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Air Traffic Control Training Table

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Picture of Air Traffic Control Training Table
What do actual air traffic controllers use to practice actual air traffic control? Toys, naturally.

My wife and I picked up a recently discarded and gently used table.  We painted it up with some leftover paint, then mutually decided something had to be drawn on it. Since our "skillz of an artist" are somewhat lacking, I suggested we make a replica of my old practice ATC table - a ruler and some masking tape, we'll be just fine!
 
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Step 1: Materials


  • Any old table (I used an IKEA Ingo table found at the dumpster, 30x46 inches)
     
  • paint
    • background color (white or green works well)
    • foreground color or colors (something that contrasts well with your background, I used dark green and black for taxiways/runways, and yellow and white paint pens for runway markings)
    • clear sealant (to protect your table)
  • tools
    • paint brush
    • square
    • notebook
    • tape measure
  • other
    • masking tape (I used 3/4", but any size should be fine)
    • scrap paper (we have ours delivered straight to our mailbox)


chipper351 year ago
I've always found airports to be fascinating places!! While I might not build something like this, it's EXTREMELY cool!!!!! 
Phydeaux (author)  chipper351 year ago
Thanks, I find them pretty fascinating too! :-)
CameronSS3 years ago
Looks nice! My flight club is currently rehabbing a neglected hanger that we leased cheap, I might suggest one of these for the flight planning room. It would be great for teaching student pilots airport operations as well.
Shhhh the first rule of Flight Club is..........
Phydeaux (author)  CameronSS3 years ago
Thanks! Good luck with the rehab, Is "Restocking an Aircraft Hangar" an upcoming instructable? ;-)
Oh, goodness, no. I'm guessing most of the steps are already on Ibles, though. We leased it as-was, which was as an engine repair/maintenance shop. Gutted the interior, framed in a classroom, planning room, kitchen, etc. We've been mooching a meeting room and keeping the airplanes in T-hangers, now we have a central spot for everything. Far too many steps for a coherent Instructable, though. ;)
Good clean work! This would be a great way to teach students different procedures at controlled and uncontrolled airports! Maybe drawing a standard circuit (or pattern for the americans) for each runway would be a good idea (maybe not to scale tho). I know it would be a great asset to PPL, and IFR training, and a whole lot better than reading the CFS (sorry americans, i don't know your equivalent), for approach procedures. Now to get my flight school to build one.
LinkTGF3 years ago
love the H*R reference with "skillz of an artist" =P
Phydeaux (author)  LinkTGF3 years ago
I was wondering if anyone would actually catch that! My original plan was to draw a giant Trogdor, but that would involve the dreaded curves of both an "S" and a "more different S", so it went with this instead. :-)
bustedit3 years ago
Uncanny that this was posted. Last night the wife and I were watching The Taking of Pelham 123 (which we turned off after 15 minutes) and I made a comment about becoming an ATC. Yes, the movie was about a subway train, but their control center & interface reminded me of ATC stuff. She said "how do you think you would learn that" and I said "uh...lots of training??" but the thought of using models never came to mind. I was a dispatcher and then supervisor (now desk jockey) of an ambulance service that provides 911 coverage to 2 cities and 2 surrounding towns. When I was in the comms center we also covered 1 other local town and another distant city, so I was thinking I may have the nerve to handle ATC. How did you get into it, and how did you find it? T.V makes it out to be a horrific job, but the writers prolly never spent any time in 911 dispatch, taking calls from hysterical mothers of breathless babies or roof jumpers.
Phydeaux (author)  bustedit3 years ago

It's really not that bad over all, it really depends on where you work. There's always some level of stress - busy places don't leave room for error, and slow places you're fighting complacency. I've never experienced the overly busy side of things, though, so I'm probably understating it.

There are several ways to get into ATC through the FAA or military routes. Not all that different from EMS work, it can be really slow, or it can be constant action, but either way you have to keep track of a lot of numbers.

Shadow13!3 years ago
Nice Job. I have used similar but simpler runways setups to teach take-off and land patterns to kid visiting the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Branch of the Smithsonian.
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