I've seen ATCs use little slides with flight numbers for tracking arrivals and departures - is there a term for them and are they still used today with modern ATC terminals?

enter image description here


Yes they are called flight progress strips or simply strips. They are still in use, though they tend to be replaced more and more by the electronic strip or e-strip.

They are also used by en-route controllers (not only terminal as you mentioned). From my experience from Athens ACC, PALLAS supports e-strips, but there is also a printer that prints them in some intervals (I don't remember what triggers the print). Note that some time ago, during the procedural control era, those were manually completed by the ATCOs. I guess they are still manually completed in TMAs and ACCs that use procedural control as primary method and lack RADAR service.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I'm guessing they are also still used as a redundancy measure in the however unlikely case the triple-redundant set of mains power, diesel generators and batteries all fail simultaneously. (Although how to keep in radio contact in that case is somewhat of a challenge. Handhelds?) $\endgroup$ – Jörg W Mittag Sep 8 '15 at 21:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I am not aware about the redundancies used in ATC, but in case RADAR fails, I'm pretty sure they fall-back to procedural, part of which is handwritten strips. $\endgroup$ – Stelios Adamantidis Sep 8 '15 at 21:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @JörgWMittag, the ATC facilities do usually have hand-held radios as a communication tool of last resort, though not in sufficient number and power to keep any sort of regular operation; they'd probably just use them to hand off everyone to some other facility in case all power failed. And note that land lines don't need power, so they could give that other facility as much information as preserved on the printed strips. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Sep 9 '15 at 6:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.