Air Traffic Control: from the Primitive Days to Nextgen (Illumination #1)

By Daniel Di Santo

Nextgen technology revolutionizes communication between the airplane itself and ground-based controllers. In the process, the work environment of an air traffic controller also changes greatly. Here are four pictures illustrating air traffic control environments from the earliest days all the way to the most advanced digital technology.

Early air traffic control: just radio



Current control tower environment: a mix of older and newer technology



Nextgen-style information displays such as this first appeared on aircraft carriers: