Air traffic controllers are often known as “the guardians of the skies”, and that is a well owned title. On the 25th of February 1920, the world’s first control tower was opened for use at London’s Croydon airport. This tower was advanced for its time, using techniques such as radio triangulation to locate aircraft, and morse code for aircraft communications (voice radio communications would come later). The reason behind this was due to vastly growing demand for air travel after the First World War. Croydon was receiving up to 12 flights per day, making it the world’s busiest airport at the time. With this increasing traffic demand, Britain’s Air Ministry decreed that the skies above the south east of England must be more organised to minimise danger.
The “father of air traffic control” was a man named Jimmy Jeffs. Jeffs pioneered techniques such as bearing triangulation and voice radio communication in order to simplify the communication process. Jeffs would soon become the air ministry’s ATC inspector. He would travel to new control towers and train and certify controllers for the methods and and operation of equipment.
Air traffic control has progressed into what it is today for two main events. The Grand Canyon air disaster, in which two aircraft collided in an ATC dead spot in 1956, the USA’s Federal Aviation Administration was given the air traffic responsibility over America in 1958, and this was followed by other countries. In 1960, Britain, France, Germany and the Benelux countries set up Eurocontrol, intending to merge their airspaces. The first and only attempt to pool controllers between countries is the Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC), founded in 1972 by Eurocontrol and covering Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and north western Germany.
So what’s next for Air Traffic Control? Currently, many airports around the world are moving towards off site control towers.
Would you become and air traffic controller?
#aircanada #nats #natsaero #nats100 #boeing #boeing777
#777 #777300er #777x #london #londonheathrow #heathrowairport #lhr #egll #airliner #aircraft #aviation #aviationphotography #aviationlovers #instagramaviation #megaplane