Chapter 5


Catapults (CATO)
Gravity assistance
Carrier aircraft
"Jet Donkeys"
5.2 Ground Controller
5.3 Approach and terminal control


A well-known type of assisted take off is that using the aircraft catapult. In modern systems fitted
on aircraft carriers, a piston, known as a shuttle, is propelled down a long cylinder under steam
pressure. The aircraft is attached to the shuttle using a tow bar or launch bar mounted to the nose
landing gear (an older system used a steel cable called a catapult bridle; the forward ramps on
older carrier bows were used to catch these cables), and is flung off the deck at about 15 knots
above minimum flying speed, achieved by the catapult in a 4 second run.

The United States is replacing carrier steam catapults with linear induction motors. The system is
called the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS). An electromagnetic wave
travelling through the motor propels the armature along its length, pulling the plane with it. With
this system, it will be possible to match launch power and aircraft weight more closely than with
the steam system, causing less wear on the aircraft.
The catapult approach is also used for towing gliders into the air. This can be accomplished using
an elastic bungee arrangement, or more commonly using a cable wound onto a winch, powered
by a large diesel engine. The bungee approach is rarely used for man-carrying gliders, as the
acceleration is uncontrolled and can yield very high G-forces. It is commonly used to
launch model gliders however. Manned gliders are commonly launched simply by towing them
aloft behind a powered aircraft. Aircraft Launch System
Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) is a system under development by
the United States Navy to launch aircraft from carriers using a linear motor drive instead of
steam pistons used in conventional aircraft catapults. This technology reduces stress on airframes
because they can be accelerated more gradually to takeoff speed than steam-powered catapults.
EMALS also uses less fresh water, reducing the need for energy-intensive desalinization.
The EMALS is being developed by General Atomics for the U.S. Navy's newest Fordclass aircraft carriers. It was also considered for the Royal Navy's new Queen Elizabeth-class
aircraft carriers (CVF), but the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy opted for
a Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing (VSTOL) configuration instead with the option of
installing steam generators for steam powered catapults, or according to some sources EMALS,
at a later date. In August 2009, speculation mounted that the UK may drop the STOVL F-35B for
the CTOL F-35C model,
which would
EMALS Specifications
mean the carriers being
built to operate
conventional (CV) take off
and landing
End Speed
28-103 m/s
aircraft utilizing the USdesigned nonsteam EMALS catapults. Max Peak-to-Mean Tow Force Ratio 1.05 How EMALS

Launch Energy

122 MJ

Cycle Time

45 seconds

System Weight


< 225,000 kg

System Volume

< 425 m^3

Endspeed Variation

-0 to +1.5 m/s


and can be recharged within 45 seconds of a launch.4 Energy storage subsystem The induction motor requires a large amount of electric energy in just a few seconds — more than the ship's own power source can provide.3 Linear induction motor The linear induction motor consists of a row of stator coils that have the function of a conventional motor’s rotor.1. The EMALS consists of four main elements 5.000 kg) aircraft to 130 knots (240 km/h) 5. minimizing reactive losses. Each rotor can store more than 100 mega joules.[ 3 . The EMALS' 300 ft (91 m) LIM will accelerate a 100. EMALS' energy-storage subsystem draws power from the ship and stores it kinetically on rotors of four disk alternators. faster than steam catapults.000 lb (45. When energized. the motor accelerates the carriage down the track.The EMALS uses a linear induction motor (LIM).1.1. which uses electric currents to generate magnetic fields that propel a carriage down a track to launch the aircraft.1. Only the section of the coils surrounding the carriage is energized at any given time.

which helps reduce the launch stresses on the plane’s airframe. have extensive mechanical. the power conversion subsystem releases the stored energy from the disk alternators using a cycloconverter.6 Control consoles Operators control the power through a closed loop system. Steam catapults. The closed loop system allows the EMALS to maintain a constant tow force. EMALS can control the launch performance with greater precision. Hall effect sensors on the track monitor its operation. energizing only the small portion of stator coils that affect the launch carriage at any given moment.1. occupies less space.5 Power conversion subsystem During launch. and uses less energy.1.7 Advantages A French Rafale M performs a catapult-assisted launch from the flight deck of the USS Enterprise. pneumatic. allowing it to launch more kinds of aircraft. and hydraulic subsystems.1. 29 percent more than steam's 4 . which makes it suitable for the Navy's planned all-electric ships. [ The cycloconverter provides a controlled rising frequency and voltage to the LIM. 5.5. EMALS uses no steam. which would reduce the aircraft’s takeoff speed and consequently the launch energy. Compared to steam catapults.1.1. is more reliable.1. 5. EMALS can also deliver 122 mega joules of energy. The EMALS could be more easily incorporated into a ramp. allowing the system to ensure that it provides the desired acceleration. EMALS weighs less. requires less maintenance and manpower. from heavy fighter jets to light unmanned aircraft. which use about 614 kilograms of steam per launch. Compared to steam catapults.

The EMALS will be more efficient than the 5-percent efficient steam catapults.2 JATO and RATO 5 .1.approximately 95 mega joules. 5.

