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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.

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.

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.

  • 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.

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.

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Pakistan’s Ambitious Plan to Acquire and Produce Chinese FC-31 Stealth Fighter

Pakistan’s Ambitious Plan to Acquire and Produce Chinese FC-31 Stealth Fighter

Pakistan is embarking on an ambitious endeavor to bolster its air defense capabilities with the acquisition and potential local production of the Chinese FC-31 stealth fighter jet.

Talks are reportedly underway between the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, the developer of the FC-31, signaling a significant leap forward for Pakistan’s military aviation prowess.

The FC-31, a mid-sized, twin-engine fifth-generation fighter, promises advanced air combat capabilities, including stealth technology that surpasses anything currently in the PAF‘s fleet. With plans to retire the JF-17 production line by 2030, the FC-31 could emerge as the new flagship aircraft, offering unmatched performance and versatility.

Experts speculate that Pakistan’s interest in the FC-31 could also signal broader implications for the international market. As China develops both land and carrier versions of the FC-31, analysts foresee it becoming a cost-effective alternative to pricier options like the F-35, potentially challenging the dominance of the US aerospace industry and reshaping global strategic rivalries.

Adding complexity to the deal is China’s push for the WS-13 engine, previously rejected for the JF-17 but now under consideration for both the FC-31 and future JF-17 variants. Engine standardization could streamline logistical and maintenance processes for the PAF, further enhancing the appeal of the FC-31.

While negotiations continue, the success of the FC-31 acquisition and local production hinges on several factors, including the outcome of the WS-13 engine discussions. Pakistan’s pursuit of the FC-31 comes amidst its eagerness to replace its aging fleet, with previous attempts to upgrade its F-16s by the United States due to geopolitical pressures.

Amidst these developments, Pakistan previous interest in the Turkish-made Kaan fifth-generation fighter underscores its eagerness to replace its aging fleet. Despite previous attempts to secure upgrades for its F-16s from the United States, Pakistan’s quest for advanced aerial capabilities has led it to explore alternative avenues, with the FC-31 emerging as a promising contender in its pursuit of air superiority.

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Aerospace

Airbus presents new Wingman concept at ILA Berlin Airshow

Airbus presents new Wingman concept at ILA Berlin Airshow

At the prestigious ILA aerospace trade show in Berlin, Airbus Defence and Space made waves by introducing its pioneering Wingman concept, marking a significant leap forward in military aviation technology.

Teaming up with Helsing, Europe’s leading defense AI and software company, Airbus showcased a framework cooperation agreement aimed at revolutionizing the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) in defense.

Airbus Wingman

The Wingman concept represents a paradigm shift in aerial warfare, introducing unmanned platforms equipped with advanced AI capabilities to augment the capabilities of manned combat aircraft. Pilots in command aircraft such as the Eurofighter command these autonomous drones, positioning them to undertake high-risk mission tasks that would traditionally pose a significant threat to manned-only aircraft.

Central to the Wingman concept is Manned-Unmanned Teaming, wherein manned aircraft serve as “command fighters,” retaining ultimate control over mission decisions while delegating tactical tasks to unmanned systems. This synergistic collaboration promises to enhance mission flexibility, increase combat mass, and minimize risk exposure for pilots, thereby bolstering overall operational effectiveness.

The capabilities of the Wingman extend across a diverse spectrum of mission profiles, ranging from reconnaissance and target jamming to precision strikes against both ground and aerial targets. Equipped with advanced sensors, connectivity solutions, and a diverse array of armaments, the Wingman stands poised to redefine the operational landscape of modern air forces.

While the Wingman model showcased at ILA Berlin represents the pinnacle of current technological innovation, it also serves as a catalyst for future design iterations. As with any pioneering concept, refinement and evolution are inevitable, with each generation of the Wingman poised to push the boundaries of aerial warfare even further.

MQ-28 Ghost Bat

Boeing introduced the MQ-28 Ghost Bat, an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), which made its maiden flight in February 2021. Developed by Boeing Australia, the MQ-28 leverages artificial intelligence to serve as a force multiplier for manned fighter jets.

The Ghost Bat is engineered to operate in tandem with existing military aircraft, enhancing and extending the capabilities of airborne missions. This cost-effective UCAV is designed to work as an intelligent teammate, complementing and amplifying the effectiveness of manned operations in various mission profiles.

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Aerospace

Take First Glimpse of USAF B-21 Raider, Latest Nuclear Stealth Bomber

Take First Glimpse of USAF B-21 Raider, Latest Nuclear Stealth Bomber
Image:USAF

The United States Air Force (USAF) has unveiled the first photographs of the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider bomber in flight.

These images were captured during test flights conducted by the B-21 Combined Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base, marking a significant milestone in the development of this sixth-generation aircraft.

Currently undergoing flight tests in California, the B-21 Raider represents the next generation of stealth bombers. With an estimated cost of around $700 million per aircraft, the B-21 Raider is poised to become a crucial component of the USAF’s arsenal for conventional Long Range Strike missions.

According to Air Force briefings, the B-21 Raider will form part of a comprehensive family of systems, encompassing Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance capabilities, electronic warfare, communication systems, and more. Notably, the bomber will be nuclear-capable and adaptable for both manned and unmanned operations.

It boasts the flexibility to deploy a wide array of stand-off and direct-attack munitions, ensuring versatility in various combat scenarios. One of the B-21’s distinguishing features is its extensive integration of digital technology, as highlighted in discussions held during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Designed with an open systems architecture, the B-21 Raider is built to swiftly incorporate emerging technologies, ensuring its effectiveness against evolving threats over time. The B-21 Raider is slated to replace the aging B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers, bolstering US national security objectives and providing reassurance to allies and partners worldwide.

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