Air Traffic Control
Why do we need it? - Its Objective.
Aviation has come a long way since the days when safe operation between aircraft was based purely on the 'SEE AND BE SEEN' principle. With the aircraft closing speeds in excess of 1000 mph, and increasing density of air traffic, the impracticability of reliance upon such a system is obvious.
Hence the need for air traffic control service has arisen. The need to safeguard passengers, crew and aircraft is now met by ground based infrastructure, in which air traffic controllers issue mandatory instructions to pilots. The aim of Air Traffic Control Service is to ensure a safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic.
Primary objective of Air Traffic Control is to prevent collisions between aircraft. In order to achieve this objective, the Air Traffic Controller issues clearances to provide safe separation between aircraft at any given time. Internationally agreed standards and procedures are followed to accommodate the aircraft movements in a safe and orderly manner.
Air Traffic Control - The Profession
This profession only needs the ability to visualize quickly and solve in real time, what must be considered a complex three dimensional problem involving the intuitive calculation of closure rates, separations, differential speeds and rates of climb and descend. In heavy traffic situations the responsibility shouldered is awesome.
A degree of stress is always present as a single moment of inattention – or a simple oversight or miscalculation –can lead to a catastrophe. Few jobs involve the unremitting effort, focus and concentration required of a controller. The essential role of Air Traffic Controller has been described simply as converting traffic demand into traffic flow. In this simple statement is encompassed a wide range of functions and skills, not all of which are common to every ATC task, but all of which depend heavily on the human element, the Air Traffic Controller. Every traffic situation is different and must be resolved in real time without error. A large number of details have to be remembered and factored into every decision.
In most jobs one can usually get by with odd slip-up or an occasionally unfocused mind. Not so in Air Traffic Control where the margin for error is zero. Who Are Air Traffic Controllers
The limited field of view from the pilot's cockpit limits pilot's ability to avoid any close proximity to other air traffic around him during the course of the flight as well as on the ground. He is, therefore, dependent on the Air Traffic Controller for directing him in his flight and on the ground for all manoeuvres right till the end of his journey.
To eliminate confusion in understanding a particular instruction, standard Radio Phraseologies have been laid down which are understood by the pilots and Air Traffic Controllers the world over. A small mistake by Air Traffic controller or a misunderstanding by a pilot can result in a disaster and the loss of many lives. While pilots are required to follow Controller's instructions faithfully and meticulously, Air traffic Controller ensures that the instructions given are clear and flawless.
Air traffic Controllers are well trained professionals who design the sequencing of air traffic in the air space and along pre-determined routes of arrival and departure to and from airports around the world. They are responsible for the management of flow of safe, orderly and expeditious traffic with least possible delays on the ground as well as in the air. They are also responsible for providing advice and information useful for the safe and efficient conduct of flight and alerting appropriate organizations regarding aircraft in need of assistance, search and rescue.
A Controller is a quick thinking man who doesn't have the privilege to stall. He is like a surgeon, composed in knowledge, precise in actions yet without the benefit of burying...
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