For ATC, protecting the most precious real estate in all of aviation requires close attention and a big pile of rules, with increasing assistance from technology.
Everyones sensitive about somethingweight gain or receding hairlines, for instance, or the things you shouldnt talk about at family dinners, like religion and politics.
Air traffic controls soft spot? Runways. You dont mess with the runways. They may have all kinds of shapes and surfacesconcrete, dirt, grass, even waterbut theyre all sacred ground when aircraft are using them.
The skys plenty big, but airport runways are quite finite. Bad things can happen quickly in those confined spaces, and runway incursion numbers have been steadily increasing. To stave off the unthinkable, air traffic controllers wield a constantly evolving arsenal of procedures, technology, and phraseology in their efforts to keep pilots safe and informed.