Aviation and GIS Applications - National Air Traffic Control Day

July 6th, 1986 indicated the fiftieth anniversary of the formation of an airways traffic control system by the United States Bureau of Air Commerce. Within that fifty-year extent, the nation's air traffic control system had progressed from dependence on fairly simple, unsophisticated equipment and procedures to a much more advanced automated system, which safely and resourcefully processed millions of flights each year and functioned as an example for the world aviation community. With the expertise and dedication of thousands of Federal Aviation Administration employees (including air traffic controllers, electronic technicians, and engineers), the national air traffic control system presented a high level of security and efficiency, which has only continued to technologically thrive since!

Why not take a look at some of the ways GIS contributes to our air traffic control!


Flight Radar 24 is a fun application which allows you to turn your smartphone/computer into an air traffic control center. There is even a feature that allows for the identification of airplanes overhead by simply pointing your phone to the sky! Check out flight delays and their severity all around the world, which are ranked by either green (good traffic), yellow (some delays/few cancelations) , or red dots (big problems/big delays/several flights canceled). There is much more to get into on this application as well.

Obstruction Evaluation - Securing safe take-offs and landings with the Federal Aviation Agency's (FAA) vertical obstruction data (updated every 56 days). Click on the link to learn more!

Aeronautical Charts allow for scouting out the best routes, safe altitudes and navigation aids in the sky.

There are truly endless possibilities within GIS and mapping, particularly when related to aviation. GIS is constantly providing professionals (and the public) with important, accurate, real-time data that keeps us organized as a society and working as efficiently as possible.