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How Air Traffic Control Works

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Buy your domain before it’s gone for 10% off at http://Hover.com/Wendover Listen to Extremities at http://ExtremitiesPodcast.com Subscribe to Half as Interesting (The other channel from Wendover Productions): https://www.youtube.com/halfasinteresting Get the Wendover Productions t-shirt: https://standard.tv/collections/wendover-productions/products/wendover-productions-shirt Support Wendover Productions on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/wendoverproductions Youtube: http://www.YouTube.com/WendoverProductions Instagram: http://Instagram.com/sam.from.wendover Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/WendoverPro Email: sam@wendover.productions Reddit: http://Reddit.com/r/WendoverProductions Animation by Josh Sherrington Sound by Graham Haerther (http://www.Haerther.net) Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster Special thanks to Patreon supporters Adam Chelminski, Arkadiy Kulev, Charles Zilinski, Chris Allen, Connor J Smith, Daddy Donald, Etienne Dechamps, Eyal Matsliah, Hank Green, John & Becki Johnston, Kyle, MyNameIsKir, Plinio Correa, Qui Le, Remi_Scarlet, Tom Dooner, Tyler Hamm, and Vaughn Mudrick Music by http://epidemicsound.com Select footage courtesy the AP Archive References: [1] https://www.heathrow.com/company/company-news-and-information/company-information/facts-and-figures [2] https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-30326125 [3] https://www.eurocontrol.int/articles/flight-planning [4] https://www.nats.aero/about-us/what-we-do/our-control-centres/ [5] https://www.nats.aero/ae-home/introduction-to-airspace/ [6] https://www.reuters.com/article/europe-airlines-atc/air-traffic-control-issues-cost-eu-economy-20-bln-in-2018-airline-body-idUSL5N20T0TU [7] https://www.eurocontrol.int/news/2018-air-traffic
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Text Comments (2112)
Wendover Productions (3 months ago)
Hey all, so in case you didn't see the announcement video, we launched a new scripted podcast last Wednesday called Extremities. It's all about why and how people live in earth's most isolated and extreme settlements. In season one, we tell the story of Pitcairn Island--a small British territory in the South Pacific with just 50 people. It's 300 miles/500 kilometers away from the nearest other inhabited place, 3000 miles/5000 kilometers away from the nearest city, and 10,000 miles/16,000 kilometers away from its capital city in London. The twist and turns that Pitcairn takes through history and the explanation of why and how Pitcairn still exists today are fascinating, in my biased opinion. Episode 1 is out now, episode 2 comes out tomorrow, and I'd love it if you'd give it a listen. Extremities is available at the following places: Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/extremities/id1467292185 Anchor: https://anchor.fm/extremities Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3yXc8WTwbZcieQhdr3Y6ao Google Podcasts: https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9iZWJhNzBjL3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/anchor-podcasts/extremities Breaker: https://www.breaker.audio/extremities Overcast: https://overcast.fm/itunes1467292185/extremities Pocket Casts: https://pca.st/OW0M Podbean: https://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/e7bgg-9466c/Extremities-Podcast RadioPublic: https://radiopublic.com/extremities-8gKAOL I hope you enjoy! -Sam
bootfan !! (1 month ago)
4:35 Your INCORRECT GRAPHIC does not match with the spoken words. The graphic shows "<24,500 ft" or LESS THAN 24,500 while the spoken words describe Maastricht air control in control of traffic GREATER THAN 24,500 ft. The correct graphic would be ">24,500 ft". Please correct your graphic.
Khalid Bin Walid (2 months ago)
Your name is not Wendover?? My whole life...
Effah Osei (2 months ago)
Wendover Productions wee
Anmol Dani (2 months ago)
sjakebaas (20 hours ago)
What happens , if your system has a failure ,with planes in the air?
Mark Moire (3 days ago)
At 1:54 is that a Facebook mom minion meme above the persons desk?
Major Kong (6 days ago)
Ahh, the French strike again!
47ambrose42jpm (9 days ago)
How does one become an ATC person?
Tom Donnelly (11 days ago)
This would have been a lot more interesting if it had been about US airspace rather than European airspace.
unknown unknown (16 days ago)
Today schedule 1615 to 2115
Jeff Ray (19 days ago)
Nose to tail aircraft noise morning noon and night over Calderdale, has someone blown their top ? 😂🔥
Ibirdball (21 days ago)
2:42 Funny you show that area with EGSH, that's my local airport! However sometimes flights to the Middle East out of Manchester or from America do come over that area.
