Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) operations

Atct operation
Atct operation

When aircraft move through controlled airspace; they need some direction and clarity, because even the most skilled pilots can err in sensing disturbances of any kind. There has to be a system that helps pilots and the aircraft steer safely and avoid collisions. Such a system has to also organize and facilitate air traffic, apart from providing safety information to other pilots handling their own aircraft in that area. This system is what Air Traffic Control (ATC) is all about.

ATCs are services that are carried out on the ground. To do this, ATC uses signals that are transmitted through towers. These towers are called airport traffic control towers (ATCT). ATCTs operate either in civilian or military modes.

What work do ATCTs do?

Airport Traffic Control Towers carry out a number of functions in order to ensure that aircraft do not run into each other while taking off or landing. Situated generally with a radius of three to 30 miles from the airport; the ATCTs do the primary task of giving signals to pilots. These instructions basically concern take off, landing, air signals concerning clearance, and also some of their own personal observations about the weather and other conditions that may expedite or impede takeoff or landing of aircraft.

Another set of very critical function ATCTs carry out relates to these:

  • ATCTs help offer space between aircraft that land and depart
  • They hand over control of their respective aircraft to the center controllers who are en route at the time of the aircraft’s departure from their respective airspace
  • Airport Traffic Control Towers are given the charge of controlling of aircraft that come into their designated airspace.


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