FAA controllers at work at Frederick Municipal Airport.
FAA controllers from facilities all around the Baltimore/Washington area are at Frederick Municipal Airport to help keep order among aircraft arriving for the thirteenth annual AOPA Fly-In and Open House.
This year the controllers are having to peer through the "soup" to guide IFR traffic in. In past years, controllers have handled hundreds of aircraft and thousands of operations in a single day. When asked what in their training prepares them for a day like that, one controller who's working his fourth Fly-In offered a smiling one-word answer: "Nothing."
Another said dealing with the high density of traffic was "fun."
Last year, air traffic controllers landed some 900 aircraft. In total operations, the Frederick tower was the second busiest in the nation. Only controllers at Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport were busier on that day.