Air traffic control aims to move aircraft safely and efficiently through the airspace system. Controllers keep
aircraft set distances apart while moving them from airport to airport using set routes.
Airlines will file a flight plan with air traffic control so every controller who deals with the flight on its
journey is aware of its details and route.
When an aircraft is at an airport, the pilots on board will be in contact with controllers in the airports control
tower. Air traffic controllers will look after the aircraft while it is on the ground and give it permission to take
Once airborne the pilot will then normally talk to another controller using a radar screen to track the aircraft’s
progress through the airways system (equivalent to motorways in the sky).
Each controller is responsible for aircraft in a set piece of airspace. When an aircraft is nearing the edge of
their sector they will coordinate its handover to the next controller. This will continue through the aircraft’s
journey until it is handed over to the controller at the destination airport.
Most airliners are monitored by controllers using radar in airways and routes known as ‘controlled airspace’. The
majority of airspace that is left is known as ‘uncontrolled’ and this is used by the military and recreational pilots.
In this airspace some air traffic control services are provided, especially near airfields, but in much of the airspace
it is the pilots’ responsibility to see and avoid each other.
Visit us at @aeroexpo and pick up our latest Listening Squawk card - it lists all airport codes & frequencies. Keep… https://t.co/2GrfAER0Ug
4 days ago
If you are going to be at @aeroexpo over the next 3 days, pop along to our stand and say hello. Fell free to ask ou… https://t.co/SuWDbI24uM
4 days ago
Airports have told us they have enhanced disability awareness training for customer agents and security staff so t… https://t.co/RnWDUYKy0G
6 days ago
Read all @UK_CAA
Only use approved commercial drone users or you could be out of pocket – warns CAA
24 May, 2018
How late would you book?
22 May, 2018
Civil Aviation Authority launches review of airlines’ allocated seating policies
2 February, 2018
Read all News
Planning your next holiday abroad?
10 April, 2018
‘Share the Air’ gets off to a flying start
1 December, 2017
Passengers with hidden disabilities
8 December, 2016
Read All Blogs