How the System Works: NAS under IFR

air route traffic control center map

So How Does the NAS Really Look?

In this LESSON, we’ll show you how the National Airspace System is broken up into separate sections and sectors, and how they all work together to make one nice smooth system.

The parts from the “ground up” are:

  • Clearance Delivery (sometimes combined with Ground)
  • Metering (who you call before you call ground, but only at some very busy airports)
  • Ground Control
  • Tower
  • Approach / Departure (same frequency and controller, we just call them Departure if we just took off, and Approach at all other times)
  • Center (ARTCC or Air Route Traffic Control Center, we call them Center for short).

Now let’s talk about what each one does in the next TOPICS…….

ifr course map

Departing New Orleans!unusable airway

We’ve left New Orleans and have decided to fly on Victor Airways to our next destination.  We’re going to avoid V566 because it is unusable between WRACK and FITSY (but we’ll talk a lot more about chart symbols later in Lesson 8).  As we fly along airways, it may not be the most direct route to our next stop, however, it will be the safest, both in terms of obstacle clearance and simplicity if you are unlucky enough to lose radio communications.

Our next stop on the trip is going to be College Station (KCLL) in Texas.  We’ll fly along V20, V306, and V15 to get there!