air traffic control


Definition of air traffic control 

: the process or system by which the movements of aircraft are monitored and directed by ground personnel communicating with pilots by radio improving the technology used for air traffic control also : the personnel who operate an air traffic control system Pilots would still have to file flight plans, which could be modified by air traffic control if they posed any safety hazards. — David R. Hinson

Examples of air traffic control in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

How do pilots know when to extend their flaps, use spoilers, lower the landing gear and so on? — submitted via email A: Configuring the airplane for landing varies depending on the type of approach and requirements of air traffic control. John Cox, USA TODAY, "Ask the Captain: It takes skill to make a smooth landing," 20 May 2018 The costs of air traffic control have continued to rise, as has the size of the controller workforce. Popular Mechanics, "How To Fix Flying," 18 July 2016 For years now, American Airlines has been pushing fellow carriers to adopt NextGen, a modern air traffic control system. Douglas Kennedy, Fox News, "Pressing for a revolution in the tech of air traffic control," 17 June 2018 Combat controllers perform a variety of air-to-ground communications roles that include close-air and fire support and air traffic control in remote locations. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "AF recruiting squadron to seek — and keep — toughest airmen," 30 June 2018 The pilots were in contact with oceanic air traffic control. William Langewiesche, The Atlantic, "An Extraordinarily Expensive Way to Fight ISIS," 21 June 2018 The base's air traffic control tower clears Death 21 for takeoff. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "B-52 Bombers Could Quadruple Their Wing Bomb Loads," 25 June 2018 These are items like radios and antennas — anything our troops in the field need to communicate — and also air traffic control systems deployed in the field. New York Times, "Her Job: Help the Troops Do Theirs," 6 July 2018 Flight 1623 was scheduled to depart for Los Angeles at 7:30 p.m. ET, but stopped responding to air traffic control before takeoff. Alexandra Deabler, Fox News, "JetBlue flight mistakenly sends hijack alert, triggering huge scare at JFK airport," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'air traffic control.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of air traffic control

1919, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

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The first known use of air traffic control was in 1919

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