From the start, Mike Moreau, the new manager of the FAA air traffic control tower at Addison Airport makes it clear that he is the temporary manager of the facility’s 13 aircraft controllers and two supervisors. “Right now, I’m here for 180 days, because selecting a new manager usually takes four months, give or take a few days, but I’m hoping that I’ll be considered for the permanent position.”
Born and raised in Nashua, New Hampshire, Moreau has been a controller at DFW since 1995. To say he knows the North Texas airspace might be an understatement. “I started in the tower, then went to traffic management, and spent the last seven years as a supervisor.” Traffic management, he explains, deals with the flow of airplanes in and out of the airport, sets up alternate routes that safely accommodate the weather, and makes sure there is a balanced flow of aircraft using both sides of the airport.
Moreau started his air traffic control career with the U.S. Marine Corps and served nine years at Marine Corps Air Stations “all over the place, from Iwakuni, Japan, to El Toro in the LA Basin to Cherry Point, North Carolina.” Chuckling at the memory, he wasn’t really sure what air traffic controllers did when he chose it, “but fire fighter didn’t sound as good.”
When he finished boot camp, Moreau was one of 60 Marines who’d qualified for training as a C-130 navigator, he explained. When this group arrived in Millington, Tennessee, for training, they only had two openings, “so they picked names out of a hat—I wasn’t one of them.” Each of them then had to choose a job in their field, which was aviation. “In the end, I made the right choice,” he said without equivocation.
When he was discharged from the Marines, working for the FAA was a natural next step. That’s how Moreau learned that he’d grown up a block away from Boston Center. “I never knew that the nondescript building was an air route air traffic control center until I interviewed there for my first FAA job.”
Married for 25 years to Christine, Moreau has a 33-year-old stepson, Shawn, and a 20-year-old son, Matthew, who is studying architecture at Texas A&M. A long-time musician, he plays piano, his collection of guitars, and some golf. “Learning all the new stuff at work is fun, too!” he said. “It’s still air traffic,” but as the facility manager the administrative responsibilities are different from what he has done in the past.
What hasn’t changed is the air traffic control responsibility. “Safety is job 1! And customer service is right there with it,” said Moreau. He urges members of the Addison Airport community with air traffic concerns or kudos “to please give me a call. We’re here to serve.”