How Air Traffic Control Works


Comments • 2 121

  • Wendover Productions
    Wendover Productions   4 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 !!  3 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  3 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


  • DDS Software
    DDS Software  2 days back

    Yeah because I'd rather listen to you than a real ATC instructor.

    • joseph lemons
      joseph lemons  2 days back


      • Kim Lau
        Kim Lau  2 days back

        Did you just go to Brussel and did an interview???

        • Luke Thompson
          Luke Thompson  3 days back

          *this is a Thomas Cook flight*


          • yakikadafi
            yakikadafi  3 days back

            I'm an air traffic controller in Australia and here the minimum horizontal separation is 2000 feet!

            • fobpower88
              fobpower88  4 days back

              RIP Thomas Cook 10:37

              • Samuele
                Samuele  4 days back

                Prissinotti orgoglio italiano porcoddio!

                • JOHN RICHARDSON
                  JOHN RICHARDSON  5 days back

                  At times the planes are spaced in such a way that their airstreams eventually widen and merge with the one next to it resulting in a thin but
                  total cloud cover. One can imagine that the area trees hate those days.

                  • Alina Vinnytsia
                    Alina Vinnytsia  5 days back

                    *EU control comfortable

                    Holidays: I'm gonna end this man's whole career

                    • Brian Beard
                      Brian Beard  1 weeks back

                      So where is the US ATC video? Its different over here.

                      • Ehab Mheibes
                        Ehab Mheibes  1 weeks back

                        somebody answer the phone! :p

                        • Frat Peker
                          Frat Peker  2 weeks back

                          Poor Thomas Cook flight

                          • Chuk Wow
                            Chuk Wow  2 weeks back

                            Sorry, this robovoice didn’t make it for me😕

                            • Benjamin Lahr
                              Benjamin Lahr  2 weeks back

                              Maybe they shouldn't have delayed the Thomas Cook flight...

                              • PASSUR Aerospace
                                PASSUR Aerospace  2 weeks back

                                Great educational video!

                                • Den Topseje Gummiand
                                  Den Topseje Gummiand  3 weeks back

                                  Rip Thomas Cook

                                  • Lex
                                    Lex  3 weeks back

                                    taking the FEAST tests at Eurocontrol in about a month wish me luck

                                    • McKayla Medina
                                      McKayla Medina  3 weeks back

                                      There goes our ozone layer

                                      • sjakebaas
                                        sjakebaas  4 weeks back

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

                                        • Mark Moire
                                          Mark Moire  4 weeks back

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

                                          • Major Kong
                                            Major Kong  1 months back

                                            Ahh, the French strike again!

                                            • 47ambrose42jpm
                                              47ambrose42jpm  1 months back

                                              How does one become an ATC person?

                                              • Tom Donnelly
                                                Tom Donnelly  1 months back

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

                                                • unknown unknown
                                                  unknown unknown  1 months back

                                                  Today schedule 1615 to 2115

                                                  • Jeff Ray
                                                    Jeff Ray  1 months back

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

                                                    • Ibirdball
                                                      Ibirdball  1 months 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  1 months back

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

                                                        • John Daltrocanto
                                                          John Daltrocanto  2 months back

                                                          You really butchered that Italian name

                                                          • DaRobo
                                                            DaRobo  2 months back

                                                            I regret checking if checklistmas{ was actually taken.

                                                            • Neurofied Yamato
                                                              Neurofied Yamato  2 months back

                                                              Wow cool, you actually went to eurocontrol.

                                                              • badlandskid
                                                                badlandskid  2 months back

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

                                                                • UConnhuskyandrewnduati
                                                                  UConnhuskyandrewnduati  2 months 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  2 months back

                                                                    2:38 There's also an RAF base there

                                                                    • Incorrigible Panda
                                                                      Incorrigible Panda  2 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  1 months back

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

                                                                    • NadChel1
                                                                      NadChel1  2 months back

                                                                      The seventh reference is just a search result

                                                                      • Scooty789
                                                                        Scooty789  2 months back

                                                                        seems like a nice job worth pursuing

                                                                        • Oliver Gray
                                                                          Oliver Gray  2 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  2 months back

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

                                                                            • Alex
                                                                              Alex  2 months back

                                                                              Good pay though

                                                                          • cluck
                                                                            cluck  2 months back

                                                                            Thought this was Captian Joe.

                                                                            • Nathan Gehman
                                                                              Nathan Gehman  2 months back

                                                                              1: 37 Man, they have NICE chairs!

                                                                            • JP Labs
                                                                              JP Labs  2 months back

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

                                                                              • funkyleah
                                                                                funkyleah  2 months back

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

                                                                                • Michael Hall
                                                                                  Michael Hall  2 months back

                                                                                  Looks like a Traffic Management facility.

                                                                              • GopzU
                                                                                GopzU  2 months back

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

                                                                                • Amaral Monteiro
                                                                                  Amaral Monteiro  2 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  2 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.