air traffic controllerAs the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy approaches, three air traffic employees who were directly involved in the events of that day share their memories in a new video just released by the Federal Aviation Administration.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood reminded Americans of how – in the wake of the plane hijackings -- air traffic controllers across the country acted quickly to land thousands of planes as soon as they possibly could.

"Their professionalism and courage in the wake of the attacks was not only remarkable, it was crucial to restoring the safety and security of our airspace," said LaHood.

Added FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt; “Ten years later we are still incredibly proud of their work.”

On September 11, 2001, Michael McCormick was the Air Traffic Manager at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center in Ronkonkoma, NY; Terry Biggio was the Operations Manager at the Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center in Nashua, NH; and Frank Hatfield was the air traffic division manager at the FAA’s Eastern Region Headquarters in Jamaica, NY. All three men still work for the FAA.

In the video, they describe how air traffic controllers became aware that several aircraft were being hijacked in the New York area and what led to the unprecedented decision to shut down the entire United States airspace.  They also reflect on the last ten years and how the national air transportation system has changed.

“When I look back on that tragic day, I’m most proud of how all of our air traffic controllers rose to the occasion and did the right thing so well that it amazed the rest of the world,” said McCormick. 

Click here to watch the video: “Ten Years Later: Air Traffic Controllers Remember 9/11”