Catching Up With Our Air Traffic Controllers!

Dustin Durham, William Peterson, Arianna Bocci, Jason Burgos

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William and Arianna checking the radar.

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Everyday the Air Traffic Controllers of BGM put their time and energy into keeping the travelers and pilots of the Greater Binghamton Airport safe! Although we may not see much of them, they make sure to watch over all of us! They are located high up in the control tower of BGM and guide pilots, their planes and the passengers from taxi to takeoff, through the air and back safely on the ground. Day-to-day can change dramatically for them but they know how to handle whatever “flies” their way. Aside from handling arrivals and departures of commercial air traffic, they deal with pilots in training, sight-seeing airplanes and military aircraft practicing different landing approaches. They keep track of updates on procedures locally and nationally, track weather that could affect travel and use radar and other technology to track planes but, overall their goal is to keep us all safe while traveling through Binghamton.

On occasion, their job can get pretty stressful. Tracking weather storms that pop up and handling any airplane malfunctions are just some of the things they deal with. Throughout summers and winters here in the Greater Binghamton area, we all know that weather can take a turn at any given moment, the Air Traffic Control team makes sure to get every plane on the ground safe and sound! Handling planes that could have malfunctions or problems and talking pilots through it is another necessity that they need to know how to handle for potential situations. But, given that they are highly trained with a zero margin for error, they remain calm under the pressures thrown at them.

Although these four spend so much time together during the work week, they like to hangout outside of work too – meeting up with local pilots and others in the aviation industry!

We’re so thankful to have this great group of people on our team here at BGM!! 

Take These 5 Holiday Travel Tips With You!

The holiday season can be stressful for anyone and it’s no secret that mixing travel into these hectic weeks only adds to that stress. But, traveling through BGM doesn’t have to be a hassle. There are a few steps you can take before your flight takes off that can create an easy and stress-free travel experience.

  1. Leave early. Make sure you get to the airport between an hour and two hours before your scheduled boarding time. By getting to the airport early, you will ensure that you have enough time to check your bags, go through screening and board the plane. Give yourself some extra time so you don’t stress about small stuff that could take up extra time during this season.
  2. Stay up-to-date. Check your flight status ahead of time to make sure that you are still on schedule. There are a variety of different apps that you can download on your phone that will send you notifications about your flight including Fly Delta or FlySmart.
  3. Pack light. Although it may be tempting to pack multiple options for that family holiday party, it will make it easier to pack only what is necessary before you leave to keep your bags from overflowing. Weigh your bags ahead of time and remember, if you bring a carry-on, make sure that it is 22″ x 14″ x 9″ or a total of 45″.
  4. What to do with gifts. If you’re traveling with a gift, it may be wiser to consider mailing it to your destination ahead of time. If that is not an option, we suggest waiting until you reach your destination to wrap your gift or using a gift bag so that your gift is easily accessible for TSA.
  5. Be prepared. Make sure that you’re prepared with the phone numbers of your hotel, your car rental agency, your airline, or friends at your destination. You want to pack extra snacks, travel pillows, earphones and any other necessities you may want while traveling. Make sure that all your electronics are fully charged and packed in your carry-on.

With these 5 tips, your travel experience through BGM will be a lot more jolly and less stressful. Here at BGM, we hope that you all have a happy holiday and a great trip wherever you are headed this season.

Traveling with your Firearms? No Problem!

Holiday air travel might seem daunting, with the crowds, transporting gifts and winter weather, adding another element, like traveling with your firearms can seem inconvenient. However, believe it or not, it’s actually not! Packing and checking your firearms is quite straightforward and sometimes easier than getting yourself through the TSA checkpoints. Just follow these 8 tips and you’ll be well on your way to a Happy Holiday!

Tip #1 • It’s all about the bag! Buy or borrow a lockable, hard-sided container. MAKE SURE your container cannot be easily opened, those are not permitted! And take note, the container the firearm was in when purchased may not adequately secure the firearm when it is transported. Do yourself a favor, and grab a hard-sided container, less stress!

Tip #2 • Do your homework! Before traveling, do some research to comply with the laws concerning possession of firearms, as we all know these vary from state to state and more importantly internationally. Don’t forget to check your airline’s website and review their policies too!

Tip #3 • Check and double check…at home! Check your gun chamber to make sure it’s empty. You can also pack your guns in the case with the cylinder or action locked open so it’s completely obvious that the gun is in SAFE conditions. This isn’t required but it could help you move quicker, and it makes the airline employees jobs easier!

Tip #4 • Pack it up: want to know exactly how your firearms and ammo should look? Refer to the photo below! Both your gun and ammo needs to be stored away and not loose, they can even be in the same container, side-by-side.

Tip #5 • Check the weight! Most airlines will allow up to 11 pounds of ammunition, and like any luggage you will be charged more for baggage that weighs more than 50 lbs. It’s just always good to double check, so as to avoid any surprises, that might cost you or worse go curbside.

Tip #6 • Arrive early and declare. Declare the firearm and/or ammunition to the airline when checking your bag at the ticket counter. Give yourself plenty of time, once your gun case leaves your possession there’s still a chance TSA will need you to reopen the case. Most airports will tell you to wait a bit.

Tip #7 • Keys in the carry-on! Put your padlock keys in your carry-on luggage, they should be on your person at all times. Just makes your life easier; you don’t want the TSA to cut your locks off.

Tip #8 • A holiday surprise? The TSA might clear your gun case upon your departure, and yes, a TSA agent might cut your locks off somewhere between your departure and your final destination, so just be prepared. They aren’t supposed to without a good reason but, hey, it could happen. It’s also possible that your guns go missing. If this happens, TELL THE AIRLINES and destination TSA agents, and report a theft of firearms, you will get the attention you need on this subject.

Questions? “Contact the TSA Contact Center with any additional questions you have regarding TSA firearm regulations and for clarification on what you may or may not transport in your carry-on or checked bag.”

https://www.tsa.gov/contact/customer-service

Sources:

http://blog.beretta.com/10-gun-tips-you-need-to-know-about-flying-with-guns https://www.tsa.gov/travel/transporting-firearms-and-ammunition

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/12/11/how-to-fly-with-your-firearm/

http://www.gunsandammo.com/how-to/guide-air-travel-firearm/