For Immediate Release

April 16, 2003
Contact: Tony Molinaro
Phone: (847) 294-7427

DETROIT — Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic controllers at the Detroit Metro Airport control tower accomplished a major achievement in flight safety by handling one full year of flight operations without committing an operational error.

The last error by a tower controller occurred on April 11, 2002. Since then, the facility has handled nearly half a million flight operations flawlessly. An operation is defined as a take-off, landing or over flight of the airspace worked by an air traffic control facility. An operational error is an occurrence attributed to an air traffic controller which results in less than required separation between two or more aircraft, or between an aircraft and other obstacles.

“Air traffic at a major airport such as Detroit Metro offers complex challenges,” says Nancy Shelton, Manager of the FAA’s Great Lakes Region Air Traffic Division. “To perform consistently at such high levels without error is a testimony to the skilled professionals at the Detroit tower.”

The FAA’s tower facility, which opened in Aug. 1992, employs 46 air traffic control personnel and 32 airways facilities technicians (who work in both the tower and the Terminal Radar Approach Control facilities).

“Our team of air traffic controllers and the FAA technicians maintain our equipment, deservedly should be proud of their achievement,” says Brian Romer, FAA Air Traffic Control Manager at Detroit Metro Airport. “This is a major accomplishment and is just one example of the FAA’s everyday efforts to make U.S. air travel the safest in the world.”

Detroit Metro Airport, with 498,000 total flight operations during 2002, was the 6th busiest airport in the United States.