Real Air Traffic Control is not a game, there is no space for committing errors; there are no replays or retakes but the ATC can be fun if you are playing a game based on it. In this post, I am sharing my views on popular and addictive ATC games where you can enjoy Air Traffic Controlling, even with unlimited possibilities of making silly mistakes. If you are an Air Traffic Controller or wanna-be ATC, then you will enjoy these cool games and apps the most.
1. Air Control Lite
I played this game for the first time in 2013. It is simple yet surprisingly very addictive game where the player assumes the charge of an Air Traffic Controller at an airport with two runways and one helipad. The task is to direct the planes in order to avoid collision between three different colored aircraft viz Red, Blue and Green. The red one lands only on longer runway, blue colored aircraft lands on smaller runway and green colored aircraft on helipad. More the number of aircraft you direct to land safely higher is your rank in the game. You can also compare your score with other players from across the world/ your country/your city. It stands at number one ranking in ATC games category on Google Play Store.
2. Endless ATC
This is my favourite and best time-killer ATC game. Endless ATC is an awesome game for ATC freaks that gives you the real feeling of being an Air Traffic Controller (Approach Controller to be specific) at a busy airport. It allows you to give radar vectors like a real air traffic controller. Basically this is simulation game which requires basic knowledge of Approach Control Position in ATC.The task of the controllers is divided for arrivals and departure. For arriving aircraft, the controller needs to give timely descent to the arrivals; guide them safely to the ILS (a system to assist aircraft align to the runway), imposing speed restrictions to ensure that aircraft does not initiate go-around or missed approach; whereas for departing aircraft, the controller needs to separate them from arrivals and give them timely climb, even the concept of SID (Standard Instrument Departure) has also been included.
To make the game fun and playable, the ATC simulator has been simplified as compared to the real life scenario but it is worth to mention that aircraft behave quite realistically. The number of planes will increase depending on the capability of controller to handle the traffic. So play this game and find how many flights at a time you can handle without compromising the safety?
3. Unmatched Air Traffic Control
This is another highly popular and interesting ATC game. It is a simulation based game where you are an Air Traffic Controller, who is assigned the task of controlling the traffic from the control tower at a busy airport. Unlike Endless ATC which is based on Approach Control, this game is based on Tower and Ground Control. The game ensures that you get very well familiarized with various clearances requested by the pilots. As evident from the below given image, it provides similar view as of from the Airport Control Tower. You will feel that you are controlling the traffic from the Tower.
You are required to perform tasks similar to the Tower Controller i.e. to guide the landing and taking off airplanes, issue missed approach clearance to the aircraft, prevent collision in the air, to abort take-off in case of exigency etc. At the same time this game requires you to work as Ground controller as well with the prime motive to guide the planes to move safely on the ground
4. Take Control of the Tower
Get ready to know what it is like to be an Air Traffic Controller at a busy airport. Be the ruler of the airspace under your jurisdiction and guide the aircraft so that there is no collision. This game is a tricky one where you are required to align the arriving aircraft to the runway cente-line along with the task of provision of separation between arrivals and departure. The game requires your continuous attention as the runways keeps changing from time to time and you need to re-align all the aircraft accordingly. The game is basically based on the Approach Control position.
Last but not the least, not a game but one must-have App that is just awesome in providing real information about thousands of aircraft at any given point of time. This covers the air traffic across the world with help of the modern technologies such as ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast), MLAT (Multilaterations), Flarm (simpler version of ADS-B used mostly to track Gliders) and Radar-based information provided by FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). Some of the features of FlightRadar24 include
The app is available in two versions:
A. FlightRadar24 Free
It has features like display of planes moving in real-time on the map, details of departure and destination time and airport of aircraft, display of route, type, speed and altitude of aircraft, flight history.
B. FlightRadar24 Pro
Apart from the FlightRadar24 Free version features, Pro Version offers following additional features: Get real-time status updates of flights and current airport weather, realistic aircraft symbols, custom alerts can be set up based on airline, aircraft type, flight number or registration. FlightRadar24 Pro version will cost you INR 100.
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I am culminating my article with a wonderful image showing the traffic displayed on the FlightRadar24 App/Desktop version.
I hope you enjoyed the article.