Air traffic control (ATC) is a vital component to the safe and orderly flow of aircraft and flights operating in the worldwide aviation system. At the busiest times of day, there are more than 5,000 flights traveling in U.S. airspace. Every minute, hundreds of aircraft push back from their departure gates and begin flights along a pre-planned route, while at the same time hundreds more are arriving safely at their destinations. This equates to more than 75,000 flights per day handled by terminal air traffic controllers. Air traffic controllers (or Air Traffic Control Specialists) are responsible for ensuring safe operations within their airspace. Air traffic control must manage and coordinate the movements of thousands of aircraft each and every day, keep them at safe distances from one other, direct them during takeoff and landing from airports and in between, direct them around bad or turbulent weather and ensure that traffic flows smoothly and efficiently with minimal delays. Aviation enthusiasts certainly find communication between air traffic controllers and pilots to be of high interest. This article will show you how to listen to live air traffic control communications online.
The first step to listening to live air traffic control communications (live atc) is to establish an internet connection and go online.
Navigate to a search engine and perform an internet search using keywords such as the following: "listen to air traffic control", or "live air traffic control", or "live atc", or "listen to atc".
On the list of returned search results, the first several websites should be relevant to being able to listen to live air traffic control communications. (Also, see additional resources below for relevant websites to listen to live atc).
Navigate to one of the websites in the search results, such as liveatc.net, or atcmonitor.com, and then follow their instructions to listen to live air traffic control communications. Most of these sites will provide live audio feeds from many different air traffic control stations (such as control towers, TRACON facilities, and En Route facilities). Some of the sites provide a listing of the top audio feeds, such as those from the New York City area, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, and more. You can also find live air traffic feeds from smaller facilities as well.
After you've found an interesting air traffic control communications audio stream from one of the sites above, click on it and you'll be on your way to listening to a live audio of air traffic control communications between pilots and air traffic controllers.