What is meant by air traffic control? Air traffic control is when a certain information center provides necessary information about flights to all pilots around airports and anywhere there could be planes. There are specially designed radio frequencies made just for the air traffic control centers to communicate with pilots all over. This communication that occurs between the control center and the pilots is what keeps all the airport operations running properly with no risk of any issues or accidents. Pilots are specially trained to have a good ear to learn how to communicate with the air control so that they can make sure they get the message very clearly and do as asked to avoid complicated issues from arising. While pilots are usually the ones to pay attention to the air traffic control, sometimes training pilots and also retired ones might enjoy listening to this communication between the two. In such cases, this is how you can go ahead and do the same!
Find a frequency
While pilots automatically get the correct frequencies tuned in to their helicopter headset most of the time, others are not so lucky. So if you are to find or listen to the air traffic control you will have to find a live frequency. You will need a radio scanner to do this and if you are able to, you can also do this at certain websites as well. You can get an aeronautical chart to help you out with this as well!
Usually, when a pilot is all set with their suitable aviation headset and other necessary stuff, they will receive messages that will be prefixed with the pilot number. Once this message is received and the flight is recognized, then the rest of the message will follow through. The pilot will have to read the instructions back to the controller again to let the controller know the pilot understood and went through with the said instructions. All of this is knowledge that you should know if you are to understand what the communication is going to be like.
Usually if an airport is uncontrolled, the messages received and said is going to be much less formal than in a controlled airport. This means you, as an outsider will be able to understand it better. Sometimes, the phonetic alphabet is sued to communicate between the two as well as it. For example, the messages might say “niner” to mean nine or “tree” to mean three. This is because it reduces the chance of messages being confused.