Air Traffic Controller John Melecio, also known as “Boston John,” is one of the most famous ATC controllers today. When he was controlling from Boston Tower, he was always lively and humourous, gathering a following all over the world. Listeners on LiveATC.net posted to the forums whenever he was on air so fans could tune in and hear him live.
Boston John is on right now … 1200 hours pacific.
John … if you read this … you are OUTSTANDING!!!!!
He is clearly a very skilled controller and seems to enjoy having fun while keeping the operational calls completely clear and easy to follow. It’s hard not to giggle as I listen to him on air.
One of his catch-phrases is Mocha Hagotdi which I initially presumed was a foreign phrase but a quick search proved me wrong. It’s an acronym of Cape Air’s company slogan: “Make Our Customers Happy and Have a Good Time Doing It” and it seems Boston John only uses it when speaking to Cape Air crew. One effect of his fun phrases and pronunciation is that the pilots always know when they are being addressed. The Urban Dictionary credits Boston John directly for gaining popularity among pilots and ATC. Boston John also has his own Facebook page where his fans continue to discuss his style and wit. However, Boston John takes his role very seriously and if you pay attention, he’s always very careful to ensure that all important instructions are clear and concise, using standard phraseology. As a result, despite his witticisms, he is easier to follow than a lot of controllers who are a lot more “professional”.
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As an air traffic controller, we are here to provide a service to the flying public. . . as a controller, you have to be able to look at that situation, size it in a matter of seconds, and make a decision as to what you are going to do. There’s also the idea of priorities. What is the most important at this time? Aircraft A, Aircraft B, or Aircraft C? . . . We need to know what are the pilots’ requirements, what are their expectations. And the same way they need to know what are our requirements. What are our expectations and limitations. And by maintaining that open end of communications, we [are] open to new ideas.
Earlier this year, he moved to Puerto Rico to manage the San Juan Tower, so sadly he is no longer broadcasting. But his singing out Air Canada to the tune of the Canadian anthem is not something I will soon forget!