Standard Instrument Departures
When aircraft take off from major airports, they follow a Standard Instrument Departure (SID) route. These strike a balance between terrain and obstacle avoidance, noise abatement and airspace management considerations.
Standard Terminal Arrival Routes
When aircraft begin their descent towards an airport, they leave the airways structure and join a Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STAR). Each airport has multiple STARs to allow them to manage their arrivals efficiently.
To keep the airspace running smoothly, Controllers often need to take aircraft off their planned paths and manage them independently, particularly in congested areas or if they need to avoid bad weather. This is known as Vectoring.
Have you ever wondered how a plane gets from A to B?
Plane Talking focuses on one flight among the thousands we handle every day. And it’s one of the shortest - the BA shuttle from Heathrow to Manchester.
The interactive visualisation shows the communication between ATCOs and pilots at every stage of the flight; from the pilot requesting start up and push back at Heathrow to finally parking on stand in Manchester.
Airspace Explorer is our flight tracking and airspace education app. It is the only app to use UK radar data to show aircraft flying over mainland UK.
The app also provides Flight Information Regions and Sectors in 2D and 3D so you can see how our airspace is structured.
It's free and available for iPad now - so what are you waiting for - go get it and explore the sky!