Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based controllers. They direct aircraft on the ground and through controlled airspace.
Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and through controlled airspace. The primary purpose of ATC systems worldwide is to separate aircraft to prevent collisions, to organize and expedite the flow of traffic, and to provide information and other support for pilots when able. In some countries, ATC may also play a security or defense role, or be run entirely by the military. Preventing collisions is referred to as separation, which is a term used to prevent aircraft from coming too close to each other by use of lateral, vertical and longitudinal separation minima. Many aircraft now have collision avoidance systems installed to act as a backup to ATC observation and instructions. In addition to its primary function, the ATC can provide additional services such as providing information to pilots, weather and navigation information and NOTAMs (Notices To AirMen).
Contributions by BaseTurnComplete, Syclop, and Trevor MacInnis.