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Assessing interaction and comprehension in Air Traffic Control

The importance of language and communication in air traffic control (ATC).
Two pilots sitting the cockpit of an aircraft
© University of Leicester

We will now look at the importance of language and communication in air traffic control (ATC), These two activities will allow you to explore the interaction and comprehension between pilots and ATC.

Activity 1: Listen to ATC communication in real time.

Step 1

Click on this link to open ATC at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.

To begin with, find ‘Radar East Inbound’, which is guiding aircraft in to land from the East. Click on one of the ‘Listen’ buttons to listen to the Air Traffic Control.

Screenshot of Radar East Inbound part of web page
© 2002-2018, LiveATC.net, All Rights Reserved.

Step 2

Click on this link to open Flightradar, and then zoom in on Schiphol Airport.

Screenshot of Flightradar showing Schiphol airport
© 2018 Flightradar24 AB.

Step 3

Hover your cursor over aircraft to the East of the airport. Identify one of the aircraft mentioned by ATC and click on it. Then follow the movements and height of the aircraft while you listen to ATC and the interaction between the ground and the pilot.

From doing this, what do you think are the key features of ATC–PILOT interaction?

Time management tip Learners who are aiming to complete the week’s activities in three hours should aim to spend approximately 10 minutes on this task.

Activity 2: Evaluating a Test Task

Look at this test of aviation English. On the web page scroll down to ‘section 2: interactive comprehension’. You will find two recordings of candidates taking this part of the aviation English test.

If a candidate pilot or air traffic controller passed this test, would you feel confident being on board a plane under their control?

Share your views in the comments area.

Time management tip Learners who are aiming to complete the week’s activities in three hours should aim to spend approximately 10 minutes on this task.

© University of Leicester
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