No real Mac air control trafic app?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Borddeleau54, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. Borddeleau54 macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2010
    It doesn't seem like there is a single real Mac air trafic control software out there; you have to go to air trafic control websites to hear pilots/ATC conversations. Why?
  2. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    Maybe you haven't found it yet? But if it really doesn't exist, it's likely because nobody sees a viable business opportunity. Make a Windows app, and you have access to more than 90% of the market. If the remaining 10% of the market for your particular app is too small to pursue, then you don't pursue it.

    And if that remaining 10% is already being served by web-based apps/content, then your "market" becomes those who prefer an app to a web page.

    I propose you do a business analysis of the prospects, and if it looks like there's a fair sum to be made, go out and make it yourself.
  3. 5684697 Suspended


    Sep 22, 2007
  4. pilotkid macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2006
    Chandler, AZ/Chicago, IL
    #4 is the best site for this hands down.
  5. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    What is air control trafic? That is wut they talk about on :confused:
  6. Bart Kela, Feb 4, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017

    Bart Kela Suspended

    Bart Kela

    Oct 12, 2016
    No, it's the conversations between air traffic controllers and airplane pilots.

    I'm guessing by your response that you have never flown. There are people on the ground at airports (usually in a tall building like a tower) who monitor the traffic of airplanes in the vicinity and provide guidance to the pilots on what to do or what not to do. They do this via voice communications over a radio frequency.

    In the old days probably before you were born, they relied on radar. Today, most aircraft are outfitted with transponders, basically locator beacons that emit a radio signal that various equipment on the ground can triangulate on. There are probably GPS devices as well on today's aircraft. All of this is used to provide the ground people a coordinate in space so they are aware that there is an airplane at that location. The transponders usually transmit some identification codes, so the air traffic controllers know that this is Virgin America flight #002, origin JFK airport for example. This is tracked by air traffic control computers.

    If you visit the site mentioned by pilotkid, you will get a better understanding of what it is.

    These sites access the same radio frequencies that are used at each airport so you can hear the actual conversations. If you had the right equipment tuned into the correct frequencies and you live by an airport, you can hear these yourself.

    A similar hobby is listening to police dispatch frequencies. Note that it is an FCC violation for a typical civilian to broadcast on these restricted frequencies (both air traffic and police) and will probably result in a federal felony. But there is no crime in listening to these.
  7. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    Heh, I'm an Air Traffic Controller, tower controller, I like to look out the window, but the TRACON/Center guys get paid $$$ more.

    The GPS you are talking about is called ADS-B (Automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast), it hasn't been fully implemented yet. "The FAA has published a rule requiring ADS-B transmitters in many types of airspace (ADS-B Out) to take effect on January 1, 2020, but there is no mandate for ADS-B In, which receives data and provides it to in-cockpit displays." -- I work Class Delta airspace which has no rules for ADS-B at this time. is the forum where air traffic controllers chat. Mostly just people waiting to get hired BSing with each other because it is a 2 to 3 year hiring process, some people talk about Union issues, and others have questions about specific facilities. We've got a rocky road ahead with a new man in charge though...

    As to the OP's question to WHY there is no ATC frequency monitoring app for Mac? Simply because none has been written. It's a niche market, and there are easy alternatives. The example was provided, it takes literally seconds to dial in any ATC frequency online. You can even download a .pls file from and it will load up in iTunes to stream at your leisure. Seems like a good opportunity for someone to do a college coding project!

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6 February 3, 2017