, so long as a person is flying safely and following the rules, it doesn't matter what their gender is.
In this episode, we're exploring what an equitable aerospace industry looks like. You'll hear from FAA Deputy Administrator Brad Mims, the FAA's Vice President for System Operations Services Ginny Boyle, and Alina George from the FAA's drone office.
You can learn more about the DAC's use of inclusive language in our latest blog post.
“We're putting it in the trees.”
On a flight back to his home airport in a Cherokee 140, pilot Truman O'Brien ran into engine trouble. FAA air traffic controllers at the Portland, Oregon TRACON were in close communication with the pilot, offering him multiple landing options and working hard to help guide him to safety. But, flying at 8,000 feet, the aircraft lost altitude quickly. Even with top-notch air traffic control services, O'Brien had no choice but to make an emergency landing in the trees, deep in the forest of southwest Washington.
In this episode, we hear from the people on both ends of the transmission — Krissy Lewandowski, Portland TRACON Controller; Patrick Elmore, Portland TRACON Operations Supervisor; and the pilot himself. It's a story that underscores why clear pilot-controller communication is so critical.
The FAA's WINGS program has resources to help general aviation pilots stay proficient and enjoy stress-free flying. You can learn more about WINGS at faasafety.gov/wings.
Building a Career with Drones
In Season 2, Episode 11, we spoke with FAA drone expert Danielle Corbett to gain a better understanding of how drone pilots can fly safely and in line with FAA rules. That episode is packed with lots of information that will help you to be a great drone pilot!
In today's episode, we're talking about drone entrepreneurship. Drones can be used for a variety of business purposes, like photography, to survey agriculture, to conduct building inspections and a variety of other important functions. You'll hear first-hand from a drone entrepreneur, Eno Umoh, co-founder of the Global Air Drone Academy, an organization working hard to help young people realize the entrepreneurial benefits of drone piloting. Eno gives us insight into the endless possibilities in the drone world, and why it is so important that we're teaching future generation of drone pilots how to fly safely as they consider those opportunities.
Want to know more about drone piloting, but don't know who to ask? Feel free to contact the UAS Support Center, where they'll answer all of your burning drone questions. The FAA has countless resources, as well as drone specific social media accounts for the drone community on Facebook and Twitter.
Bonus tip: The FAA recently implemented two new rules, Operations Over People and Part 107.
Disclaimer: Reference in this podcast to any specific commercial products, process, service, manufacturer, company, or trademark does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the U.S. government, DOT, or FAA. As an agency of the U.S. government, the FAA cannot endorse or appear to endorse any specific product or service.
Lose the Laser
Last year, there were nearly 7,000 reported laser strikes against pilots — and those are just the ones that were reported. In fact, laser strikes increased during 2020 despite a lower number of air traffic operations. Laser lights can pose a serious safety risk to pilots flying aircraft, and pointing a laser at an aircraft is a federal crime.
Learn what a laser strike is, what impact they have on pilots, and how FAA partners with law enforcement to stop them on this episode of The Air Up There.
Find out more about laser strikes and read this blog post for tips on using a laser safely. Want to report a laser strike?
I Bought a Drone. Now What?
Although our host, Dominique Gebru, doesn't know much about drones, she really wants to get one! Lucky for her, FAA has everything she needs to become a certified drone pilot. In this episode, she speaks with an FAA drone expert, Danielle Corbett, and learns the dos and don'ts of drone flying. Don't have access to your own personal FAA Drone Expert? Feel free to contact the UAS Support Center, where they'll answer all of your burning drone questions. The FAA has countless resources that you can access online, as well as drone-specific social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. The FAA has recently implemented two new rules: Operations Over People and Part 107, and you can learn more here.
Surprisingly informative - but please replace the intro music!
Even the break content is engaging. Well done FAA!
My only complaint is the intro music which feels strangely incongruous to the great content. It’s as though intended to jazz up an otherwise boring podcast, but this podcast is not dull.
As a retired FAA employee myself, how much better it would be to hear the sounds of FAA in action: ATC communications, launch oversight, air navigation facility maintenance, airport planning, etc. in a medley of sound bites. An employee contest or plea to managers for illustrative sound bites could be considered.
The Fighter Pilot podcast has done this extremely well, with sound bites of jet fighter passes and combat communications.
Couldn't recommend this enough! Very relevant and helpful topics directly from the agency. Top notch interviews and production value. Subscribe to this one for sure. Nice work, FAA
Overall not bad, good information and knowledgeable interviewees. However as you would expect from the FAA they are behind the times, very poor production quality. Also the constant background music during the interviews is extremely distracting and frustrating to listen to. Hopefully they make improvements, I’m excited to see what topics will be included on future episodes.