The people we hear but never see

Being me, it is inevitable that some of these blog entries will be about aviation, some of you will just have to accept that while I know that others will enjoy it and here is the first one:
For a long time I had wanted to see the work that the air traffic controllers perform when they are guiding us in the, sometimes congested, airspace over Sweden and yesterday, together with five fellow aviation/technology freaks we were given the opportunity to visit Stockholm ATCC (Air Traffic Control Centre).

Our guide, Johan, started by giving us an overview and brief history of the ATCC and what we would be seeing during the visit

Christian, Fredrik, Patrik & Leif waiting with excitement for what is to come

 

After a quick cup of coffee we walked through the office premises towards the flight planning center (FPC). For almost all pilots in Sweden the people working here are the first point of contact we have before flying as the supply us with weather, NOTAMs and other information we might need for our flight. They also take care of the flight plans we submit and make sure that they are in order before sending them to air traffic control and returning a confirmation to us by SMS (if submitted by internet).

 

The”magical” flight planning desk, where all the information is available at the touch of the button
to provide to pilots and OPS offices around the world. Almost all the information can also be found online.

 

We then moved on to the observer terrace above the control center where we were give a more detailed overview of how the “room” was divided.

 

The group getting their final overview before entering the world of screens and “chatter”

The next halt was the actual control room where we divided in two groups (3 for the ACC and 3 for TMC) and assigned a controller each who we were allowed to survey for 30 minutes and ask any questions that came up.

 

The controller position “Stockholm 6” a.k.a. 132.475

 

After a round-up session marking the end of our visit we were 6 smiling faces who left the building with a lot of new knowledge on our hands.

 

Thanks to everyone involved in this visit and hopefully, this visit will result in a surprise for you Swedish speakers at a later date, but that remains to be seem.

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