Air traffic controller reveals ‘shocking’ reality about flying at night

An air traffic controller revealed a little-known fact about flying at night. 

The TikToker @doaviation responded to a popular prompt on the platform to “name one thing in your industry or profession that the general public would be shocked to know about.” Judging by the reactions in the comment section, people were definitely stunned by what @doaviation revealed as an air traffic controller. 


#stitch with @annaschozer air traffic control isn’t 24/7 at some places #airtrafficcontrol #pilot #plane #airport

♬ original sound – doaviation

“I’m an air traffic controller, and there are about 139 federal standalone control towers in the United States,” he explained. “I work with one of them, and every night, 84 of those, about 60%, shut down. And all the controllers go home, and there’s nobody there to work traffic.

“Then, they come back in the morning and reopen. During those hours, when the control tower is closed, it’s the pilot’s responsibility to talk to the other pilots and make sure they’re not gonna hit each other.” 

Someone asked what would happen if a plane required an emergency landing. He replied, “The airport would still be open. There just wouldn’t be tower controllers there, but airport fire/rescue could still respond!”

The piece of air traffic trivia didn’t exactly put TikTokers’ minds at ease. 

“Do not fly at night. Got it. Thanks,” a user joked

“I feel like this is the one profession that should have 24-hour shifts rather than the local Taco Bell,” another wrote

“I can’t believe how many people freak out over this. If this was a sudden problem, you’d know about it. It’s always been this way,” a person said

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