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Tower — Introduction to Local Control Last updated: 2017-12-02

1. Local Control

Every flight starts and ends at an airport, and it is the local controllers who pilots rely on during some of the most challenging phases of flight: takeoff and landing. The goal of a local controller is to ensure safe and efficient flow of landing and departing aircraft in his airspace.

Unlike Approach or Center controllers who look at their radar scopes to separate aircraft, a local controller will, generally, rely directly on the picture they see out of their tower cab window. The nature of computer simulation limits us in the available ways of observing airport conditions, but even when using VATSIM radar screens, tower controllers should keep the spirit of a natural human eye interaction to preserve realism. Multi-monitor users may find the VRC Virtual Tower mode to be the closest analogy to the real view from tower.

{Reference: FAAO 7110.65 3-1-1 “Provide service;” 3-1-12 “Visual scanning runways.”}