This is an entry in my story book, inspired by the Anecdotally Speaking Podcast, specifically episode 2.
It’s the turn of the 21st century.
New head of the Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S. is appointed
During his job interviewed he made sure he had decision making power. He did.
His first day was September 11, 2001.
He had to get 5000 planes out of the sky ASAP and they didn’t know is any others were controlled by terrorists.
It has never been done before. Rulebooks didn’t apply.
In four hours they got every plane on the group. Amazing.
After the event FAA did an after action review. What could they learn.
At first they thought they should create more policies and rules in case it happened again.
But then they discovered one the reasons they could ground all the planes was because the air traffic controllers were highly connected, they knew each other personally, they had trained together and kept in contact and on the day they helped each other out.
They phoned each other and asked favours. “Can you fit another 747 on your tarmac?” The little airports helped the big and vice versa.
The FAA concluded they needed to keep nurturing these networks.