How Air Traffic Control Works

Publicat pe 18 iun. 2019
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Animation by Josh Sherrington
Sound by Graham Haerther (
Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster
Special thanks to Patreon supporters Adam Chelminski, Arkadiy Kulev, Charles Zilinski, Chris Allen, Connor J Smith, Daddy Donald, Etienne Dechamps, Eyal Matsliah, Hank Green, John & Becki Johnston, Kyle, MyNameIsKir, Plinio Correa, Qui Le, Remi_Scarlet, Tom Dooner, Tyler Hamm, and Vaughn Mudrick
Music by
Select footage courtesy the AP Archive


  • Hey all, so in case you didn't see the announcement video, we launched a new scripted podcast last Wednesday called Extremities. It's all about why and how people live in earth's most isolated and extreme settlements. In season one, we tell the story of Pitcairn Island--a small British territory in the South Pacific with just 50 people. It's 300 miles/500 kilometers away from the nearest other inhabited place, 3000 miles/5000 kilometers away from the nearest city, and 10,000 miles/16,000 kilometers away from its capital city in London. The twist and turns that Pitcairn takes through history and the explanation of why and how Pitcairn still exists today are fascinating, in my biased opinion. Episode 1 is out now, episode 2 comes out tomorrow, and I'd love it if you'd give it a listen. Extremities is available at the following places: Apple Podcasts: Anchor: Spotify: Google Podcasts: Stitcher: Breaker: Overcast: Pocket Casts: Podbean: RadioPublic: I hope you enjoy! -Sam

    • Your name is not Wendover?? My whole life...

    • Wendover Productions wee

    • (◐∇◐*)

    • I guess its the new trend, but I'm surprised so many of these links don't have download options. After looking at the first 5 I just figured none of them let you download them - I figured it was by design. Thanks.

  • French people be like duhhhhhhhhhhhhh we handle duhhhhhhhhhhhhh 1500 flights a day duhhhhhh

  • Well done guys. You managed to capture something rather complex in an easily understandable way. Brgds, Ken

  • Shoutout to my dad at 9:00 !

  • Notice the TV screen broadcasting, well, TV programs. Many control centers in airlines, ATC, or even government and electricity grid control centers make need to make immediate plans if there are breaking news on the TV which would otherwise change their system requirements.

  • so this is how you BREXIT!

  • i now have a fear, like if the pilot forgets to report in to the controller and is travelling in the blind. How does that get solved? Do aircrafts auto report after a timeout?

  • Yisus content quality his HIGH! Keep up the good job.

  • 2:59 the controller is very busy taking boogers out of his nose.

  • The "above" sign for the 24500 ft (and 7500m) is reversed, should be like this "> 24500 ft". "a > b" translates to "a greater than b", so, ">24500ft" = "greater than 24500ft"

  • it seems that the next couple years will be more messy with loads of air planes packed in the sky .. it now time for hyperloop .. safe , fast and easy controllable .

  • Your flight costs are so far out it isn't funny. You're looking at more like $1.80USD per mile for smaller jets ie 8 seats or less which is what wall art will use. And usually they would have up to 6 people on board!

  • Now imagine, if the control room is hacked!

  • Wow, so many planing and managing going on in the background. Hats off to these and others who make possible the uneventful flights.

  • Diplomatically avoids mention of the frequent French ATC strikes and its impact on flow control.

  • Thank you for information. Allahu Akbar!

  • Why does he sound like Half As Interesting

  • This is how Eurocontrol works. Similar to how the American system works but different on many aspects

  • This is an Aviation Productions video made possible by Boeing, Get 10% off you’re 737MAX with the link in the description

  • The system that works the flight plans (FPL) is called IFPS (integrated flight plan system) and then the processed FPL goes to another system called ETFMS (enhanced tactical flow management system) and then goes to the ATC and AO (aircraft operator) and ARO (Air traffic services reporting office) I worked there and it was such a blast you made a video about it 😁😍😍

  • How do I apply this job and what is the requirements?

    • Step one: don’t ask on a video comment Step two: anything else

  • Boston would not have waypoint names- Cubbs and Bears, more like Chicago, Boston would b Patriots, Red Sox or Celtics

  • Shouldn’t the signs be the other way around at 4:38?


  • 3:25 is Gatwick.

  • What are the factors of ATC staff shortage?

  • Why can't he make videos about other things than planes???

  • Will this industry be ripe for disruption by AI?

  • 3:12 is this guy CGI?

  • Being an air traffic controller looks like a hellish job.

  • What Spule Happen to a Pilot who just normaly flies throu France during the ATC strike?

  • Good to know at least this field has vacancies, now i will do ATC course lol

  • Hey Wendover! I live in Mexico and the current government just cancelled half-way into construction a massive international airport at Texcoco to replace it with other two distant airport upgrades including turning a military airbase into a civilian airport. It all has been for political reasons since it turned out to be even more expensive, besides all aviation authorities predicting this decision will be a huge favor. I think It would be interesting to see your take on this case, not only will it be very enriching, but your break-down of complex aviation problems on this would also help lots of people understand the scenario and voice a more informed opinion on the matter!

  • Another great video !!!

  • It’s so amazing.

  • In few years they will be assisted by AI, unless some urgency most of the normal flight will be handled by the machine.

  • Congrats France for being highlighted as causing delays because of strikes !

  • Hello, great video ! How did you get the shot at 11:22 I filmed it on a flight from Montpellier to Paris and sell on stock footage. Didn't found any sales on this one...

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  • Maastricht is in The Netherlands, not Belgium.

  • I'm still wondering: is Breaking Bad an accurate representation of air traffic control, where one controller who's having a bad day can crash a plane and kill hundreds?

    • @Tarik arslan thanks! will check it out

    • Not really.there are systems in airplanes as named tcas or acas.they warn the pilots about collusions and giving avoiding advisory.In that situation pilots are responsible what the tcas says and do not execute what the controller says.I advice u to watch Uberlingen is about that topic.

  • At 1:54 a minion meme is at a desk in the top right

  • 1:53 do i see a fuckin minion meme

  • Why there is a shortage of air traffic controllers?

  • I'm really amazed how traffic control handle language barriers

    • all air traffic controllers (and pilots for that case) everywhere in the world have to speak english

  • I can't even understand the people when they speak not american because it's hard to read those subtitles you have incorporated into your vidoe. America is a not talked about everty second in this video so it's unpatriotic because yuo don't fote for trump 2017

  • This is exactly the amount of detail I like

  • Massive respect to the people that work behind the scenes. 👏👏👏👏👍👍👍

  • 1:57 minion meme. Cringe

  • Why does Maastricht (NL) control the Belgium airspace?

    • @Dede Wx ja ik ben nederlands haha maar bedankt iig

    • Look on Google Maps, it's a very small area between Belgium and Germany. Because eurocontrol is intergouvernmental borders don 't really matter. Ik ben trouwens 90% zeker dat je Nederlands praat maar je weet maar nooit