ATC is a complex sphere that aims at making air traffic safe and optimal from time and financial perspectives. As a result, the fundamental concepts of the Air Traffic Control modernization plan are focused on these topics. It is possible to emphasize several primary notions in this topic, including the route, the radar, the waypoint, and the autopilot. These concepts reflect the essential components that allow pilots to choose safely and quickly.
The route is the first general concept essential in the ATC modernization plan. It is necessary to note that planes fly using curve lines because the Earth itself is curved, and it is the shortest route. As a result, the routes of all aircraft that make transatlantic flights are the same, and they all fly over the American coast (Wendover Productions, 2016). While planning the optimal way and estimating the time required to arrive at the destination, the wind should be analyzed. Its speed and direction significantly affect the route’s time, and the traffic against the wind usually requires more time than the flight in the same direction (Wendover Productions, 2016). In addition, the cost of every kilometer of flight increases when the wind is active and opposite to the direction of movement.
The second critical concept in the ATC modernization plan is the radar. The leading technological utility allows pilots to orient in the air. The problem is that it works only 400 kilometers offshore, making navigation in transatlantic flights challenging (Wendover Productions, 2016). The pilots use the ten most popular transatlantic routes depending on the weather context and the place of their destination (Wendover Productions, 2016). Radar services terminate when the flight is over, and they are the only source of information about the air traffic surrounding the plane (Wendover Productions, 2016). Air traffic controllers use the plane’s speed and altitude to estimate its route and see the movement of the aircraft on the radars (Wendover Productions, 2016). As a result, they have the most precise vision of the air traffic that pilots do not possess, and their assistance is integral to making the air traffic safe. Therefore, it is impossible to make the flight safe without using the radar and the pre-determined route because the number of planes in the air is excessive, and the traffic is hectic.
Waypoint is another concept that is connected with the ATC modernization plan. This notion describes fixed sports that the pilots use for navigation during the flight (Wendover Productions, 2016). It facilitates navigation and makes it more precise. The peculiar detail is that the names of the waypoints are often creative and do not coincide with the terms of the cities that are situated near them (Wendover Productions, 2016). Pilots usually ask for permission to go to a particular waypoint because the air traffic is heavy, and there is a need for the answer of the traffic controller (Wendover Productions, 2016). In other words, the use of waypoints makes the air routes more fixed and determined because there are no different orientations in the flight, increasing the flight’s safety.
Autopilot is the most vital part of planning the route because all track coordinates are previously programmed. As a result, the pilot must wait and control the work of the autopilot until landing or the possible critical situation that might happen during the flight (Wendover Productions, 2016). The combination of the autopilot and the human presence increases the safety of the flight and allows pilots to make the air traffic stable. Summing up, it is impossible to imagine Air Traffic Control without such concepts as the radar, the route, the waypoint, and the autopilot. These concepts are basic in planning the ATC plan and its modernization.
Wendover Productions. (2016). The plane highway in the sky [Video file]. YouTube. Web.