If you are already skilled in ATC here is the command list, otherwise go ahead and read the full introduction and detailed instructions
When typing <plane> callsign, enter only the numeric part and omit the airline code. To speed-up planes callsign typing, you can use TAB key to auto-complete the callsign after the first digits.
Note: You can't interact and send instructions with a plane until you have accepted the release (REL command) from the tower or other ATC. Until a plane is released and identified only the transponder code and FL is showed on the radar.
You can concatenate more commnands on the same message: example:
<plane> C XENOL NENIG TAQ F 250
meaning: follow the route XENOL-NENIG-TAQ and climb/descent to FL 250
ATC Terminal simulator is now still in beta phase. There are several known glitches and bugs. Should you go through a problem please use the GitHub Issue Tracker to get in touch during the beta phase.
The simulation runs in all major browsers, but could require a lot of CPU and Memory. We do not recommend to run it on a low-range pc.
No mobile version is provided nor expected, due to need for a high resolution monitor (1920x1080 recommended).
This software is provided as-is, without any guarantee.
(from Wikipedia) Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based air traffic controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and through controlled airspace, and can provide advisory services to aircraft in non-controlled airspace. The primary purpose of ATC worldwide is to prevent collisions, organize and expedite the flow of air traffic, and provide information and other support for pilots. To prevent collisions, ATC enforces traffic separation rules, which ensure each aircraft maintains a minimum amount of empty space around it at all times. In many countries, ATC provides services to all private, military, and commercial aircraft operating within its airspace.
In this simulation you sits at the departure/arrival console of a terminal area (a zone where one or more airports are located).
You are expected to drive all the approaching aircrafts to landing safe, and all departures aircrafts to leave your control area in the right place and at the right altitude.
Arrival planes are released to you from ATC controllers looking-after ATC routes, you must drive them to landing, and release them to TWR controller when fully estabilished on the final glide for landing, usually less than 10 miles from touch down.
Departure planes are released to you from TWR just after their take-off, but you must coordinate with TWR their taxi and take-off time to avoid any conflict with other planes.
In this simulation, the radio communications between the controller (you), the aircrafts, and other controllers (ATC/TWR) are replaced by written messages. (In a future release will be possible to hear the radio communications from your pc speakers.)
The ATC screen reproduce as close as possible a real radar screen in use in many control towers. It's divided in 5 main areas:
Displays the radar view of the selected are
Shows the strips of the currently active aircraft in your control area
Include some control buttons to change radar settings, and the radio command input, where you enter your messages to aircrafts
This is where all radio messages between you and aircrafts are displayed. Also the current time is showed in the upper-left corner
On the radar screen you can see the following information:
Airport runways are displayed like solid lines, usually with a small green triangle on each side. A small label indicate the runway name, as the magnetic bearing of the runway followed by an optional letter indicating Left/Right/Center.
In the image above, the London Heatrow airport is showed, with its 2 parallel runways heading exactly in the direction east-west. Because each runway could be used in both the directions, the runway indicators are 4 in the reality:
the runways with magnetic bearing of 090 degrees (aircrafts heading east when on the runway)
the runways with magnetic bearing of 270 degrees (aircrafts heading west when on the runway)
Runways could be displayed or not by clicking the button RWY, while runway labels could be controlled by the corresponding button LBL
If you are not familiar with the concept of magnetig bearing or compass, please read this before.
The dashed blue lines represent the runway virtual extensions, or centerlines, and are 5 nautical miles long. They could help to understand when an aircraft is correctly lined up with the runway.
Centerlines could be displayed or not by clicking button CEN
The color of the runway indicate it's status:
These kind of objects displayed on the radar screen represents various reference points for the aircraft navigation. Their meaning is:
Navigation aids are physical installations also called radio-beacons, that transmit some special radio signals used by aircrafts to detect their position or follow a specific route.
Today, in the GPS era, they are less important, but they are still used as main reference points for navigation.
VOR and VOR+DME are represented on the screen by a solid triangle inside a circle, with a 3 letter label representing the navaid name. They allow radial navigation (following a specific route to/from the vor), while DME equipment (Distance Measuring Equipment) allow aircraft to know exactly it's distance from navaid. The combination of current radial and distance from the beacon allow aircraft to know exactly its position.
NDB (Not Directional Beacon) only allow the aircraft to know the direction to follow to heading the beacon itself, without any distance information. They are also used as Markers in the final landing path to mark special report points and distance to runway (Outer Marker, Middle Marker, Inner Marker).
