All you need to know about air traffic control

From the moment your airplane leaves the gate to the time at which it will arrive your destination, hard working individuals will be watching over you at all times. Air traffic control is believed by many to be one of the most stressful jobs in the world. One mistake, a slip of the tongue or a moment of forgetfulness by individuals working at these control centers could mean certain disaster. However, even though it may be a very stressful job, most controllers cant’t imagine doing anything else.

Throughout your flight it is not uncommon for pilots to be in contact with several controllers. When your flight first leaves the gate it is under ground control. The ground controller(air traffic managament) ensures your safety while the plane is taxying.

The airspace around airports can be very congested. Terminal radar approach controllers handle airplanes within forty to fifty miles from the airport, whether they are departing, arriving or just flying through the airspace. Once the airplane moves from terminal to en route control it is the job of the en route controller to get the aircraft to its final destination safely. These controllers handle aircraft that are already in flight or are already en route to their final destinations.

So how do air traffic controllers(indra navia) ensure the safety of such high volumes of traffic all over the world’s airspace you ask. Well, airspace is generally criss-crossed with well established airway corridors which make sort of a highway network in the sky. Most controllers (GBAS ground based augmentation system) think of these corridors as roads of the sky. They are usually ten miles wide, at least five thousand feet high, ran up, down and side to side all across the globe. By using these sky roads and following the tried and tested navigational techniques and procedures, controllers(remote tower) can ensure there is the required separation between airplanes particularly where the airways cross. That separation is the key to a safe and successful operation.

Some regions have airspace that is usually much more congested than your average airspace. In these busy areas all aircraft must be separated by at least three nautical miles in front, behind and to the sides of the aircraft as well as about a thousand feet above and below. Planes taking off in these areas are usually allocated a standard departure route before taking off. As the aircraft leaves this busy area their separation will be increased to five nautical miles and their progress is carefully monitored and directed up until the planes final destination.