DALLAS -- Folks at Southwest Airlines are feeling the love. The airline just released their first quarter earnings and have earned big bucks -- $451 million to be exact -- and looks like the sky's the limit without the Wright Amendment.
“We’re getting customers we didn’t have before and its been nothing but positive for Southwest," Command Center Manager Paul Wilson said.
Southwest expects 180 departures out of 18 gates by the end of August -- that’s double what they were doing before the Wright Amendment flew off into the sunset. With so many flights, you're talking about moving a lot of people. That’s where folks at the station command center make sure you - and your stuff -- get to your destination.
“It can get very complicated, it's a ballet of sorts.," Wilson said.
Yeah, these folks need to be on point when it comes to moving planes in and out of the airport.
“They coordinate with the pilots, they coordinate with the ramps, they coordinate with customer service," Wilson said.
Doing all that for 180 flights is a major task, but check out things across the street, where air traffic controllers keep track of over 3,500 flights all across the country.
“This is the NOC, approximately 40,000 square feet, basically where the brain of the airline is headquartered," Network Director Emily Estapa said.
This brain has more than a dozen departments monitoring everything from weather and flight maintenance to every single take-off and landing.
“What we're doing is truly working with them to get people to where they need to be," Estapa said.