Job: Donald W. “Donny” Cone Jr., AE’02, Econ’02, is an air traffic controller and trainer at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport.
Position perks: “Every hour in every day is different. I have no idea what will happen when I plug in. Plus I get to look out windows and see airplanes and a beautiful view of Lake Pontchartrain.” Three sides of the airport are surrounded by water.
Hurdles: “I love textbook answers and equations, but I’ve had to learn to deal with non-textbook problems and solutions daily. There are no ‘cookie-cutter’ answers. I must know many rules and how to apply them; however, this job is so dynamic, I’m challenged regularly to quickly choose the best of many right answers.”
Jump starts: When he was in Rolla, he worked as a dispatcher at the Rolla Airport and earned his pilot license during his freshman year.
Off the clock: “I go kayaking at least once a month, day or night, rain or shine, summer or winter. It’s mentally relaxing and great exercise. I’ve also crewed for a hot air balloon team for a year and am looking to buy my own balloon. I’m not a movies and TV guy.”
Next up: Cone would like to meet the right woman, get married and settle down.