NDBs are represented on the radar screen by an empty green circle with a 3 letter label.
Navaids display can be controlled by the button NAV in the command area.
Fixes are not real installations on the ground, but are pure virtual points in the space. Their position is always indicated by a radial + distance from a navaid or by the intersection of two radials. Now they are also indicated by their latitude/longitude GPS position.
Aircraft routes are very often indicated by the sequence of navaids/fixes to overfly.
Fixes are represented on the screen by a green empty triangle with a 5 letters label, and their display can be controlled by the FIX button in the command area.
Waypoints are most likely Fixes, but are used for special tracks or routes used during take-off or landing.
They are represented by a smaller empty green triangle with a 5 letters/numbers label.
Waypoints display can be controlled by the button WAY in the command area. Setting the console to show all the waypoints near an airport may result in a very crowded screen.
Planes are displayed on the radar screen by a small green box with a line and some text.
The line isn't a tail as you could expect, but it's a nose, representing the future route of the aircraft, while the length of the line is proportional to plane speed. In fact, the line represent the route covered by the plane in the next minute, i.e. where it will be within one minute.
The text beside the plane is splitted in two lines, and shows all the vital information about the aircraft's flight status:
In the image above, you can read:
By clicking with the mouse on the plane box, the expected route of the aircraft will be showed on the screen, with all the waypoints highlighted.
The strip area contains the strips of all the planes under ATC control, splitted between Arrival Strips and Departure Strips.
In real ATC consoles, plane strips are often real paper strips where ATC controller write manually all useful information about each flight he manage. Modern ATC consoles replaced manual strips with printed strips, but where controller can even write over manually. Last generation ATC consoles replaced paper strips with digital strips displayed on the screen itself, where most of information are updated automatically, and where controller can write over with a digital pen.
You could think our console as a next generation ATC console with pure digital strips, where all information are updated automatically.
This is an example of Arrival Strip. It's divided in 4 parts where the following information are displayed:
The above strip carry these information:
An example of Departure Strip is the following:
In this case, the plane is still on the ground, and you can read:
Strip color has a specific meaning:
Commands area is located in the upper-right corner of the console screen.
The "enter radio message" input box is where you must enter your commands.
The other commands are two-state buttons (white = off / green = on) to control many parameters:
Most of these buttons have an additional LBL buttons below, to show or hide labels of corresponding objects.
Two more command buttons are available:
Message bar is located in the upper area of the radar screen, and show all the radio communications between you and the planes, or you and the other controllers from ATC and TWR.
Messages are displayed on the bar for 10 seconds before disappearing.
Messages color are different to indicate the sender/detsination of the message:
Following are some examples of correct ATC procedures to manage planes in the right way.
TWR: <plane> ready for departure
TWR: <plane> ready for takeoff
<plane> C TO
<plane> with you, good morning
<plane> CH ATC
ATC: <plane> inbound, ready for release
<plane> with you, good afternoon
<plane> FL 90
<plane> C EXAMA
<plane> C 16L
<plane> C EXAMA 16L
The plane will follow the route from current position to EXAMA, then will intercept the final glide for runway 16L
<plane> CH TWR
Sometimes things goes wrong, you have overestimated planes separation and two landing planes are too close one to each other. In these cases you can decide to send a "Go Around" command to a plane already aligned with the runway and ready for landing, but not yet released to tower control:
The aircraft abort the landing immediately, and start following the standard missed approach procedure for the current landing procedure.
By displaying the plane route when landing, you can see also the missed approach route contine after the runway, as in the following example:
The missed approach procedure always end to a final fix where the planes enter a holding pattern waiting for further instructions.
When the situation is dramatic and you don't know how to manage all the arrival planes, you can place some planes on holding, and let them circle over a fix or navaid, waiting for their time to approach.
For example, this command:
<plane> HOLD TAQ 100
produces this result:
The planes reach the fix TAQ and enter a 5 miles holding pattern with inbound leg with heading 100 degrees (you must always specify the heading of the inbound leg when send a holding command).
In the real world, is not unusual to see a stack of planes holding the same pattern at different levels waiting to be called. You have just to remember that the fuel runs out fast and every minute lost is money burning for airlines!
Being this software in a Beta preliminary phase, there are a lot of known problems and things to be improved in the future. These are some: