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

Student pilots might want exposure to a large airport with an air traffic control tower, Aitken said, which Reid Hillview has but the San Martin airport does not. Thy Vo, The Mercury News, "County, San Jose explore options for closing Reid Hillview Airport," 21 Aug. 2019 In both cases, the pilots reestablished communication with air traffic control and left the restricted airspace without incident, NORAD said. Fox News, "Two planes intercepted over President Trump's NJ golf club for entering no-fly zone," 3 Aug. 2019 Usually, one pilot flies the airplane while the other performs the duties of the monitoring pilot, such as communicating with air traffic control, handling checklists and overseeing the flight path. John Cox, USA TODAY, "Ask the Captain: What does the first officer do? Is flying a plane physically tiring?," 21 June 2019 The crew also says lightning caused communication problems with air traffic control. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Russian Jet Makes a Fiery Landing After Being Struck By Lightning," 6 May 2019 Weather, mechanical issues, missing crew, and air traffic control delays were just of few of the numerous reasons that planes were delayed. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "Bush airport passengers wasted a combined 393 years in delays in 2018, according to study," 15 Aug. 2019 The same math, known as the Schmidt-Kalman filter, is used today to help improve the efficient of air traffic control. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Apollo moon landing math is why your flight lands on time," 24 July 2019 During a race stage, camera pilots juggle six different radio frequencies, continuously communicating with each other, the camera operators, air traffic control, France TV, technicians and sportscasters. Eric Tegler, Ars Technica, "The helicopter team that films the Tour de France is one of a kind," 11 July 2019 Changing a system this intricate is akin to modernizing the FAA’s air traffic control system – a million planes are in the air at any moment and altering anything can have serious consequences elsewhere. Mackenzie Smith, The Conversation, "University of California’s showdown with the biggest academic publisher aims to change scholarly publishing for good," 15 July 2019

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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Statistics for air traffic control

Last Updated

4 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for air traffic control

The first known use of air traffic control was in 1919

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More Definitions for air traffic control

air traffic control


English Language Learners Definition of air traffic control

: a system through which people on the ground give instructions by radio to aircraft pilots
: the people who give instructions to aircraft pilots by radio

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