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FAA probes child directing air traffic at JFK

Planes taxi on runways at John F. Kennedy

Planes taxi on runways at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Credit: AP File, 2008

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating whether a child directed planes from Kennedy Airport’s air traffic control tower.

A child’s voice can be heard on a tape making five transmissions to pilots preparing for takeoff on Feb. 17. The recording was obtained by WFXT-TV in Boston.

In one exchange, the child can be heard saying, “JetBlue 171 contact departure.”

A male voice in the tower says: “That’s what you get, guys, when the kids are out of school.”

The child later clears another plane for takeoff, and says, “Adios, amigo.”

The FAA said in a statement: “Pending the outcome of our investigation, the employees involved in this incident are not controlling air traffic.” It added: “This behavior is not acceptable.”


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