3 Phase 2. Photo showing the NMUSAF B-36's starboard pair of J 47turbojets. when heavy bombers started to require two or more miles of runways to take off fully laden.JATO stands for 'Jet-assisted take off' (and the similar RATO for 'Rocket-assisted take off'). In the JATO and RATO systems. After that the engines are usually jettisoned. Such systems were popular during the 1950s. they were an integral part of the aircraft's powerplants. However some aircraft such as the Avro Shackleton MR. or else they just add to the parasitic weight and drag of the aircraft. 6 . This was exacerbated by the relatively low power available from jet engines at the time . and cruise at altitude. additional engines are mounted on the airframe which are used only during takeoff. had permanently attached JATO engines. climb.for example the B-52 Stratofortress required 8 turbojet engines to yield the required performance. During WW2 the German Arado 234 and the Messerschmitt 323 "Gigant" used rocket units beneath the wings for assisted take off. The four J-47 turbojet engines on the B-36 were not considered JATO systems. and were used during takeoff. and still needed RATO for very heavy payloads ( a proposed update of the B-52 replaces these with half the number of much more powerful engines).

A rocket assisted Boeing B-47B take off.3 Gravity Assistance 7 . RATO and JATO bottles were seen as a way for fighter aircraft to utilize the undamaged sections of runways of airfields which had been attacked. In a Cold War context.1. 5.

city walls and cliffs. In the interwar years in order to achieve long ranges with the technology of the time. This allows the daughter craft to be designed with fewer weight and aerodynamic restrictions allowing for exotic configurations to be used or tested. 8 . sometimes on rails or ramps. and previously the Bell X-1 and other X-planes. trials were undertaken with float planes piggy backed atop flying boats. Generally more successful were attempts in which speed was built up by accelerating downhill and mountain slopes. the atmospheric flight tests of the Space Shuttle.4 Carrier Aircraft Probably the ultimate form of gravity assistance is when an aircraft is released from a larger mother ship or mother craft.1.Early pioneers in powered and unpowered flight used gravity to accelerate their aircraft to a speed which allowed its wings to generate enough lift to achieve independent flight. Usually the rationale for such a system is to free the daughter craft from the need to climb to its release height on its own devices. for example the recent Space Ship One. 5.g. This may be because the daughter craft is incapable of taking off normally e. With the float plane carried part of the way to its destination and freed from having to use any of its own fuel in the initial climb these combinations could deliver light but time critical cargos faster and farther than a single individual aircraft. A X-15 pictured just after release by a B-52 carrier aircraft. These included attempts to achieve flight from towers.

The system was never developed.1 Air Traffic Control 9 . it was not constrained by the need for low weight. The system only reached the early stages of development. and so could be fitted with very large and powerful engines. Because the dolly did not need to fly itself.5 Jet Donkeys An unusual assisted take off scheme was partially developed during the 1950s which consisted of a jet powered truck or dolly which ran either on rubber tires or rails. Sketches of the proposed system show a strange canard-layout aircraft with its cockpit in the tail. detach in flight and return to the airfield to be reused.1. The idea was that a small powerful secondary aircraft could push the heavy main aircraft into the air. it was not long before the further development of the jet engine meant that most of these assisted take off schemes became unnecessary 5. Once airborne.Hot air balloons have acted as "mother ships" to hang gliders and para gliders in altitude and distance record attempts. pushing the main aircraft via a long extended nose.2 Ground Controller 5.2. The same company was also drawing up plans for a flyable version of the dolly launch system. the dolly would instantly detach. which it called "jet donkeys". 5. used to push a heavy aircraft into the air.

2 History In 1919. When controllers are responsible for separating some or all aircraft. as required by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). the International Commission for Air Navigation (ICAN) was created to develop General Rules for Air Traffic. In all cases. the ATC can provide additional services such as providing information to pilots. or be run entirely by the military (as in Brazil). Although the native language for a region is normally used. The primary purpose of ATC systems worldwide is: to separate aircraft to prevent collisions to organize and expedite the flow of traffic to provide information and other support for pilots when able. In many countries. 5. In some countries.2. The United States did not sign the ICAN Convention. Depending on the type of fl ight and the class of airspace. and commercial). ATC services are provided throughout the majority of airspace. and may deviate from ATC instructions in an emergency. In addition to its primary function. vertical and longitudinal separation minima. the pilot in command has final responsibility for the safety of the flight. or merely flight information (in some countries known as advisories) to assist pilots operating in the airspace. and its services are available to all users (private. but later developed its own set of air traffic rules after passage of the Air Commerce Act of 1926. ATC may issue instructions that pilots are required to follow. English must be used on request. Its rules and procedures were applied in most countries where aircraft operated. Preventing collisions is referred to as separation. ATC may also play a security or defense role (as in the United States). This legislation 10 . however. which is a term used to prevent aircraft from coming too close to each other by use of lateral.Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and in the air. such airspace is called "controlled airspace" in contrast to "uncontrolled airspace" where aircraft may fly without the use of the air traffic control system. many aircraft now have collision avoidance systems installed to act as a backup to ATC observation and instructions. weather and navigation information and NOTAMs (NOtices To AirMen). military.

