How Air Traffic Control Works


Comments • 2 111

  • 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:
    Google Podcasts:
    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  3 months back

      Wendover Productions wee

    • Anmol Dani
      Anmol Dani  3 months back


  • sjakebaas
    sjakebaas  2 days back

    What happens , if your system has a failure ,with planes in the air?

    • Mark Moire
      Mark Moire  5 days back

      At 1:54 is that a Facebook mom minion meme above the persons desk?

      • Major Kong
        Major Kong  1 weeks back

        Ahh, the French strike again!

        • 47ambrose42jpm
          47ambrose42jpm  2 weeks back

          How does one become an ATC person?

          • Tom Donnelly
            Tom Donnelly  2 weeks back

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

            • unknown unknown
              unknown unknown  3 weeks back

              Today schedule 1615 to 2115

              • Jeff Ray
                Jeff Ray  3 weeks back

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

                • Ibirdball
                  Ibirdball  3 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  3 weeks back

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

                    • John Daltrocanto
                      John Daltrocanto  3 weeks back

                      You really butchered that Italian name

                      • DaRobo
                        DaRobo  4 weeks back

                        I regret checking if checklistmas{ was actually taken.

                        • Neurofied Yamato
                          Neurofied Yamato  4 weeks back

                          Wow cool, you actually went to eurocontrol.

                          • badlandskid
                            badlandskid  4 weeks back

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

                            • UConnhuskyandrewnduati
                              UConnhuskyandrewnduati  4 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  4 weeks back

                                2:38 There's also an RAF base there

                                • Incorrigible Panda
                                  Incorrigible Panda  1 months 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  3 weeks back

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

                                • NadChel1
                                  NadChel1  1 months back

                                  The seventh reference is just a search result

                                  • Scooty789
                                    Scooty789  1 months back

                                    seems like a nice job worth pursuing

                                    • Oliver Gray
                                      Oliver Gray  1 months 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  1 months 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  1 months 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  2 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  1 months 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  2 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  2 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  2 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  2 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  2 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  1 months 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

                                                              • 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  2 months back

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

                                                                          • Mango2308
                                                                            Mango2308  2 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".