Inside Wittman Regional, the world’s busiest air traffic control tower

We look inside the world's busiest air traffic control tower.
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 4:53 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - It’s the “Super Bowl” of air traffic control. Every year during EAA AirVenture, the air traffic control tower at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh becomes the busiest tower in the world.

Inside are certified professional air traffic controllers from airports across the country, volunteering their time this week, and more than thrilled to be in Oshkosh.

“This is a huge honor. It’s one of the biggest honors for a controller. This is the Super Bowl of air traffic control, so they’ve made the big time,” says Kathy Asselborn, EAA Control Tower Supervisor.

Over the course of this week, these controllers will direct nearly 20,000 planes in and out of AirVenture.

They work in teams of four, and at least one is a veteran having worked in the tower before at EAA.

“A controller only gets to work until they’re 56, so they have to retire at some point, so we’re constantly building our team and making sure that we’re developing and providing a quality product here because this is, for this week, this is the busiest air traffic control tower in the world,” says Asselborn.

With three active runways, multiple planes can land at the same time.

Controllers work eight-hour shifts and even get a few days off because, you guessed it, when they’re in the tower, it gets stressful.

“Yes it does, but it’s very controlled. They’re extremely highly proficient professionals, so they manage it, but yes it gets very stressful,” says Asselborn with a smile.

The FAA has staffed the tower in Oshkosh with controllers during AirVenture since 1960.

Controllers volunteer their time to be a part of AirVenture and the world's busiest airport for a week

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