DFW Towers

dfwatcs

Newcomer
Feb 27, 2012
9
0
1
Lantana, Tx
I just got there back in Oct. from HOU. It is kinda annoying to rotate between towers especially when u are in training but it makes better sense to be proficient in both so you know what the other side is doing and for manning if a few sick out in the east and the west is fat that day you can have a couple of people from the west go work in the east. Its always better to have an understanding of the big picture.

Is that Jerry V.?
It is the one and only JV!
 

dfwatcs

Newcomer
Feb 27, 2012
9
0
1
Lantana, Tx
Why alternate between towers? It would seem to make more sense to have two teams, East and West. From a controller standpoint, it just seems more of an annoyance to go back and forth every other day.
We alternate for proficiency sake. Anyone who has ever lived in Texas knows how quickly and dramatically the weather can change. Thus you need to know both sides of the airport and how it operates so as to effectively run traffic. The biggest Air Carrier on the airport is of course American Airlines and they don't put all the westbound aircraft on the west side or all the eastbound aircraft on the east side of the airport, nor do they all land on the side that they park on. It is a pain in the A#@ to rotate back in forth from one tower to the other but kind of a necessary evil to ensure the best possible service to the airlines and thus the passengers.
 

PorkBarrel

Rookie
Nov 21, 2008
35
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6
We're getting about 7-9 people over the course of 5 months or so. Can't remember the exact numbers I read from read/intial briefing a while back.
 

ControlFreak72

Newcomer
Oct 21, 2010
1
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1
I actually just found out this week that I got picked up there. I had pretty much written it off since it had been almost a year. My wife and I are leaning on going but its hard to pick up the whole family and move out of state. Im at SNA. Just wondering how you would rate working at DFW? It sounds like a lot of fun and I know the communities and housing are great. Whats the average check out time? Someone had mentioned the ratio of older to younger controllers was about 50/50, where would that put me with just over 15yrs in? Thanks for your help.
 

PorkBarrel

Rookie
Nov 21, 2008
35
0
6
Overall, I'd say this is a pretty good place to work. I do think some people forget just how good it is. There's a lot of procedures to learn, classroom training for each position usually takes between 2-3 weeks with a certification in the tower simulator for ground and local. Checkout times vary person to person, especially with the amount of training we're doing right now, meaning, continuation of training to the next position is dependent on who's already downstairs in classroom training and additional trainees the training department may want to include with you. I've seen some of the more recent controllers come here and check out anywhere between 7-12 months, maybe a bit a longer.

I'd say around 60% of controllers here are ages 30-40. We've picked up a lot of younger folks and some of the older ones are looking to retire within the next 3-8 years. If you've been in the agency 15 years then you'd fit in just fine. We have gotten a few trainees that have been in the agency just as long or maybe a few years longer.

Working here has its advantages and disadvantages. The whole two tower thing is interesting and fun, but can be a hindrance as far as your work commute goes and coordination between the towers when you're working. The biggest gripes I see are concerning the schedule, especially when you try to shift swap with other controllers. Like I said, the two towers really complicates things if you're trying to accomplish something with your schedule, especially with the nine hour rule between swing and day shifts in effect. Because of the nine hour rule, the concept of crews working together day in and day out is non-existent, due to staffing needs in each tower. You may find yourself the odd person out working in one tower on another crew, while your crew is in the other tower. That has both positive and negative implications.

This is my first facility, so I think it's pretty good. More experienced controllers than me say working here is really good. I have seen some leave and then come back because they thought the grass was greener on the other side.

Hope that helps!