Facility Tour

9 10 2011

On Thursday, I was lucky enough to get a tour of one of the air traffic control facilities outside of Oslo. It was amazing to finally get some aviation back in my system – I’ve been missing it! 🙂 Thursday afternoon, I took a train outside of the city and a friend of mine that works there picked me up at the train station. We went to the facility and he showed me all around. He was a great tour guide and explained their whole airspace really well! It was cool learning about their airspace and how they work their traffic. They have a new approach system that they call the “fan”; they’re one of the first facilities to put it to use and it was interesting to learn all about it and how it works. He also told me about some of the “problems” they can encounter with the Swedish controllers and how they control a bit differently. It was funny to hear him talk about issues with the “Swedes” since typically the Norwegians and Swedes joke about each other. 🙂 After he taught me about their airspace and system, I got to meet a couple of the other controllers at the facility. I even got to plug in next to one of the controllers and listen to him and the pilots. I sat there with him for quite awhile and got to watch him work some busier traffic. It was really exciting to see him in action, especially after I got a mini-lesson on what all he was doing. He was also very good at explaining what he was doing when he had a free second. After a little bit, the traffic slowed down so his position was combined with another and he got to go on break. Then I got to go up to the roof of the building. I was expecting to go outside and maybe see a nice view or something, but at some point when we were walking all through the buildings, we entered a building that is built inside of the hill. So when on the top of the roof, it’s like you’re in a cave! I was surprised that’s for sure! But it was really cool to see. I loved the tour and especially loved being back around some aviation stuff and getting to talk with fellow aviation nerds. 🙂 This week I am traveling to Stavanger to see some friends and check out Prekistolen, or Pulpit Rock. While I’m there one of my friends managed to get me signed up for a tour of the control tower he works in. 😀 I also found out today that I got approved to tour the control tower at the Oslo-Gardermoen airport! It’s a lot of fun to see the similarities and differences in these facilities compared to the ones I have seen in the U.S. I can’t wait to see more Norwegian facilities and get some more aviation in my system! 🙂

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