16.72 | Fall 2006 | Graduate

Air Traffic Control


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Description

This course introduces the various aspects of present and future Air Traffic Control systems. Among the topics in the present system that we will discuss are the systems-analysis approach to problems of capacity and safety, surveillance, including the National Airspace System and Automated Radar Terminal Systems, navigation subsystem technology, aircraft guidance and control, communications, collision avoidance systems and sequencing and spacing in terminal areas. The class will then talk about future directions and development and have a critical discussion of past proposals and of probable future problem areas.

Grading Information

The course will be graded on the basis of a term project with a final write up (~15-25 pages) and briefings, class participation and some short assignments. The projects should focus on a substantive issue or recommendation for dealing with capacity restrictions in the National Airspace System. In particular as it may influence near term Operational Improvement Plans or longer term Next Generation Air Transportation System plans. Consider yourself a consultant to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) senior management.

There will be a brief (~3-5 minutes) mid-term presentation and a longer (~10-15 minutes) final presentation of each project.

Useful Resources

Reference material from the Joint Planning and Development Office can be found at Next Generation Air Transportation System.

Reference material from the FAA Operational Evolution can be found at Operational Evolution Plan. (PDF)

Reference material for European Air Traffic Management can be linked from Eurocontrol.

Another good reference site is the FAA Eurocontrol ATM Seminar Series containing archived papers.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2006