Andrew (21 days ago)
Wonder if I could get a Visa to go work at eurocontrol
John Daltrocanto (23 days ago)
You really butchered that Italian name
DaRobo (26 days ago)
I regret checking if checklistmas{ter.net was actually taken.
Neurofied Yamato (27 days ago)
Wow cool, you actually went to eurocontrol.
badlandskid (27 days ago)
Twenty flights daily equals more than one an hour? Must be on metric time in Europe.
UConnhuskyandrewnduati (28 days ago)
This is probably my favorite video ever, like Wendover Productions, Half as Interesting, Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, any*fucking*thing ever.
Shadowwolf TD5000 (28 days ago)
2:38 There's also an RAF base there
Incorrigible Panda (29 days ago)
Step 1: raise ATC wages. Seriously, how much could it cost to pay that small group of highly talented individuals enough to not strike.
Geometrical Gamer (19 days ago)
It really depends on where the ATCs are working. In my area they get paid 100,000+
NadChel1 (30 days ago)
The seventh reference is just a search result
Scooty789 (1 month ago)
seems like a nice job worth pursuing
Oliver Gray (1 month ago)
I work for a European airline as cabin crew and pretty much everyday we get ATC slots causing us delays! Especially over summer as norther Europe airspace is mad!
Shanghao Zhong (1 month ago)
ATC would be one of the most complicated work in the world
Alex (1 month ago)
Good pay though
YoBanana (1 month ago)
Thought this was Captian Joe.
Nathan Gehman (1 month ago)
1: 37 Man, they have NICE chairs!
Michael Hall (1 month ago)
Not in FAA facilities!
JP Labs (1 month ago)
I like how a Dutch control centre controls Belgian airspace......
funkyleah (1 month ago)
Fake! It’s like ATC in Microsoft flight simulator steam edition
Michael Hall (1 month ago)
Looks like a Traffic Management facility.
GopzU (1 month ago)
12:30 my dream place to work <3 Greetings from Germany, Karlsruhe :D
Amaral Monteiro (1 month ago)
Ágora tou na Madeira. Muito giro.❤
A Throbbing Peanuts (1 month ago)
Can't wait for the moment all these human "controllers" are replaced by AI <3 then they will have to find a real job...
Michael Hall (1 month ago)
Spoken like someone who doesn't understand the job. When you can put 135 (I had about 95 of those) airplanes on 4 runways in an hour then maybe you can voice an intelligent opinion. There is no IA that could have kept up with that hour! BTW, using EuroControl is probably not a good example of volume. Try the busier FAA ATC facilities. We rarely limited flights based on staffing. Volume goes up and we just work harder/smarter.
Aaron Seet (1 month ago)
In this day and generation, I'd have expected ATC software be able to render flights (with their projected vectors) and terrain in 3D perspective to give them better visualisation of separation or impending danger.
Theron Kolokwe (1 month ago)
Hey Wendover Production. Just out of curiosity; is it your own crew that conducted the interview with that directors? If yes, you have made it in life.
ชุติกาญจน์ ศรีประไหม (1 month ago)
Love the videos. Hate the B.S. Falun Gong "Epoch Times" fascist propaganda advertising you apparently accept.
the hunter (1 month ago)
I don't need sleep I need answers
习近平和毛泽东都是怪物 (1 month ago)
you guys really do a kick ass job. the interviews were really great, worth your extra effort
Anna Orzechowicz (1 month ago)
Can you explain the logistics of how they know what fire trucks go to each incident? I never know what station they're all coming from, and i figured that'd be a Wendover type of video!
Maslax Ali (1 month ago)
The closest one
christian legaspi (1 month ago)
If a baby is born on an airplane what citizenship does the baby have
Glimpse Pedroza (1 month ago)
I understand. But sigh! Its complicated
Marc Pagan (1 month ago)
Not fun fact: Obama was quota hiring Air Traffic Controllers. Putting me, my student pilots, and the public at risk. When Trump was told...he immediately ended this racist and dangerous practice. The Leftist media...which even slammed Trump for "misfeeding goldfish" in Japan....said not a word. Why? Try defending "How not White or not Asian are you?" as a job qualifier. Especially for a job where lives are at risk.
Michael Hall (1 month ago)
As an ATC I had to train these hires. They had NO idea what real ATC entailed. It is very difficult to teach someone to think 3-dimensionally. Instead of having a limited amount of hours to certify (check-out), the FAA instituted "train to succeed." We called it train to suck!
Kami Kami (1 month ago)
Thank you so much for such a amazing , excellent & useful information
Abas Abertas (1 month ago)
I passed the exam to become a military Air traffic controller. But I went to college and instead.
Karen Kramer (1 month ago)
Seems so complicated. Can't believe there aren't more crashes.
