38 episodes

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.

The Air Up There Federal Aviation Administration

    • Leisure
    • 4.7 • 57 Ratings

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.

    It's Just Rocket Science

    It's Just Rocket Science

    Anyone who has ever had a goal is probably familiar with the phrase, "the sky's the limit." Ironically, that logic can be quite limiting because, for some, the sky is just the beginning. Take Sirisha Bandla, for example. Once upon a time, Sirisha was on a rooftop, gazing at the stars and wondering what it would be like to explore what's out there. Then, in 2021, she joined Virgin Galactic's Unity 22 suborbital flight and became the second India-born woman to fly to space!

    Curiosities can turn into out-of-this-world realities with the right knowledge, focus, and determination. In our newest podcast episode, "It's Just Rocket Science," we give you all the proof.

    In this episode, we speak with Sirisha Bandla and JaciLynn Poteet, an FAA commercial space safety inspector and rocket scientist. They tell us about their career trajectories, what it took for them to get there, and what's important to them in their field of work. They also give listeners advice for pursuing their dreams.

    After this episode, you'll be ready to, literally, reach for the stars. Learn more about Commercial Human Spaceflight at faa.gov/space, and if you like this episode, please share!

    • 12 min
    Building Better Futures

    Building Better Futures

    What comes to mind when you think about air traffic control towers? Probably not how they can create opportunities for small businesses that make a positive impact in their communities. This episode of The Air Up There podcast examines how investments from The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) keep flights moving safely, people employed, and small businesses thriving.

    In this episode, we chat with Jeff Babbitt, a disabled veteran and owner of TJ&B Air Conditioning and Electric. His company recently received a contract funded by the BIL to replace the heating and cooling (HVAC) equipment at FAA's air traffic control tower in San Antonio, Texas. So, what's the big deal about HVAC replacement? Because temperature matters, and when critical radar equipment gets too hot, it shuts down.

    So, the next time you think about air traffic control towers, remember that, in addition to supporting pilots, they also support the communities around them by creating opportunities for small businesses and the people they employ.

    • 6 min
    Girls in Aviation

    Girls in Aviation

    On this special Girls in Aviation Day episode, we meet two young aviators who share their love for the flying community and give advice about how others can get involved.

    Sahara is an instrument-rated pilot attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She's seen dramatic growth on campus since her first class a few years ago, when she was one of only two women in the lecture. And Mia is a high school glider pilot, who was raised in an aviation family.

    Both reflect on their journeys and the women who inspired, mentored and trained them. They're now able to pay it forward and create opportunities for other young women to follow their aviation dreams.

    Listen in and be inspired.

    • 9 min
    Miracle in the Air

    Miracle in the Air

    Imagine you're a passenger on a small plane and your pilot becomes unconscious. What would you do? That was the reality for Darren Harrison when the pilot on his plane went unconscious mid-flight on May 10. Darren had to quickly transition from a passenger to a pilot with absolutely no flying experience.

    Take a deep breath as we walk you through that exact experience we005ve dubbed "Miracle in the Air" in the latest episode of our podcast. It was a team effort to land the plane safely, and we caught up with some of the key players.

    Tune in to hear from Fort Pierce Tower air traffic controller Chip Flores and supervisor Justin Boyle, who took the initial emergency call from Harrison that day; as well as Palm Beach Air Traffic manager Ryan Warren, Palm Beach controller/Flight Instructor Robert Morgan, and Domestic Event Network manager Joe Heuser, each had a significant role throughout the ordeal.

    This episode highlights the very important role of an air traffic controller and related safety professionals. Without their experience and quick thinking, the miracle in the air could have ended differently.

    The FAA is seeking diverse applicants to take on the challenging and highly rewarding job of an air traffic controller. The nationwide entry level application window will be open June 24-27 for all eligible U.S. citizens. Share this podcast episode and career opportunity with those in your network.

    • 8 min
    Mental Health

    Mental Health

    Mental Health Awareness Month is almost over, but our care and concern for the emotional, psychological and social well-being of pilots continues. We receive so many comments on our social media platforms regarding pilots' concerns about mental health. We see you, and in the latest episode of our podcast, we clear the air about misconceptions around mental health and flying.

    The FAA continues to make improvements around policies, testing, treatments and approved medication for pilots. Tune in to hear from Dr. Susan Northrup, FAA's Federal Air Surgeon, and learn more about the transparent process pilots can expect during their individual health assessments. You'll also hear from Ellen Brinks, Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) Aeromedical Chair, who leads ALPA's Pilot Support Program.

    It is imperative for pilots to understand that it is okay to ask for help. Seeking help puts them on the right path to getting better so they can continue their passion for flying in the safest way possible.

    Share this important episode with pilots in your network. In the words of Jerry Crawford, To most people, the sky is the limit. To those in aviation, the sky is home. We want to make sure pilots get the help they need and deserve so that they can always feel at home.

    • 27 min
    Sustainable Aviation: Earth Day Edition

    Sustainable Aviation: Earth Day Edition

    The FAA is accountable for how aerospace impacts our planet. We join businesses, other governments, and citizens on a mission to "Invest In Our Planet," the theme for Earth Day 2022. We will continue to take bold actions, be innovative in our approaches, and implement solutions equitably.

    Just last year, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg released the U.S. Aviation Climate Action Plan, which aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. aviation by 2050. Transportation produces the most emissions, and FAA is committed to doing its part to build a cleaner, quieter and more sustainable aviation system.

    In this special Earth Day episode of our podcast, we're talking to experts about sustainable fuels, new technologies, noise reduction and operational efficiency. You'll hear from Jim Hileman, the FAA's Chief Scientific and Technical Officer for the Environment; Greg McDougall, CEO, Harbour Air, Vancouver; and Dave Atwood, Structures and Propulsion Branch Manager, FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center.

    Operation Invest In Our Planet is underway. Tune in to learn how we're doing our part.

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
57 Ratings

57 Ratings

YGlen ,

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.

@LOaltitude ,


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

private air travel ,

Not Bad..

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.

Top Podcasts In Leisure

Critical Role
Monica & Regan
Si Robertson & Justin Martin
Rooster Teeth

You Might Also Like

AOPA Air Safety Institute
Justin Siems
Max Trescott | Glass Cockpit Publishing
Flying Magazine
Sporty's Pilot Shop