Our glossary contains frequently used terms and acronyms together with their explanations.

Working in the control tower

The controllers working in the control tower monitor the traffic on the movement area of the airport and in the surrounding airspace and ensure that aerodrome traffic runs smoothly. They coordinate taxiing, arriving and departing aircraft by means of radiotelephony and they inform pilots about their departure procedures and issue take-off clearances. The tower controllers can see the aircraft, but at large airports with a high traffic volume they are also supported by ground radar in the case of fog and at night.

Like the radar control centres, the towers are equipped with state-of-the-art technology. When the aircraft climbs into the sky after take-off, the controller enters the exact departure time into the computer. Shortly after take-off, the aircraft is taken over by a controller in the approach/departure control unit which is located in the radar control centre. They control the departure until the aircraft has reached a certain altitude and is transferred to the controller of the adjacent sector. In the case of inbound traffic, the aircraft is first handed over to the approach control unit. The tower controller will take it over shortly before landing and guide it safely to the ground.