Cedar W (1 month ago)
1:10 looks like mission control in houston!!
T Bjornsson (1 month ago)
I think the video should be titled 'How Air Traffic Control Works in Europe'
Alex's Flight Channel (1 month ago)
Ooh 15 minutes long
Smogy 001 (1 month ago)
Wait, this is like HAI but without questionable jokes?! Who tf needs this?
Martin Astiba (1 month ago)
650 take offs daily. One day 24 hrs or 86400 sec How does this translate to One Aircraft every 45 sec???
Martin Astiba (1 month ago)
@Mango2308 Thanks for that piece of info. Seems I had inadvertently missed it. Regards
Mango2308 (1 month ago)
Martin Astiba The flights operate from 6am to 1130pm
Michael Hall (1 month ago)
34 years U.S. ATC. I retired from the world's busiest facility handling about 2.1 million operations yearly. '''Twas a FANTASTIC career!!!
flanker (1 month ago)
Not an expert at aviation but it sounds like except for crisis management, rest of the ATC's job is a prime candidate for automation.
Michael Hall (1 month ago)
flanker: Nope. There has been an ATC program available for 30 years that is I'm aware. We tried the latest and greatest at LAX almost 20 years ago. It failed miserably as the computer couldn't keep up with the constantly changing conditions. It also had trouble "thinking" 3-dimensionally; which some people never understand. Besides, do you want a computer programmer flying and controlling your aircraft? Gravity is a cruel teacher.
Christofer Riche (1 month ago)
Too many people required to handle just One flight
Christofer Riche (1 month ago)
@Michael Hall : so there's Not enough runways?! (one) would think that with long runways & All those taxi' ways, there would be enough space. It seems as though there are Too many planes & to many ppl flying out waiting to fly at once. I think the "entire" aviation system is outdated. ¶ Back n the late 80s early 90's I remember being at a hotel near DFW int'l. It was at night. I remember looking out the hotel window & seeing the landing lights of the aircraft in a lite fog, as (they) continuously approached just (1) runway, about 45 secs apart. I couldn't believe there were That many! I'm guessing today is Even Worse.
Michael Hall (1 month ago)
Christofer Riche: Not when the 3-dimensional variables are factored in. Besides, the issue isn't airspace as much as it's available concrete.
Christofer Riche (1 month ago)
Too Many "hand offs".
Christofer Riche (1 month ago)
Too Many planes flying at once too often.
Christofer Riche (1 month ago)
The complexity of opn for 1 plane is outrageous! No wonder it's so frustrating & stressful! I don't see how they do it! The ops might as well be at least semi automated if not fully.
Pradeep Rawat (1 month ago)
Pradeep Rawat (1 month ago)
J-Luc Genoud (1 month ago)
They do it in the dark!
John Smith (2 months ago)
French people be like duhhhhhhhhhhhhh we handle duhhhhhhhhhhhhh 1500 flights a day duhhhhhh
Kenneth Thomas (2 months ago)
Well done guys. You managed to capture something rather complex in an easily understandable way. Brgds, Ken
CiaTheVideoStalker (2 months ago)
Shoutout to my dad at 9:00 !
Yat Sum Leung (2 months ago)
Notice the TV screen broadcasting, well, TV programs. Many control centers in airlines, ATC, or even government and electricity grid control centers make need to make immediate plans if there are breaking news on the TV which would otherwise change their system requirements.
ash king (2 months ago)
so this is how you BREXIT!
MrChaos2peace (2 months ago)
i now have a fear, like if the pilot forgets to report in to the controller and is travelling in the blind. How does that get solved? Do aircrafts auto report after a timeout?
Pablo Suarez (2 months ago)
Yisus content quality his HIGH! Keep up the good job.
Diego Gonzalez (2 months ago)
2:59 the controller is very busy taking boogers out of his nose.
ASG_8 (2 months ago)
The "above" sign for the 24500 ft (and 7500m) is reversed, should be like this "> 24500 ft". "a > b" translates to "a greater than b", so, ">24500ft" = "greater than 24500ft"
Mohammed jalal (2 months ago)
it seems that the next couple years will be more messy with loads of air planes packed in the sky .. it now time for hyperloop .. safe , fast and easy controllable .
Kieran Nicholson (2 months ago)
Your flight costs are so far out it isn't funny. You're looking at more like $1.80USD per mile for smaller jets ie 8 seats or less which is what wall art will use. And usually they would have up to 6 people on board!
Saiga Legacy (2 months ago)
Now imagine, if the control room is hacked!
JD (2 months ago)
Wow, so many planing and managing going on in the background. Hats off to these and others who make possible the uneventful flights.
