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CNN10 2022-04-12

CNN 10

Russian And NATO Forces Show Off Their Military Might; Atlanta's Airport The World's Busiest; Taylor Swift's Childhood Home Is For Sale. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired April 12, 2022 - 04:00:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: A visit to the world's busiest airport is coming up on today's show. We'll give you a few minutes to think of where that might be as we begin in Eastern Europe.

I'm Carl Azuz. Thank you for watching.

It appears that two different military forces are flexing their muscles. The "Reuters" news agency reports that hundreds of Russian troops have been staging war games in a Russian territory between Poland and Lithuania. Russia apparently didn't give an official reason for the exercises but they took place as NATO forces prepared to conduct drills of their own in Poland.

The United States is a member of and the largest contributor to NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's an alliance of North American and European countries. Ukraine is not a member of NATO but the alliance has been supporting Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in late February.

That support has come in the form of food supplies, medical supplies and many different types of weapons to help Ukraine in its fight. But there's a limit to what NATO has been willing to do. It won't provide Ukraine with additional fighter jets for instance because Russia has said that would be an escalation that would directly involve other countries in the conflict NATO doesn't want the war in Ukraine spreading outside that country's borders.

Because Ukraine is not a NATO member, the alliance is not required to defend it. But if Russia were to attack a NATO country, it would be in a war with the whole alliance. That's why NATO's military drills are designed to serve as a warning to Russia.


KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No words needed this is the NATO message to Russian President Vladimir Putin. This is the first look at American troops firing weaponry on the ground in Poland since the war in Ukraine began.

U.S. and polish forces publicly showed off the might of the west in a bilateral live fire training exercise. One by one polish tanks lined up heavy artillery and paratroopers dangled from helicopters landing on a battleground that is designed to prepare for a war just a short drive away.

The 82nd Airborne Infantry brigade combat team based at Fort Bragg has been drilling with American Black Hawks here in Poland for weeks, deployed in mid-February before Russia invaded Ukraine.

What we understand is that there are two platoons here, about 60 American troops taking part in this live fire act. It's a show of force. We're about just two hours away from the Ukrainian border. The Americans trying to show that they are indeed working with the Polish troops.

This is just a small snapshot of the greater U.S. force here. A U.S. official says approximately 11,000 U.S. troops are deployed in this NATO country. They're a visible sign of a larger military ramp up near Ukraine. A senior U.S. official tells CNN about eight to ten aircraft a day land at airfields near Ukraine, with weapons and security assistance material that is moved into the war-torn country by truck convoy.

This bilateral drill ends with a photo op for the cameras, the two countries side by side.

What is the message you're sending to Russia?

COL. MICHAL MALYSKA, POLISH TERRITORIAL DEFENSE FORCES: We are strong. We cooperate with our forces from the all NATO. We are ready for an action. We are ready to defend our country.



AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

Where would you find the world's oldest airport?

Maryland, USA, North Carolina, USA, Paris, France, or Hamburg, Germany?

Flights began at Maryland's College Park Airport in 1909 when Wilbur Wright trained two military pilots.


AZUZ: And 550 miles southwest of College Park is where you'll find Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is once again the busiest airport on Earth, according to an airport trade association.

We said once again because in 2020, China's Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport took the top spot away from Atlanta as the COVID pandemic set in.

Guangzhou saw almost 43.8 million passengers in 2020. Atlanta saw just under 43 million. In 2021, whose numbers were just released by Airports Council International, Atlanta saw 75.67 million passengers far more than any other airport.

It was a big jump from 2020, but still 32 percent lower than travel was in 2019 before the pandemic. An executive with Airports Council International says restrictions like vaccine and quarantine requirements actually did more harm than good to air transportation and tourism. Worldwide, air travel last year was more than 50 percent lower than it was before COVID.


BRIAN WILANTE, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER, ATLANTA: When you push back off the gate, you're going to be talking to an air traffic controller from the minute you start taxing to the runway to get to your final destination.

We have five parallel runways and I was working departures off of Runway 28.

I'm talking directly to the pilot in the cockpit and I'm issuing line up and wait procedures, which means he'll line up on the runway and I'm showing take-off clearances.

We run 2,700 airplanes a day. Volume breeds complexity here in Atlanta. There's so many aircraft calling for taxi instructions, so many aircraft returning from the landing runways trying to get to the gates.

You're asking an air traffic controller with their beverage of choices. It's probably coffee you got to stay alert and you got to be focused at all times.

Because of the volume that we have here we run a probably about five or six emergencies a shift. And when these aircraft come into the airspace, we get them into the airport as quickly as possible. You probably wouldn't even notice it. it's just -- just another day at work and the guys, they're professionals. We just keep moving though..

But we all don't work in air traffic control towers. Once they get into the terminal environment where they have to start descending and getting into the airport to land, they come into what's like a bottleneck and they have to be sequenced to the airport and that's what the radar approach controller does.

MIKE RYAN, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER, ATLANTA TRACON: Everybody controls chunks of airspace. A plane flies through airspace. He's being handed off from one controller to another controller.

The center is the freeways in the sky, and we're the off ramps -- the towers, the parking garage. So we take them off the off-ramp and line them up so they can go into the parking garage smoothly.

In layman's terms, it's taking them from fast and high and getting them low and slow, and getting them a lot closer before they get into the tower.

You know, it's not the movies. You don't walk in the first day and they plug you in and you go to work. There's a lot of map study and memorization work involved. Everything on that radar screen means something.

I really do love doing the job. I mean, I've been doing it for 22 years. Those thunderstorms roll through, that room really pulls together and we make it work. You go home at the other day go, man, we work through some pretty rough weather and we still landed all those airplanes. That's -- we take a lot of pride in that here.

WILANTE: I always liked aviation since being a kid. I used to have a little matchbox airport that you could fold out and have little die cast airplanes and stuff like. That it was one of my favorite things I had to play with. But I get to play with them for real.

But don't misconstrue what I'm saying. What we do here is extremely important. The sheer volume of what we do every day and doing it without any -- without a hiccup that's job satisfaction enough. You're never going to be outside of an air traffic controller's control per se in this country, and they're going to be guiding you home.

That 1859 contact departure, have a good flight.


AZUZ: If you want to know what we're planning to cover on each day's show but you don't have 10 minutes to watch, you can get a summary of our planned topics with our free newsletter. It's sent out the night before each show's air date, and all you got to do to get it is tell us what email address to send it to. Please click "sign up for daily emails" at CNN.com.


AZUZ: If you've ever wanted to own a pretty large piece of music history - - well, this home's for sale in Pennsylvania. It was once rented by the family of Taylor Swift when she was a kid before they moved to Tennessee to pursue her music career. It's a five-bedroom, three and a half bath Georgian colonial property, about 3,500 square feet. It's much older than Swift herself, having been built in 1929.

But this is said to be the place where she learned to play guitar and write songs, and it can be all yours for a million dollars.

Of course, everything has changed since Taylor called that home mine, and the highway don't care if she'd look back and say we are never ever getting back together or you belong with me. Is it where she left teardrops on her guitar? Does it make her think Tim McGraw? She could probably shake it off.

But if sparks fly whatever you think popped memorabilia, maybe you could ride up there in a white horse and make a fairy tale out of home sweet home.

I'm Carl Azuz and today's shout-out takes us to Chouteau, Oklahoma, where we are thrilled to see the students of Chouteau High School.

The one place we look for shout out requests is on our YouTube channel. That's YouTube.com/CNN10.