Connect with us

Aerospace

How air traffic control works …!?

How air traffic control works ...!?

Air traffic control (ATC)

It is a service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and through controlled airspace, and can provide advisory services to aircraft in non-controlled airspace.

Advertisement

The primary purpose of ATC worldwide is to prevent collisions, organize and expedite the flow of traffic, and provide information and other support for pilots direct them around bad weather and ensure that traffic flows smoothly with minimal delays.. ATC operations are conducted either in the English language or the language used by the station on the ground

How they do it  ? 

Controller use a radar system called secondary surveillance radar for airborne traffic approaching and departing.These displays include a map of the area, the position of various aircraft, and data tags that include aircraft identification, speed, altitude, and other information described in local procedures.

Advertisement

In adverse weather conditions the tower controllers may also use surface movement radar (SMR), surface movement guidance and control systems(SMGCS)

TWR controllers are : 
  • Ground Control 

This generally includes all taxiways, inactive runways, holding areas, and some transitional aprons or intersections where aircraft arrive, having vacated the runway or departure gate. Exact areas and control responsibilities are clearly defined in local documents and agreements at each airport. This is normally done via VHF/UHF radio, but there may be special cases where other procedures are used. Aircraft or vehicles without radios must respond to ATC instructions via aviation light signals

  • Local Control or Air Control. (Tower Control)

Local Control clears aircraft for takeoff or landing, ensuring that prescribed runway separation will exist at all times. If Local Control detects any unsafe condition, a landing aircraft may be told to “go-around” and be re-sequenced into the landing pattern by the approach or terminal area controller.

pic courtesy : sportaviation Australia

Local Control must ensure that Ground Control is aware of any operations that will impact the taxiways, and work with the approach radar controllers to create “holes” or “gaps” in the arrival traffic to allow taxiing traffic to cross runways and to allow departing aircraft to take off

  • Flight Data/Clearance Delivery 

Clearance Delivery is the position that issues route clearances to aircraft, typically before they commence taxiing. These contain details of the route that the aircraft is expected to fly after departure. Clearance Delivery or, at busy airports, the Traffic Management Coordinator (TMC)

The primary responsibility of Clearance Delivery is to ensure that the aircraft have the proper route and slot time. This information is also coordinated with the en route center and Ground Control in order to ensure that the aircraft reaches the runway in time to meet the slot time provided by the command center.

Advertisement
  • Approach and Terminal control

Terminal controllers are responsible for providing all ATC services within their airspace. Traffic flow is broadly divided into departures, arrivals, and overflights.and ensuring that aircraft are at an appropriate altitude when they are handed off, and that aircraft arrive at a suitable rate for landing.

In most countries, this is referred to as Terminal Control; in the U.S., it is referred to as a TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control). While every airport varies, terminal controllers usually handle traffic in a 30-to-50-nautical-mile (56 to 93 km) radius from the airport. Where there are many busy airports close together, one consolidated Terminal Control Center may service all the airports

  • Area control

ATC provides services to aircraft in flight between airports as well. Pilots fly under one of two sets of rules for separation:Visual Flight Rules (VFR) or Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). Air traffic controllers have different responsibilities to aircraft operating under the different sets of rules.

En-route controllers also provide air traffic control services to many smaller airports around the country, including clearance off of the ground and clearance for approach to an airport. Controllers adhere to a set of separation standards that define the minimum distance allowed between aircraft.

Advertisement

When the aircraft approaches its destination, the center is responsible for issuing instructions to pilots so that they will meet altitude restrictions by specific points, as well as providing many destination airports with a traffic flow, which prohibits all of the arrivals being “bunched together”When the aircraft approaches its destination, the center is responsible for issuing instructions to pilots so that they will meet altitude restrictions by specific points, as well as providing many destination airports with a traffic flow, which prohibits all of the arrivals being “bunched together”As an aircraft reaches the boundary of a Center’s control area it is “handed off” or “handed over” to the next Area Control Center.

liked it ..! ?

Share with your friends and families

He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)gmail.com

Advertisement