Swaggerlot (2 months ago)
Diplomatically avoids mention of the frequent French ATC strikes and its impact on flow control.
THE GOOD CONTENT (2 months ago)
Thank you for information. Allahu Akbar!
Big Papi (2 months ago)
Why does he sound like Half As Interesting
TC Kocher (2 months ago)
This is how Eurocontrol works. Similar to how the American system works but different on many aspects
TheGeekGaming (2 months ago)
This is an Aviation Productions video made possible by Boeing, Get 10% off you’re 737MAX with the link in the description
Christopher sbarounis (2 months ago)
The system that works the flight plans (FPL) is called IFPS (integrated flight plan system) and then the processed FPL goes to another system called ETFMS (enhanced tactical flow management system) and then goes to the ATC and AO (aircraft operator) and ARO (Air traffic services reporting office) I worked there and it was such a blast you made a video about it 😁😍😍
Aliff Firdaus (2 months ago)
How do I apply this job and what is the requirements?
codycast (2 months ago)
Step one: don’t ask on a YouTube video comment Step two: anything else
Harry Cat (2 months ago)
Boston would not have waypoint names- Cubbs and Bears, more like Chicago, Boston would b Patriots, Red Sox or Celtics
Eggy Rab (2 months ago)
Shouldn’t the signs be the other way around at 4:38?
Kaan Demirkol (2 months ago)
Stan Vanillo (2 months ago)
3:25 is Gatwick.
Tomáš Petržilka (2 months ago)
What are the factors of ATC staff shortage?
the prestiger klopt (2 months ago)
Why can't he make videos about other things than planes???
Keon YungStunna (2 months ago)
Will this industry be ripe for disruption by AI?
snowismas (2 months ago)
3:12 is this guy CGI?
Angry Ox (2 months ago)
Being an air traffic controller looks like a hellish job.
Kevo Morider (2 months ago)
What Spule Happen to a Pilot who just normaly flies throu France during the ATC strike?
Adnan M (2 months ago)
Good to know at least this field has vacancies, now i will do ATC course lol
Héctor Monroy (2 months ago)
Hey Wendover! I live in Mexico and the current government just cancelled half-way into construction a massive international airport at Texcoco to replace it with other two distant airport upgrades including turning a military airbase into a civilian airport. It all has been for political reasons since it turned out to be even more expensive, besides all aviation authorities predicting this decision will be a huge favor. I think It would be interesting to see your take on this case, not only will it be very enriching, but your break-down of complex aviation problems on this would also help lots of people understand the scenario and voice a more informed opinion on the matter!
Will Wilson (2 months ago)
Another great video !!!
king pak (2 months ago)
It’s so amazing.
saf dipo (2 months ago)
In few years they will be assisted by AI, unless some urgency most of the normal flight will be handled by the machine.
Théau Ravier (2 months ago)
Congrats France for being highlighted as causing delays because of strikes !
SKYLX Prod (2 months ago)
Hello, great video ! How did you get the shot at 11:22 I filmed it on a flight from Montpellier to Paris and sell on stock footage. Didn't found any sales on this one...
Kevin Smith (2 months ago)
YouTube : wendover productions Pornhub: Bend over productions Hotel !? Trivago
Rastislav (2 months ago)
Maastricht is in The Netherlands, not Belgium.
Abhishek Ray (2 months ago)
I'm still wondering: is Breaking Bad an accurate representation of air traffic control, where one controller who's having a bad day can crash a plane and kill hundreds?
Abhishek Ray (2 months ago)
@Tarik arslan thanks! will check it out
Tarik arslan (2 months ago)
Not really.there are systems in airplanes as named tcas or acas.they warn the pilots about collusions and giving avoiding advisory.In that situation pilots are responsible what the tcas says and do not execute what the controller says.I advice u to watch Uberlingen crash.it is about that topic.
Ethan ? (2 months ago)
At 1:54 a minion meme is at a desk in the top right
Possum boi (2 months ago)
1:53 do i see a fuckin minion meme
TLC (2 months ago)
Why there is a shortage of air traffic controllers?
chris sondrita (2 months ago)
I'm really amazed how traffic control handle language barriers
classic waxko (2 months ago)
all air traffic controllers (and pilots for that case) everywhere in the world have to speak english
videogamesroflcopter (2 months ago)
I can't even understand the people when they speak not american because it's hard to read those subtitles you have incorporated into your vidoe. America is a not talked about everty second in this video so it's unpatriotic because yuo don't fote for trump 2017
Tristan Möller (2 months ago)
This is exactly the amount of detail I like