The few quick exchanges between the elementary-school-aged child and jets waiting to take off from JFK, one of the nation’s busiest airports, appeared to delight pilots at the time.
“I wish I could bring my kid to work,” one said, wistfully.
But the Federal Aviation Administration suspended the controller and a supervisor on Wednesday after recordings of the calls were posted on the internet, then reported on by a Boston television station.
“This lapse in judgment not only violated FAA’s own policies, but common sense standards for professional conduct. These kinds of distractions are totally unacceptable,” FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a statement. “This kind of behaviour does not reflect the true calibre of our work force.”
On the recording, which lasts about a minute, the boy appears to repeat instructions fed to him by his father. At no time does the child tell aircraft how to manoeuvre or where they should go.
Should he have been suspended? Must have been a thrill for the kid.