AEP Air Traffic Control

Saturday's Aviation Education Programme was on Air Traffic Control.  It was the second in the ATC module and, after a short recap on radio frequencies and the phonetic alphabet, the students went on to learn basic Voice Procedure (the correct version, rather than the Hollywood variety).  This was followed by a map exercise looking at the different services provided by ATC and touching on the problems of wake turbulence caused by different types of aircraft. 

To demonstrate the difficulties and time pressures faced by controllers at large commercial airports the last exercise let the students take the part of the controller and attempt to keep a number of different aircraft from colliding while vectoring them towards Final Approach.  The students learnt that controllers might be able to earn a living by looking out of the window at aircraft, but they don't get time to day dream!
Nic Saunders