the first radio-equipped control tower in the United States began operating at the Cleveland Municipal Airport.authorized the Department of Commerce to establish air traffic rules for the navigation. and soon the CAA began taking over operations at the first of these towers.665. radio-equipped airport traffic control towers began to replace the flagmen. and identification of aircraft. By 1935. Increases in the number of flights created a need for ATC that was not just confined to airport areas but also extended out along the airways. some airport operators realized that such general rules were not enough to prevent collisions. including rules as to safe altitudes of flight and rules for the prevention of collisions between vessels and aircraft. airway radio operators. In 1935. In response to wartime needs. As more aircraft were fitted for radio communication. protection. New Jersey. waving flags to communicate with pilots. stood on the field. In 1930. ATC at most airports was eventually to become a permanent federal responsibility. Cleveland. Early controllers. In July 1936.000 was made ($2. the principal airlines using the Chicago. Congress appropriated funds for the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) to construct and operate ATC towers. and airport traffic controllers. In December.960 today). en route ATC became a federal responsibility and the first appropriation of $175. In the postwar era. For example. like Archie League (one of the first system’s flagmen). The Federal Government provided airway traffic control service. The early controllers tracked the position of planes using maps and blackboards and little boatshaped weights that came to be called shrimp boats. In 1941. with their number growing to 115 by 1944. but local government authorities where the towers were located continued to operate those facilities. the first Airway Traffic Control Center opened at Newark. pilots were told not to begin their takeoff until there is no risk of collision with landing aircraft and until preceding aircraft are clear of the field. Additional centers at Chicago and Cleveland followed in 1936. As traffic increased. The first rules were brief and basic. and Newark airports agreed to coordinate the handling of airline traffic between those cities. They had no direct radio link with aircraft but used telephones to stay in touch with airline dispatchers. about 20 radio control towers were operating. the CAA also greatly expanded its en route air traffic control system. They began to provide a form of air traffic control (ATC) based on visual signals. 11 .

the FAA instituted two layers of airways. the FAA began successful testing of a system under which flights in certain positive control areas were required to carry a radar beacon.716 m). the FAA opened a new Air Traffic Control System Command Center with advanced equipment. In 1946. the introduction of radar.000 to 45. this new technology allowed controllers to see the position of aircraft tracked on visual displays. the FAA developed complex computer systems that would replace the plastic markers for tracking aircraft thereby modernizing the National Airspace System. The FAA established a Central Flow Control Facility in April 1970. In 1960. It also standardized aircraft instrument settings and navigation checkpoints to reduce the controllers' workload. to prevent clusters of congestion from disrupting the nationwide air traffic flow. Under these conditions. Four years later. In January 1982. controllers were able to reduce the separation between aircraft by as much as half the standard distance. Controllers could now view information sent by aircraft transponders to form alphanumeric symbols on a simulated three dimensional radar screen. Pilots in this airspace were also required to fly on instruments regardless of the weather and to remain in contact with controllers. New Doppler Radars and better transponders complemented automatic. more advanced systems for ATC. radio broadcasts of surface and flight conditions. 12 . This type of ATC became increasingly sophisticated and important.000 feet (13.000 to 18. For many years. air route traffic control centers were consolidated. and improvements in ground-to-air surveillance and communication.486 meters) above ground and the second from 18. one from 1. it placed a large order for long-range radars for use in en route ATC. Better computers and software were developed. The plan called for modernized flight service stations. the agency had begun its first routine use of radar for approach and departure control. Originally developed by the British for military defense. The system allowed controllers to focus on providing separation by automating complex tasks. From 1965 to 1975. the CAA unveiled an experimental radar-equipped tower for control of civil flights.000 feet (305 to 5. and the number of flight service stations reduced. In September 1964. the FAA unveiled the National Airspace System (NAS) Plan. and in 1994. By 1952. called a transponder that identified the aircraft and helped to improve radar performance. a system that uses radio waves to detect distant objects. pilots had negotiated a complicated maze of airways.The postwar years saw the beginning of a revolutionary development in ATC.

a global navigation satellite system. In 1994 the FAA simplified its needs and picked new contractors. weather. the FAA and industry began applying some of the early capabilities developed by the Free Flight program. Navigation and Surveillance for Air Traffic Management System that relies on the most advanced aircraft transponder. the FAA selected IBM to develop the new multi-billion-dollar Advanced Automation System (AAS) for the Nation's en route ATC centers. The revised modernization program continued under various project names." that would incorporate new display. and hazards. controllers began their first use of an early version of the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System. The system had upgraded hardware enabling increased automation of complex tasks. communications and processing capabilities.2. the FAA reviewed its order for the planned AAS. In 1999. AAS would include controller workstations. Full implementation of this concept would involve technology that made use of the Global Positioning System to help track the position of aircraft. 5. providing more efficient workstations for en route controllers. In 1994. In 1998. In December 1993. which included new displays and capabilities for approach control facilities. called "sector suites. Current studies to upgrade ATC include the Communication. the concept of Free Flight was introduced. and ultra-precise radar. IBM was far behind schedule and had major cost overruns. Tests are underway to design new cockpit displays that will allow pilots to better control their aircraft by combining as many as 32 types of information about traffic. FAA completed deployment of the Display System Replacement.3 Airport Control Tower 13 . During the following year.In July 1988. It might eventually allow pilots to use on board instruments and electronics to maintain a safe distance between planes and to reduce their reliance on ground controllers.

2. having vacated the runway or departure gate. holding areas. Most aircraft and airside vehicles have radios. and Flight Data/Clearance Delivery—other categories. and some transitional aprons or intersections where aircraft arrive. may exist at extremely busy airports. or person walking or working in these areas is required to have clearance from Ground Control. Controllers may use a radar system called Secondary Surveillance Radar for airborne traffic approaching and departing. windowed structure located on the airport grounds. 5.4 Ground Control Ground Control (sometimes known as Ground Movement Control abbreviated to GMC or Surface Movement Control abbreviated to SMC) is responsible for the airport "movement" areas. 14 . People working on the airport surface normally have a communications link through which they can communicate with Ground Control. Latin America's second busiest airport. such as multiple teams of controllers ('crews') at major or complex airports with multiple runways. While each ATCT may have unique airport-specific procedures.Inside the São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport's tower. The primary method of controlling the immediate airport environment is visual observation from the airport traffic control tower (ATCT). inactive runways. Ground Control. vehicle. heading. the position of various aircraft. the following provides a general concept of the delegation of responsibilities within the ATCT environment. These displays include a map of the area. The ATCT is a tall. This is normally done via VHF/UHF radio. Radar displays are also available to controllers at some airports. This generally includes all taxiways.7 to 9. Local Control or Air Control. as well as areas not released to the airlines or other users. but there may be special cases where other processes are used. Exact areas and control responsibilities are clearly defined in local documents and agreements at each airport. Aircraft or vehicles without radios must respond to ATC instructions via aviation light signals or else be led by vehicles with radios. and other information described in local procedures.2 km) depending on the airport procedures. commonly either by handheld radio or even cell phone. Any aircraft. generally 2 to 5 nautical miles (3. and aircraft in the air near the airport. and data tags that include aircraft identification. such as Apron Control or Ground Movement Planner. The areas of responsibility for ATCT controllers fall into three general operational disciplines. Aerodrome or Tower controllers are responsible for the separation and efficient movement of aircraft and vehicles operating on the taxiways and runways of the airport itself. speed.

The 15 .5. ASDE-3.2. at busy airports. although this is not as prevalent as CRM for pilots.2. there may be ground "stops" (or "slot delays") or re-routes may be necessary to ensure the system does not get overloaded. AMASS or ASDE-X. Crew Resource Management (CRM) procedures are often used to ensure this communication process is efficient and clear. ensuring that prescribed runway separation will exist at all times. however. and work with the approach radar controllers to create "holes" or "gaps" in the arrival traffic to allow taxiing traffic to cross runways and to allow departing aircraft to take off. a landing aircraft may be told to "go-around" and be re-sequenced into the landing pattern by the approach or terminal area controller.Ground Control is vital to the smooth operation of the airport. and to interface with other systems such as digital flight strips. Clearance Delivery or.1 Flight Data / Clearance Delivery Clearance Delivery is the position that issues route clearances to aircraft. Often. 5. because this position impacts the sequencing of departure aircraft. radar target. Within the ATCT. Older systems will display a map of the airport and the target. such releases are given automatically or are controlled by local agreements allowing "free-flow" departures. Ground Control must request and gain approval from Local Control to cross any active runway with any aircraft or vehicle. Local Control clears aircraft for takeoff or landing. These contain details of the route that the aircraft is expected to fly after departure. Local Control must ensure that Ground Control is aware of any operations that will impact the taxiways. When weather or extremely high demand for a certain airport or airspace becomes a factor. Likewise. These are used by Ground Control as an additional tool to control ground traffic. the Traffic Management Coordinator (TMC) will. Some busier airports have Surface Movement Radar (SMR). such as. There are a wide range of capabilities on these systems as they are being modernized. designed to display aircraft and vehicles on the ground. 5.5 Local Control or Air Control Local Control (known to pilots as "Tower" or "Tower Control") is responsible for the active runway surfaces. typically before they commence taxiing. affecting the safety and efficiency of the airport's operation. data blocks. Newer systems include the capability to display higher quality mapping. particularly at night or in poor visibility. a highly disciplined communications process between Local Control and Ground Control is an absolute necessity. and safety alerts. If Local Control detects any unsafe condition. if necessary. coordinate with the en route center and national command center or flow control to obtain releases for aircraft.

United States. Where there are many busy airports in close proximity. While every airport varies. airport ground delays/ground stops.S. This information is also coordinated with the en route center and Ground Control in order to ensure that the aircraft reaches the runway in time to meet the slot time provided by the command center. At some airports. Flight Data may inform the pilots using a recorded continuous loop on a specific frequency known as the Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS). runway closures. Flight Data (which is routinely combined with Clearance Delivery) is the position that is responsible for ensuring that both controllers and pilots have the most current information: pertinent weather changes.3 Approach and terminal control Inside the Potomac TRACON. it is often still referred to as a TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach CONtrol) facility. one single terminal control may service 16 .. in the U. terminal controllers usually handle traffic in a 30 to 50 nautical mile (56 to 93 km) radius from the airport. outages.primary responsibility of Clearance Delivery is to ensure that the aircraft have the proper route and slot time. 5. Clearance Delivery also plans aircraft pushbacks and engine starts. this is referred to as Approach or Terminal Control. In most countries. etc. Many airports have a radar control facility that is associated with the airport. in which case it is known as the Ground Movement Planner (GMP): this position is particularly important at heavily congested airports to prevent taxiway and apron gridlock.

