I have a lot of respect for air traffic controllers and what they do to keep our skies safe, and tend to think that there are “bad apples” in every industry. So while the fact that he’s an air traffic controller may only be tangentially related to what happened, it still makes for an interesting and somewhat concerning story.
An air traffic controller at Charlotte Douglas International Airport was arrested yesterday on charges of possessing a weapon of mass destruction. The 30 year old was charged with acquiring, possessing, and transporting a homemade pipe bomb. Another man allegedly made the bomb to use against a neighbor with whom he had been feuding, but then changed his mind and gave it to the air traffic controller (as one does?). Hmmm…
According to The Charlotte Observer:
The airport said Dandan had access only to the off-site air traffic control tower and not to the restricted areas of the terminal or ramp. “He did not have access to any aircraft at the airport,” the airport stated. The FAA said it has terminated Dandan’s access to the facility and is cooperating with law enforcement.
So it doesn’t necessarily sound like he had any intentions related to aviation, though I’m not sure what exactly the process of giving a bomb to a friend looks like, or what the air traffic controller was planning on doing with it.
Apparently this all came to light from a 911 call on November 3, where someone had reported a homemade explosive device.