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  • adwq
    Ady Dolan is one of the most recognisable faces of Heathrow. The NATS Air Traffic Controller has featured in multiple documentaries and broadcasts from the airport. Ady features on tomorrow night’s BBC 5 Live programme (#5LiveHeathrow) so we thought we’d catch up with the Air Traffic Controller to find out what he loves about his job, his favourite moment at Heathrow, and why Concorde is his favourite aircraft. Enjoy!

    Behind the scenes Q&A:

    15 years

    The view’s not bad! The people that I work with make it a great place to be.

    I was working at Newcastle Airport in my university break, and I decided to learn to fly. As part of the pilot’s licence training, I was taken on a visit to the Air Traffic Controller, and as soon as I walked in I knew that it’s what I wanted to do. You’re right in the middle of the action, with the best view on the airfield.

    Someone who is able to make sound decisions in a short space of time, who is calm under pressure. Most important of all though, is someone who is able to work really well as part of a bigger team.

    The events surrounding the retirement of a Concorde. The last few weeks were great fun, culminating in the three final Concordes landing in sequence. I worked on the BBC broadcast, and spoke live on air to the crew of the final aircraft. Whilst it was an awesome sight, it was also a very poignant occasion.

    It has to be Concorde. No matter whether it was your first visit to Heathrow or you’d been here for 30 years – everything stopped to watch Concorde.

    Not really, I just try to capture things that look interesting or different, which you might not be able to see from any other vantage point.

    Just an iPhone! Some of the guys at work take some amazing photos with some fantastic kit, but the key is just being in the right place at the right time.

    Something I watch whenever it’s on TV is the Bourne series of movies, but I have a soft spot for Airplane…. “surely you can’t be serious? I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley”. I love the big boxset series like 24, True Detective and Game of Thrones, but I usually don’t get a choice when the kids are around!

    I’m actually in a band and we play all sorts from eighties’ cheese to rock and funk, but if I had to choose something to stick on in the car on the way home from work, it would have to be AC/DC.

    No, but the kids are hassling me to get them one. I’m thinking tortoise.

    Air Traffic Control
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