and vary widely from airport to airport: a large and complex example is the London Terminal Control Centre which controls traffic for five main London airports up to 20.3. At some of these airports. United States. center or area-control Controllers at work at the Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center. the en-route center or a neighboring terminal or approach control may co-ordinate directly with the tower on the airport and vector inbound aircraft to a position from where they can land visually. or a bordering terminal or approach control). The actual airspace boundaries and altitudes assigned to a terminal control are based on factors such as traffic flows. and that aircraft arrive at a suitable rate for landing. arrivals. Some units also have a dedicated approach unit which can provide the procedural approach service either all the time or for any periods of radar outage for any reason. ATC provides services to aircraft in flight between airports as well. Air 17 . 5. they are handed off to the next appropriate control facility (a control tower. Not all airports have a radar approach or terminal control available. In this case.100 m) and out to 100 nautical miles (190 km).all the airports. As aircraft move in and out of the terminal airspace. Pilots fly under one of two sets of rules for separation: Visual Flight Rules (VFR) or Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).000 feet (6.1 En-route . and overflights. Traffic flow is broadly divided into departures. the tower may provide a non-radar procedural approach service to arriving aircraft handed over from a radar unit before they are visual to land. Terminal control is responsible for ensuring that aircraft are at an appropriate altitude when they are handed off. an en-route control facility. Terminal controllers are responsible for providing all ATC services within their airspace. neighboring airports and terrain.

Centers control IFR aircraft from the time they depart from an airport or terminal area's airspace to the time they arrive at another airport or terminal area's airspace. ensuring that the aircraft is properly separated from all other aircraft in the immediate area. which provides traffic advisory services on a time permitting basis and may also provide assistance in avoiding areas of weather and flight restrictions. the aircraft must be placed in a flow consistent with the aircraft's route of flight. As an aircraft reaches the boundary of a Center's control area it is "handed off" or "handed over" to the next Area Control Center. and pilots are required to comply with these instructions. En-route controllers also provide air traffic control services to many smaller airports around the country. Controllers adhere to a set of separation standards that define the minimum distance allowed between aircraft. including clearance off of the ground and clearance for approach to an airport. however. The United States uses the equivalent term Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC).1 General characteristics En-route air traffic controllers work in facilities called Area Control Centers. These distances vary depending on the equipment and procedures used in providing ATC services. at the same time. each of which is commonly referred to as a "Center".1. In some cases this "hand-off" process involves a transfer of 18 . as well as providing many destination airports with a traffic flow. These aircraft must. which is similar to flight following. These "flow restrictions" often begin in the middle of the route. Additionally. En-route air traffic controllers issue clearances and instructions for airborne aircraft. which prohibits all of the arrivals being "bunched together". and traffic density. Centers may also "pick up" VFR aircraft that are already airborne and integrate them into the IFR system. Each center is responsible for many thousands of square miles of airspace (known as a Flight Information Region) and for the airports within that airspace. When the aircraft approaches its destination. In the UK. in the US VFR pilots can request flight following. This effort is complicated by crossing traffic. 5. remain VFR until the Center provides a clearance. While IFR flights are under positive control. special missions that require large airspace allocations. the center is responsible for meeting altitude restrictions by specific points.3. a pilot can request for "Deconfliction Service".traffic controllers have different responsibilities to aircraft operating under the different sets of rules. severe weather. as controllers will position aircraft landing in the same destination so that when the aircraft are close to their destination they are sequenced. Center controllers are responsible for climbing the aircraft to their requested altitude while.

In the U.) have implemented Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) as part of their surveillance capability. they will typically use long range radar that has the capability. After the hand-off. however. automation systems have been designed that consolidate the radar data for the controller. Because there are no radar systems available for oceanic control. Controllers record information on flight progress strips and in specially developed oceanic computer systems as aircraft report positions. This consolidation includes eliminating duplicate radar returns. coverage may be inconsistent at lower altitudes used by unpressurized aircraft due to high terrain or distance from radar facilities. and may also rely on pilot position reports from aircraft flying below the floor of radar coverage.S.S.identification and details between controllers so that air traffic control services can be provided in a seamless manner. time. at higher altitudes. These areas are also FIRs. This results in a large amount of data being available to the controller. The Federal Aviation Administration. A center may require numerous radar systems to cover the airspace assigned to them. at higher altitudes. which reduces the overall capacity for any given route. etc. To address this. This process requires that aircraft be separated by greater distances. Instead of radar "finding" a target by interrogating the transponder. and speed to ensure separation.1. This new technology reverses the radar concept. They may also use TRACON radar data to control when it provides a better "picture" of the traffic or when it can fill in a portion of the area not covered by the long range radar. 5. airspace is covered by radar and often by multiple radar systems. This process continues until the aircraft is handed off to a terminal controller ("approach"). and displaying the data in an effective format. to see aircraft within 200 nautical miles (370 km) of the radar antenna. oceanic controllers provide ATC services using procedural control. ensuring the best radar for each geographical area is providing the data. Airservices Australia.g. Centers also exercise control over traffic travelling over the world's ocean areas. in other cases local agreements may allow "silent handovers" such that the receiving center does not require any co-ordination if traffic is presented in an agreed manner.3. NAVCANADA. over 90% of the U. system. distance. These procedures use aircraft position reports. altitude. the ADSequipped aircraft sends a position report as determined by the navigation equipment on board the 19 .2 Radar coverage Since centers control a large airspace area. Some Air Navigation Service Providers (e. the aircraft is given a frequency change and begins talking to the next controller.

