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Paper Topic:

US History of Air Traffic Control

Running head : US History of Air Traffic Control

US History of Air Traffic Control

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The U .S . National Airspace System (NAS ) makes use of computers for a great part of its data management and information transfer , however the air traffic control process itself is still an almost completely human operation performed by highly skilled air traffic controllers whose information is derived from processed radar data , voice communication with pilots , as well as printed flight data strips . While ATC

system automation is prehistoric compared to the advanced technology in the aircraft that it controls , the system is a really extraordinary human-machine system that has accommodated itself to huge demands on it In recent years , the system has been named on to handle traffic volume well beyond what a few years ago was thought to be its capacity . It has done so due to the creativity and flexibility of its operators and managers

During this same period , the air transport system itself been beset by continuous change , completely unlike anything known during its seventy year history . In their former regulated environment , air carriers were capable to set operating standards at a level well above the minimums needed by regulations . The same could be said of air traffic control safety and conservatism were the superseding factors in its design and implementation (Daniel J . Garland , John A . Wise , V . David Hopkin , 1999

This state of affairs altered noticeably during the 1980s for numerous reasons , together with the air traffic controllers ' strike in 1981 and a huge increase in discretionary travel brought about by airline deregulation also the emergence of unfettered competition . The aviation system worked well regardless of these perturbations however carriers found it essential to adopt radically different ways of doing business A major change was the introduction of "hub-and-spoke " flying , in which carriers selected "hub " airports , flew long segments between them , after that shunted passengers onto shorter "spoke " flights to get them to their destinations

This produced huge concentrations of traffic that had previously been more reasonably spaced , with resulting workload increases for controllers . The air traffic control system found itself handling considerable peak loads of traffic with outdated equipment , chronic understaffing , as well as less experienced controllers in lots of facilities . As the early 1980s , the FAA has been working on plans for a radical upgrading of the ATC infrastructure concerning major increases in automation to develop controller productivity , eradicate airspace bottlenecks , and augment traffic throughput . The first of the new equipment was planned to be installed in the Seattle Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC ) in late 1994 , however the implementation schedule has slipped significantly and the costs have risen by nearly three billion dollars (Paul R . Schulman , 2001

History of ATC

Air traffic control started at airports during the late 1920s . The first controllers used flags and stood outside later , control towers were built and controllers used light guns to present one-way communication with airplanes . Radios...

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