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(see photos below)
My career at Atlanta Air Traffic Control Tower spanned 20 years. I was an air traffic controller, a training instructor, and an air traffic supervisor while there.
When I left to work for Air Traffic Headquarters I took a life-time of memories from the old building. Just hearing someone refer to that building as the "old tower" makes me feel like a dinosaur.
It seems like yesterday, when I gave the very first air traffic control instruction issued from the now old building. It was brand new to us that night. My radio call was an approach clearance to a passenger jet inbound from New York City. "Eastern 99, Atlanta approach, you're radar contact. Cross 40 northwest of Atlanta at 14,000 then descend and maintain 9000. Expect radar vectors for an ILS approach to Runway 26." That was September, 1976 and we had just moved into what they are now calling the old building, and that was the very first radio call from there.
I transfered to Atlanta from Kennedy Tower in New York. It was 1972. Initially, I found it hard to fit in. But, I was young and, because of the war in Vietnam, I had a lot of military air traffic experience. My work was safe, expeditious, and orderly. I chose not to be denied.
Many things have changed over the years. At the time this page was written, Atlanta Tower's acting Air Traffic Manager was an African-American. I can't describe how proud I felt to see the strong cross-section of minorities who now work in the facility.