air traffic control center boundaries.3.3 Problems 5. geo-political boundaries. ADS operates in the "contract" mode where the aircraft reports a position. The Aircraft Situational Display to Industry (ASDI) system now conveys up-to-date flight information to the airline industry and the public. based on a predetermined time interval. The programs can overlay air traffic with a wide selection of maps such as. 5.3. the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.aircraft. over water). NBAA advocated the broad-scale dissemination of air traffic data. Subsequently.3. Each company maintains a website that provides free updated information to the public on flight status.3. It is also possible for controllers to request more frequent reports to more quickly establish aircraft position for specific reasons. Normally. and the National Air Transportation Association petitioned the FAA to make ASDI information available on a "need-to-know" basis. since the cost for each report is charged by the ADS service providers to the company operating the aircraft. The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). Some companies that distribute ASDI information are FlightExplorer. and FlyteComm. Positions are reported for both commercial and general aviation traffic. Several factors dictate the 20 . Stand-alone programs are also available for displaying the geographic location of airborne IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) air traffic anywhere in the FAA air traffic system. In 1991. satellite cloud and radar imagery. ADS is significant because it can be used where it is not possible to locate the infrastructure for a radar system (e. the Helicopter Association International. more frequent reports are not commonly requested except in emergency situations. 5. This technology is currently used in portions of the North Atlantic and the Pacific by a variety of states who share responsibility for the control of this airspace.2 Flight traffic mapping The mapping of flights in real-time is based on the air traffic control system. automatically or initiated by the pilot. data on the location of aircraft was made available by the Federal Aviation Administration to the airline industry. high altitude jet routes. the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association.g. However. Computerized radar displays are now being designed to accept ADS inputs as part of the display. FlightView.1 Traffic The day-to-day problems faced by the air traffic control system are primarily related to the volume of air traffic demand placed on the system and weather.

As new equipment is brought in. Allowing for departures between arrivals. planes may be delayed before they even take off (by being given a "slot"). 21 . Thus. Each landing aircraft must touch down. In Area Control Centers. more and more sites are upgrading away from paper flight strips. air traffic controllers still record data for each flight on strips of paper and personally coordinate their paths. at some ACCs. holding.3. Fog also requires a decrease in the landing rate. Much money has been spent on creating software to streamline this process.2 Weather Beyond runway capacity issues. a ground delay program may be established. Aircraft will deviate around storms. 5. a major weather problem is thunderstorms. each runway can thus handle about 30 arrivals per hour. which present a variety of hazards to aircraft. Rain or ice and snow on the runway cause landing aircraft to take longer to slow and exit. weather is a major factor in traffic capacity. These.3. in turn. or causing congestion as many aircraft try to move through a single hole in a line of thunderstorms. In newer sites. or may reduce speed in flight and proceed more slowly thus significantly reducing the amount of holding. However. slow. Problems begin when airlines schedule more arrivals into an airport than can be physically handled. which has significant environmental and cost implications. This process requires at least one and up to four minutes for each aircraft. Aircraft must then be delayed in the air by holding over specified locations until they may be safely sequenced to the runway. thus reducing the safe arrival rate and requiring more space between landing aircraft. If more aircraft are scheduled than can be safely and efficiently held in the air.amount of traffic that can land at an airport in a given amount of time. A large airport with two arrival runways can handle about 60 arrivals per hour in good weather. delaying aircraft on the ground before departure due to conditions at the arrival airport. and exit the runway before the next crosses the beginning of the runway. was a routine occurrence at many airports. these flight progress strips have been replaced by electronic data presented on computer screens. Occasionally weather considerations cause delays to aircraft prior to their departure as routes are closed by thunderstorms. Advances in computers now allow the sequencing of planes hours in advance. or when delays elsewhere cause groups of aircraft that would otherwise be separated in time to arrive simultaneously. reducing the capacity of the en-route system by requiring more space per aircraft. Up until the 1990s. increase airborne delay for holding aircraft.

