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Engineering accomplishment-Air traffic control systems - Essay Example

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Engineering Accomplishment: Air traffic Control Systems Name Institution Engineering Accomplishment: Air traffic Control Systems Introduction The invention of the air traffic control system is arguably one of the greatest engineering achievements in the aviation industry…
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Download file to see previous pages moved during the day with sufficient lighting and a clear sky. This meant that a pilot could easily see other aircrafts when taking off, landing or when on flight on the sky. Traffic avoidance was based on ‘see and be seen’ principle. This implied that aircrafts could only be flown in conditions that would easily allow them to see other aircrafts and change their flight paths to avoid others. All pilots were expected to abide by this principle and were also not allowed to fly the aircrafts under cloudy conditions. Furthermore, pilots were only allowed to fly the aircrafts in areas where visibility was not less than 3 miles. Nolan (2010) notes that pilots and aviation operators were comfortable with these rules since the aircrafts of those days were slow and pilots could easily see and avoid other aircrafts on flight making the establishment of more organized system of aircraft control unnecessary. Nevertheless, as technology advanced and people began to move all over the world in 1930s, their came a need of a more advanced air traffic control system to allow aircrafts to be flown at anytime, day or night, irrespective of prevailing condition leading to the establishment of instruments that would allow pilots to navigate the aircraft without having to depend on visual inference to the natural horizon. In addition, Navigation aids (navaids), which are ground-based systems, were also constructed to allow pilots to be able to control aircrafts without reference to ground (Gorton, 1998). When all these systems had been put in place, pilots could now be able to have easy take-off, travel en route and safely land in poor whether conditions that cannot allow them to see and avoid other aircrafts. This invention is indeed, a great accomplishment in the field of the aviation industry, which has helped improve aircraft movement throughout the country irrespective of whether condition, day or night. The reason being, it helps pilots in controlling the aircrafts thereby avoiding collision and accidents. For instance, it is reported that during peak hours in the US, approximately 5,000 aircrafts are flown on the sky every hour (Federal Aviation Administration, 2008). Mathematically, this figure translates to 50,000 airplanes being flown on the sky on a daily basis. This implies that without proper control mechanism, there could be high chances of these airplanes colliding with each other. It is here that air traffic control system comes in to ensure safe operation of aircrafts. For instance, a visit at most of the airports in Canada and the US, one thing for sure that one will see is an air traffic controller. The duty of an air traffic controller basically is to regulate aircraft take-offs and landings as required (Nolan, 2010). This is arguably the earliest method which involves the controller standing at a strategic position with colored flags which he or she uses to communicate with the pilots. For example, raising a green flag means that the pilot is at liberty to proceed with their planned landing or takeoffs. On the other hand, waving of a red flag implies that the pilot should hold on until controllers are sure that the pilots are free to proceed, when the green flag is waved according to Gorton (1998). This has indeed help reduce instances of aircraft accidents and collisions during landing and takeoff thereby restoring traveler’s confidence on the safety of aircrafts. However, since the safety of the aircraft is still has to be maintained on the sky this lead to the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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