How Air Traffic Control Works

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Animation by Josh Sherrington
Sound by Graham Haerther (
Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster

Special thanks to Patreon supporters Adam Chelminski, Arkadiy Kulev, Charles Zilinski, Chris Allen, Connor J Smith, Daddy Donald, Etienne Dechamps, Eyal Matsliah, Hank Green, John & Becki Johnston, Kyle, MyNameIsKir, Plinio Correa, Qui Le, Remi_Scarlet, Tom Dooner, Tyler Hamm, and Vaughn Mudrick

Music by
Select footage courtesy the AP Archive



23 thoughts on “How Air Traffic Control Works”

  1. Hey all, so in case you didn't see the announcement video, we launched a new scripted podcast last Wednesday called Extremities. It's all about why and how people live in earth's most isolated and extreme settlements.

    In season one, we tell the story of Pitcairn Island–a small British territory in the South Pacific with just 50 people. It's 300 miles/500 kilometers away from the nearest other inhabited place, 3000 miles/5000 kilometers away from the nearest city, and 10,000 miles/16,000 kilometers away from its capital city in London. The twist and turns that Pitcairn takes through history and the explanation of why and how Pitcairn still exists today are fascinating, in my biased opinion.

    Episode 1 is out now, episode 2 comes out tomorrow, and I'd love it if you'd give it a listen. Extremities is available at the following places:

    Apple Podcasts:
    Google Podcasts:
    Pocket Casts:

    I hope you enjoy!

  2. I wonder why not more people want to become air traffic controllers.
    Controllers have a very good salary that can even ovetake a pilot's salary, but without the risk.
    As long as you can handle the stress and are fine with shift work, it's a cool job all around I'd say.

  3. Hey Wendover!
    I know rhis video is a bit old, but I thought you might like to hear that your videos are officially being used as part of curriculum at a major university!
    I just had a major bruh moment actually because I've never experienced an instructor use video from a youtube I was already familiar with, but nonetheless she has, and I just thought I'd give you the heads up that your videos are really making a difference and are well crafted enough for people at really big institutions to take notice 🙂

  4. Air Traffic Control is not complicated enough to need this video. If they had to they could manage just with Bruce Willis lighting a barrel of oil (like one of his Die Hard films).

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