have started using alphanumeric callsigns that are not based on flight numbers.3. an identical call sign might well be used for the same scheduled journey each day it is operated. airline flight numbers are even if eastbound. Due to the larger number of new airlines after deregulation ICAO established the 3-letter callsigns as mentioned above. DLH followed by the flight number. The IATA callsigns are 22 . and odd if westbound.4 Call Signs A prerequisite to safe air traffic separation is the assignment and use of distinctive call signs. the callsign for any other flight is the registration number (tail number) of the aircraft. BAW018. For example DLH23LG. The flight number part is decided by the aircraft operator. These are permanently allocated by ICAO(pronounced "ai-kay-oh") on request usually to scheduled flights and some air forces for military flights. The call sign of the return flight often differs only by the final digit from the outbound flight. SWA . Additionally it is the right of the air traffic controller to change the 'audio' callsign for the period the flight is in his sector if there is a risk of confusion. By default. a number of airlines. As such they appear on flight plans and ATC radar labels. The term tail number is because a registration number is usually painted somewhere on the tail of a plane. like C-BC spoken as Charlie-BravoCharlie for C-GABC or the last 3 letters only like ABC spoken Alpha-Bravo-Charlie for CGABC or the last 3 numbers like 345 spoken as tree-fower-fife for N12345. spoken as lufthansa-two-tree-lima-golf. There are also the audio or Radio-telephony callsigns used on the radio contact between pilots and Air Traffic Control not always identical with the written ones. Generally. In order to reduce the possibility of two callsigns on one frequency at any time sounding too similar. even if the departure time varies a little across different days of the week. yet this is not a rule. In this arrangement. such as "N12345" or "CGABC". anywhere on the fuselage. Registration numbers may appear on the engines. Before around 1980 International Air Transport Association (IATA) and ICAO were using the same 2-letter callsigns. aircraft manufacturer. The short Radio-telephony callsigns for these tail numbers is the first letter followed by the last two. This abbreviation is only allowed after communications has been established in each sector. and often on the wings. usually choosing the tail number instead. AAL. They are written callsigns with 3letter combination like KLM. particularly in Europe. like AAL872.5. BAW . In the United States the abbreviation of callsigns is required to be a prefix (such as aircraft type. For example BAW stands for British Airways but on the radio you will only hear the word Speedbirdinstead. or first letter of registration) followed by the last three characters of the callsign.

typically in the time horizon from Gate to gate (airport departure/arrival gates). north of London Heathrow Airport. are correlated to build the air situation.g. in Hampshire. 23 . Swanwick was initially troubled by software and communications problems causing delays and occasional shutdowns. Airports. Primary and secondary radar are used to enhance a controller's "situational awareness" within his assigned airspace — all types of aircraft send back primary echoes of varying sizes to controllers' screens as radar energy is bounced off their skins. and distributes such processed information to all the stakeholders (Air Traffic Controllers. The FAA has spent over USD$3 billion on software.the information of the track once the correlation between them (flight plan and track) is established.5 Technology Many technologies are used in air traffic control systems. Some basic processing occurs on the radar tracks.3. making it available to controllers. In 2002 the UK brought a new area control centre into service at Swanwick. Other examples include LY/ELY for El Al. Some tools are available in different domains to help the controller further:  Flight Data Processing Systems: this is the system (usually one per Center) that processes all the information related to the Flight (the Flight Plan). collateral Centers. It uses such processed information to invoke other Flight Plan related tools (such as e. MTCD). relieving a busy suburban centre at West Drayton in Middlesex. added to data from other radars. and transponder-equipped aircraft reply to secondary radar interrogations by giving an ID (Mode A). an altitude (Mode C) and/or a unique callsign (Mode S). incorporating in a low or high degree . such as calculating ground speed and magnetic headings. LH/DLH for Lufthansa etc. Software from Lockheed-Martin predominates at Swanwick.currently used in aerodromes on the announcement tables but never used any longer in Air Traffic Control. For example. 5. These inputs. DL/DAL for Delta Air Lines. Usually. All this information is distributed to modern operational display systems. etc). However. AA is the IATA callsign for American Airlines — ATC equivalent AAL. Certain types of weather may also register on the radar screen. but a fully-automated system is still over the horizon. a Flight Data Processing System manages all the flight plan related data.

 System Coordination (SYSCO) to enable controller to negotiate the release of flights from one sector to another. the manner in which to turn. the airline.  Arrival and Departure Manager to help sequence the takeoff and landing of aircraft. descend. or climb the aircraft in order to avoid infringing the minimum safety distance or altitude clearance. reduce arrival queuing and distribute the information to various stakeholders. a CTAS tool.35 seconds in the French Roissy & Orly approach centres) and alerts the controller prior the loss of separation.  The Arrival Manager (AMAN): A system aid for the ATC at airports. that calculates a planned departure flow with the goal to maintain an optimal throughput at the runway. reduce queuing at holding point and distribute the information to various stakeholders at the airport (i.  The Departure Manager (DMAN): A system aid for the ATC at airports. STCA (Short Term Conflict Alert) that checks possible conflicting trajectories in a time horizon of about 2 or 3 minutes (or even less in approach context .  Minimum Safe Altitude Warning (MSAW): a tool that alerts the controller if an aircraft appears to be flying too low to the ground or will impact terrain based on its current altitude and heading.  passive Final Approach Spacing Tool (pFAST).e. that is. provides runway assignment and sequence number advisories to terminal controllers to improve the arrival rate at congested airports.  Area Penetration Warning (APW) to inform a controller that a flight will penetrate a restricted area. The algorithms used may also provide in some systems a possible vectoring solution. pFAST was deployed and operational at five US TRACONs before being cancelled. ground handling and Air Traffic Control (ATC)). NASA research included an Active FAST capability that also provided vector and speed advisories to implement the runway and sequence advisories. 24 . that calculates a planned Arrival flow with the goal to maintain an optimal throughput at the runway.

