Many people didn't know the importance of an air traffic controller. The job is demanding and includes a variety of responsibilities to ensure air saftey and traffic control. Our Lauren Kendrick sat down with an air traffic control operator from the Laredo International Airport, and joins is with more. After news that dozens of air control stations are being shut down, I set out to to find out what the job entails and how it affects the air industry. You might not realize there is anyone in the air traffic control tower when you pass by it. In fact, there are three people working 18 hour shifts Monday through Friday making sure the air space is safe. "Here we control air space, five mile radius up to but not including 3,000 feet." Ruben Lopez is the air traffic control manager who's been working in this business for over thirty years. When asked what peaked his interest, he says the excitement of the job. "Nothing ever happens the same twice. That's what makes it exciting coming to work." In addition to commercial airplanes, military and cargo aircraft also come through the Laredo International Airport. One of the aircraft we saw land while in the tower was a border patrol helicopter. Out of all of the 251 contracted towers in the nation, the Laredo air traffic control tower ranks 34 as the busiest. "Importance of the job is safety." Something Lopez and the others take very seriously. He shows us the control board and what each button does. Lopez says they have had to witness emergency landings and are always ready to deal with any situation that may arise. With many towers at airports around the state of Texas closing, he says he can't imagine what that would be like. "It might be chaos. I'm not sure. I've never been in a place that doesn't have controllers." And it doesn't look like the air traffic controllers at the Laredo International Airport have anything to worry about.