How Air Traffic Control Works


Comments • 2 110

  • Wendover Productions
    Wendover Productions   3 months back

    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:
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    Pocket Casts:

    I hope you enjoy!

    • bootfan !!
      bootfan !!  2 months back

      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
      Khalid Bin Walid  2 months back

      Your name is not Wendover?? My whole life...

    • Effah Osei
      Effah Osei  2 months back

      Wendover Productions wee

    • Anmol Dani
      Anmol Dani  2 months back


  • Major Kong
    Major Kong  20 hours back

    Ahh, the French strike again!

    • 47ambrose42jpm
      47ambrose42jpm  4 days back

      How does one become an ATC person?

      • Tom Donnelly
        Tom Donnelly  6 days back

        This would have been a lot more interesting if it had been about US airspace rather than European airspace.

        • unknown unknown
          unknown unknown  2 weeks back

          Today schedule 1615 to 2115

          • Jeff Ray
            Jeff Ray  2 weeks back

            Nose to tail aircraft noise morning noon and night over Calderdale, has someone blown their top ? 😂🔥

            • Ibirdball
              Ibirdball  2 weeks back

              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
                Andrew  2 weeks back

                Wonder if I could get a Visa to go work at eurocontrol

                • John Daltrocanto
                  John Daltrocanto  2 weeks back

                  You really butchered that Italian name

                  • DaRobo
                    DaRobo  3 weeks back

                    I regret checking if checklistmas{ was actually taken.

                    • Neurofied Yamato
                      Neurofied Yamato  3 weeks back

                      Wow cool, you actually went to eurocontrol.

                      • badlandskid
                        badlandskid  3 weeks back

                        Twenty flights daily equals more than one an hour? Must be on metric time in Europe.

                        • UConnhuskyandrewnduati
                          UConnhuskyandrewnduati  3 weeks back

                          This is probably my favorite video ever, like Wendover Productions, Half as Interesting, Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, any*fucking*thing ever.

                          • Shadowwolf TD5000
                            Shadowwolf TD5000  3 weeks back

                            2:38 There's also an RAF base there

                            • Incorrigible Panda
                              Incorrigible Panda  3 weeks back

                              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
                                Geometrical Gamer  2 weeks back

                                It really depends on where the ATCs are working. In my area they get paid 100,000+

                            • NadChel1
                              NadChel1  3 weeks back

                              The seventh reference is just a search result

                              • Scooty789
                                Scooty789  4 weeks back

                                seems like a nice job worth pursuing

                                • Oliver Gray
                                  Oliver Gray  4 weeks back

                                  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
                                    Shanghao Zhong  1 months back

                                    ATC would be one of the most complicated work in the world

                                    • Alex
                                      Alex  4 weeks back

                                      Good pay though

                                  • YoBanana
                                    YoBanana  1 months back

                                    Thought this was Captian Joe.

                                    • Nathan Gehman
                                      Nathan Gehman  1 months back

                                      1: 37 Man, they have NICE chairs!

                                    • JP Labs
                                      JP Labs  1 months back

                                      I like how a Dutch control centre controls Belgian airspace......

                                      • funkyleah
                                        funkyleah  1 months back

                                        Fake! It’s like ATC in Microsoft flight simulator steam edition

                                        • Michael Hall
                                          Michael Hall  4 weeks back

                                          Looks like a Traffic Management facility.

                                      • GopzU
                                        GopzU  1 months back

                                        12:30 my dream place to work <3 Greetings from Germany, Karlsruhe :D

                                        • Amaral Monteiro
                                          Amaral Monteiro  1 months back

                                          Ágora tou na Madeira. Muito giro.❤

                                          • A Throbbing Peanuts
                                            A Throbbing Peanuts  1 months back

                                            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
                                              Michael Hall  4 weeks back

                                              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
                                            Aaron Seet  1 months back

                                            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
                                              Theron Kolokwe  1 months back

                                              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

                                                Love the videos. Hate the B.S. Falun Gong "Epoch Times" fascist propaganda advertising you apparently accept.

                                                • the hunter
                                                  the hunter  1 months back

                                                  I don't need sleep
                                                  I need answers

                                                  • 习近平和毛泽东都是怪物

                                                    you guys really do a kick ass job. the interviews were really great, worth your extra effort

                                                    • Anna Orzechowicz
                                                      Anna Orzechowicz  1 months back

                                                      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!

                                                    • christian legaspi
                                                      christian legaspi  1 months back

                                                      If a baby is born on an airplane what citizenship does the baby have

                                                      • Glimpse Pedroza
                                                        Glimpse Pedroza  2 months back

                                                        I understand. But sigh! Its complicated

                                                        • Marc Pagan
                                                          Marc Pagan  2 months back

                                                          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.

                                                          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
                                                            Michael Hall  4 weeks back

                                                            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
                                                          Kami Kami  2 months back

                                                          Thank you so much for such a amazing , excellent & useful information

                                                          • Abas Abertas
                                                            Abas Abertas  2 months back

                                                            I passed the exam to become a military Air traffic controller. But I went to college and instead.

                                                            • Karen Kramer
                                                              Karen Kramer  2 months back

                                                              Seems so complicated. Can't believe there aren't more crashes.

                                                              • Cedar W
                                                                Cedar W  2 months back

                                                                1:10 looks like mission control in houston!!

                                                                • T Bjornsson
                                                                  T Bjornsson  2 months back

                                                                  I think the video should be titled 'How Air Traffic Control Works in Europe'

                                                                  • Alex's Flight Channel
                                                                    Alex's Flight Channel  2 months back

                                                                    Ooh 15 minutes long

                                                                    • Smogy 001
                                                                      Smogy 001  2 months back

                                                                      Wait, this is like HAI but without questionable jokes?! Who tf needs this?

                                                                      • Martin Astiba
                                                                        Martin Astiba  2 months back

                                                                        650 take offs daily. One day 24 hrs or 86400 sec

                                                                        How does this translate to One Aircraft every 45 sec???

                                                                        • Martin Astiba
                                                                          Martin Astiba  1 months back

                                                                          @Mango2308 Thanks for that piece of info. Seems I had inadvertently missed it. Regards

                                                                        • Mango2308
                                                                          Mango2308  1 months back

                                                                          Martin Astiba The flights operate from 6am to 1130pm

                                                                      • Michael Hall
                                                                        Michael Hall  2 months back

                                                                        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
                                                                          flanker  2 months back

                                                                          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
                                                                            Michael Hall  2 months back

                                                                            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
                                                                          Christofer Riche  2 months back

                                                                          Too many people required to handle just One flight

                                                                          • Christofer Riche
                                                                            Christofer Riche  2 months back

                                                                            @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
                                                                            Michael Hall  2 months back

                                                                            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
                                                                          Christofer Riche  2 months back

                                                                          Too Many "hand offs".

                                                                          • Christofer Riche
                                                                            Christofer Riche  2 months back

                                                                            Too Many planes flying at once too often.