VAFORIT (DFS). Direct-To (D2). The SESAR Programme should soon launch new MTCD concepts. Collaborative Arrival Planning (CAP). New FDPS (MASUAC). Some of the CTAS tools are: Traffic Management Advisor (TMA). Adjacent Center Metering (ACM) and En Route Departure Capability (EDC))  MTCD & URET  In the US. Schedules are determined that will not exceed the specified arrival rate and controllers use the scheduled times to provide the appropriate delay to arrivals while in the en route domain.  Traffic Management Advisor (TMA). passive Final Approach Spacing Tool (pFAST). URET and MTCD provide conflict advisories up to 30 minutes in advance and have a suite of assistance tools that assist in evaluating resolution options and pilot requests. Several of the CTAS tools have been field tested and transitioned to the FAA for operational evaluation and use. Converging Runway Display Aid (CRDA) enables Approach controllers to run two final approaches that intersect and make sure that go arounds are minimized  Center TRACON Automation System (CTAS) is a suite of human centered decision support tools developed by NASA Ames Research Center.g. User Request Evaluation Tool (URET) takes paper strips out of the equation for En Route controllers at ARTCCs by providing a display that shows all aircraft that are either in or currently routed into the sector. several MTCD tools are available: iFACTS (NATS).  In Europe. is an en route decision support tool that automates time based metering solutions to provide an upper limit of aircraft to a TRACON from the Center over a set period of time. ERATO (DSNA). This results in an overall reduction in en route delays and also moves the delays to more efficient airspace (higher altitudes) than occur if holding near the TRACON boundary is required to not overload the TRACON controllers. a CTAS tool. TMA is operational at most en route air route traffic control centers (ARTCCs) and continues to be enhanced to address more complex traffic situations (e. 25 . En Route Descent Advisor (EDA) and Multi Center TMA.

 SkyRec: Hardware based video recording tool that records and replays all information captured on ATCO screens.3. Mode S: provides a data downlink of flight parameters via Secondary Surveillance Radars allowing radar processing systems and therefore controllers to see various data on a flight. including airframe unique id (24-bits encoded). oceans). such as NAV CANADA. reducing the need for manual functions. e. E-strips allows controllers to manage electronic flight data online without Paper Strips. oceans. Used for legal recording (coupled with voice recording). MASUAC. 5. or technically not feasible (e. Thales Group. This is currently in use in Australia. being produced by several industries. SAAB etc. Canada and parts of the Pacific Ocean and Alaska. The most important is the aircraft's latitude. avoiding the need to use radiotelephony. training and post event analysis.  ADS-B: Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast — provides a data downlink of various flight parameters to air traffic control systems via the Transponder (1090 MHz) and reception of those data by other aircraft in the vicinity. This is currently in use in various parts of the world including the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. DFS.Frequentis.g. amongst others.g. It is especially useful in areas where difficult-to-use HF radiotelephony was previously used for communication with aircraft.  The Electronic Flight Strip system (e-strip): A system of electronic flight strips replacing the old paper strips is being used by several Service Providers. indicated airspeed and flight director selected level.  CPDLC: Controller Pilot Data Link Communications — allows digital messages to be sent between controllers and pilots. longitude and level: such data can be utilized to create a radar-like display of aircraft for controllers and thus allows a form of pseudo-radar control to be done in areas where the installation of radar is either prohibitive on the grounds of low traffic levels. such as Indra Sistemas. Avibit.6 Air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and traffic service providers(ATSPs) 26 .

Both ANSPs and ATSPs can be public. air traffic advisory service. 10 and 11. although there are contract towers located in many parts of the country. Air traffic service is a generic term meaning variously. approach control service or aerodrome control service). other international. non-share capital corporation that operates Canada's civil air navigation service. and.The regulatory function remains the responsibility of the State and can be exercised by Government and/or independent Safety. but not limited to. under similar rules and procedures. flight information service. Air Traffic Control is provided by NAV CANADA. air traffic control service (area control service. the FAA is responsible for all aspects of U. Airspace and Economic Regulators depending on the national institutional arrangements. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annexes 2. A contract tower is an Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) that performs the same function as an FAA-run ATCT but is staffed by employees of a private company (Martin State Airport in Maryland is an example). In the United States. With the exception of facilities operated by the Department of Defense (DoD). 6. multinational. the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provides this service to all aircraft in the National Airspace System (NAS). An Air Traffic Service Provider is the relevant authority designated by the State responsible for providing air traffic services in the airspace concerned — where airspace is classified as Type A through G airspace. DoD facilities are generally staffed by military personnel and operate separately but concurrently with FAA facilities. Air Traffic Control including hiring and training controllers. private or corporatized organizations and examples of the different legal models exist throughout the world today. a private. agreements or regulations. alerting service. ICAO Documents 4444 and 9426. An Air Navigation Service Provider — The air navigation service provider is the authority directly responsible for providing both visual and non-visual aids to navigation within a specific airspace in compliance with. In Canada.S. Often you will see a division between the Civil Aviation Authority(CAA) (the Regulator) and the ANSP (the Air Navigation Service Provider). and national policy. 27 . The world's ANSPs are united in and represented by the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO) based at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands.

28 . What is the advantage of using an EMALS ? SAQ2 What do the acronyms JATO and RATO stand for ? SAQ 3 What are Jet Donkeys ? SAQ 4 What is Clearance delivery ? SAQ 5 Give a few examples to explain the need and use of a call sign . SAQ 6 Who are ATSPs ? Explain.SAQ 1.