LiveATC.net is a web site that allows access to communications broadcast between air traffic control and aircraft. If you are a pilot who wants to learn how to be a better communicator or if you are an aviation enthusiast, give this site a look. LiveATC.net gets its feeds from volunteer monitors who live within radio range of airports and use their scanners and computers to relay the transmissions to the site's audio feeds.
Things You'll Need
- Computer with Internet Access
Point your browser to the LiveATC.net web site home page. If you want to listen to a particular airport's communications, type the three-letter designator in the "Find Feeds by Airport" box. Otherwise, you can use the links in the left column to browse all the feeds in an area, or you can search for feeds on a map, or you can click on one of the most popular feeds.
Click on the feed you've chosen. Your computer will likely play the file on your default audio application; otherwise you may need to install Winamp, iTunes, Real Player, Windows Media Player or another player. Depending on the time of day and the amount of traffic on the feed, it might take time before you hear any transmissions on the frequency you chose. Don't assume a feed is down just because it is quiet.
Learn what the communications mean. If you are new to listening to air traffic communications, you will probably have some difficulty interpreting what you are hearing. A good reference is the Pilot/Controller Glossary.
Listen to archived communications. LiveATC.net provides a large collection of archived feeds. You can listen to a particular date and time, or you can also browse through the collection of interesting exchanges if you are a registered member of the LiveATC forums. It is free to register. You will find some useful recordings in the archives and forums. If you want to hear the U.S. Airways Flight 1529 landing in the Hudson, this is where you would go.
Tips & Warnings
- LiveATC has a dedicated application that works with both the iPhone and iPod Touch. Search for LiveATC in the iTune Apps Store.
- Due to a UK ban on rebroadcasting transmissions, you will not be able to listen to UK airports.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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