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Air Force One and Only?

Frequent Flyer B
[asset|aid=240|format=image|formatter=asset|title=RBRiPodLogoSmall.gif|width=180|height=179|resizable=true|align=right]We have cool planes. I know this because I watched people line up for seven hours and wait between 20 and 50 minutes to walk through one at the Air Venture 2010 show in Oshkosh last month. But there is an exceptionally cool plane that also flies around. It is called Air Force One, but actually there are two (more on that later). This episode of Red Belly Radio is about how our operations have to react when Air Force One comes to town.

The President flew Monday to AUS and then to DAL and I sat down with Brett Crombie and David Trost who let me ask them questions all about when POTUS (President Of The United States) travels. They work in our Operations Coordination Center as Air Traffic Control Specialists and track all of our flights along with storms and if it showed on their computer screen, Air Force One. That’s right, AF1 does not appear with all the other planes!

When AF1--or a plane with the vice president onboard-- is flying, air traffic control has to make adjustments with things like fuel and timing because, depending on the airport, the air space has to be cleared and sometimes even all ground traffic is halted for its departure and arrival. Our Dispatch Employees have to coordinate to make sure our jets have plenty of fuel on board.

Air Force One is the name given to whatever plane on which the president is flying. We maintain (that’s we Americans not we Southwest Airlines) two 747s and those are typically the planes the president flies on—wouldn’t you?