Richard Kettell, Class of 1972

  • Richard Kettell, Class of 1972, is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, having served in Air Traffic Operations in the United States and Germany. He graduated with an associates degree from the University of Maryland, and was the first air traffic controller hired at the Rochester Air Traffic Control Tower after the infamous industry-wide strike in 1981.

    Richard is now the Air Traffic Manager at Cleveland ARTCC, the world’s busiest air traffic control facility. On September 11, 2001, he assumed responsibility for personally monitoring and relaying terrorist transmissions from United Flight 93. Many people believe the hijacked plane - which crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania - was headed toward a target in Washington, D.C.

    Richard Kettel was honored with the Distinguished Alumni award in 2003.