Eyes on the sky keep airfield traffic safe

by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Sgt. Joshua Mcintosh, 435th Contingency Response Squadron air traffic controller, uses binoculars to spot an aircraft Aug. 1 on Ramstein. Air traffic controllers provide eyes on the sky over the airfield, ensuring the safety and efficiency of aircraft on the ground and in the air.

Airmen assigned to the 86th Operations Support Squadron air traffic control tower scan the skies to keep air traffic safe Aug. 1 on Ramstein. During an in-flight emergency, it’s an air traffic controller’s responsibility to assist the aircrew by providing coordination with other air traffic, clearing ground traffic and making sure emergency personnel are ready to respond when the aircraft lands.

A C-130J Super Hercules banks by the 86th Operations Support Squadron Air Field Operations Flight air traffic control tower Aug. 1 on Ramstein.

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Villa, 86th Operations Support Squadron Air Field Operations Flight Air Traffic Control Tower watch supervisor, tests the operability of a light gun Aug. 1 on Ramstein. Air traffic controllers use light guns to communicate with aircrew when radios are down because air traffic controllers guide aircraft to safe landing.

Clouds loom over the 86th Operations Support Squadron Air Field Operations Flight air traffic control tower Aug. 1 on Ramstein.