100 Years Air Traffic Control

Our Experts

GHATCA members uphold a high standard of knowledge and have developed exceptional knowledge in various disciplines in Aviation

Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based air traffic controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and in the air through a given section of 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.

Our safety experts are responsible for developing the GCAA safety management system and also spearheading our State Safety Program.  Safety management system (SMS) is a systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organisational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures.

Instrument Flight Procedure (IFP) design covers the planning of routes used by pilots and air traffic control from take-off to landing, and is a complex and highly regulated process. It is a published procedure used by aircraft flying in accordance with the instrument flight rules which is designed to achieve and maintain an acceptable level of safety in operations and includes an instrument approach procedure, a standard instrument departure, a planned departure route and a standard instrument arrival. All IFP design must be undertaken by an approved Procedure Designer that is authorized by the relevant State.

Any aircraft intended to be flown without a pilot on board is referred to in the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Doc 7300) as a “pilotless aircraft”. Today we call these aircraft “unmanned” rather than “pilotless”. Unmanned aircraft (UA) include a broad spectrum from meteorological balloons that fly freely to highly complex aircraft piloted from remote locations by licensed aviation professionals. The latter are part of the category referred to as “remotely piloted aircraft” or RPA that operate as part of a system, a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS).

Search and rescue (SAR) service is provided to the survivors of aircraft accidents as well as aircraft in distress regardless. The basic elements include a legal framework, a responsible authority, organized available resources, communication facilities and a workforce skilled in coordination and operational functions. The SAR service, while related to the alerting service, is not part of the air traffic services (ATS), as it does not fulfill any of the ATS objectives, as defined in Annex 11. It is therefore often performed by agencies other than ANSPs (although close cooperation with the ATS units is ensured by the establishment of relevant procedures).