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

According to Tilden, the aircraft took off at 7:32 from Sea-Tac, and the pilot flew for more than an hour before air traffic control — communicating through a ground control frequency — lost communications with him. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Stolen Horizon Air plane ‘a serious breach,’ raises questions about airport security," 14 Aug. 2018 There were no further communications between the plane and air traffic control. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "Pilot in fatal crash reported landing gear, fuel problems," 25 June 2018 During the refueling and afterward, the B-2 pilots spoke with European air traffic control. William Langewiesche, The Atlantic, "An Extraordinarily Expensive Way to Fight ISIS," 21 June 2018 In a rare move, Europe's air traffic control agency, Eurocontrol, had issued a rapid alert notification Tuesday afternoon, warning that missiles may pose a threat over the three following days. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "Airlines diverting passenger planes amid risk of U.S. strike on Syria," 11 Apr. 2018 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

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

29 Nov 2018

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The first known use of air traffic control was in 1919

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