Air to Ground 2020


The relationship between pilots and air traffic control personnel  has never been cavalier. There is an invisible wall that exists – the  disembodied voice that carries instructions phrased in officially  sanctioned terminology is both reassuringly familiar and yet remote  and impersonal.

Air Traffic Controllers are distant and authoritative, heard but never seen, whose main purpose is to keep pilots and aircraft safe. Behind that confident decisive voice we hear on the radios are men and women who come through some intense training in order to get a job that pays well and commands respect.

At this time the only real information the pilot has about ATC comes in the form of government directives and orders, written in stilted language that tells the pilot what he has to do, but not why. They do not tell the pilot how  their actions are welded into a pattern that affects all the other pilots.

Almost 20 years ago the FAA began to take the steps necessary to convert their surveillance of aircraft aloft from one based on RADAR to one based on Satellite readouts.  The steps this entailed included the satellites, computer systems, new equipment in aircraft, development of new procedures and training of the nation’s ATC personnel.  As of 2020 this system became fully operational.

An Air Traffic Control specialist for over 33 years, first with the Federal Government and later with Lockheed Martin, Rose Marie Kern has written articles for 17 different aviation magazines and newsletters and is a popular speaker for pilot associations in the southwest. Her book, Air to Ground 2020, gives pilots a glimpse into the cold corridors of Air Traffic, and allows them insights into the people who work in an environment so critical to their own.

Air to Ground 2020  contains current and historical data on the National Airspace System, the Air Traffic Control System, and aviation weather in a way that is friendly, easily readable and understandable to even the most novice pilot. It is not meant to replace the government’s directives, but to supplement them.

Although there are a few books that talk about Air Traffic on the market, no other book approaches the pilot from this perspective, it fills a vacancy long overlooked.  Intermingled with the technical information are stories and snippets of humor collected over the last 33 years.  These little bits exemplify what happens in the Air Traffic workplace when the microphone is not keyed, humanizing   the disembodied voices the pilots hear.

“Air to Ground” is a phrase used to describe the frequencies used by the pilots when they speak to Air Traffic.order-button

The book, Air to Ground 2020, appeals to pilots, airport managers and the air traffic personnel who work in the U.S.  and will greatly enhance the pilot’s understanding of the National Airspace System, its procedures, and the people whose job it is to provide for the safe and efficient flow of Air Traffic.


Table of Contents for Air to Ground 2020


  • 5          Introduction
  • 9         Chapter 1- The National Airspace System
  • 13       Chapter 2 – Classes of Airspace
  • 19       Chapter 3 – Air Space Division and Separation of ATC Duties
  • 23       Chapter 4 – The Future of ATC is Here
  • 27       Chapter 5 – Flight Service History and Overview
  • 31       Chapter 6 – The Standard Pilot Weather Briefing
  • 37       Chapter 7 – ACAS – Adverse Condition Alerting Service
  • 45       Chapter 8 – Filing Your Flight Plans
  • 49       Chapter 9 – ICAO Flight Plan Information
  • 55       Chapter 10 – The Black Hole (What Happened to my Flight Plan?)
  • 59       Chapter 11 – Creating a Pilot Profile
  • 63       Chapter 12 – Flight Service Radio
  • 69      Chapter 13 – Relaying IFR Clearances
  • 73       Chapter 14 – Assisting Lost VFR Aircraft
  • 75       Chapter 15 – Declaring An Emergency
  • 79       Chapter 16 –Flight Service Flight Data Functions
  • 81       Chapter 17 – VFR Search and Rescue
  • 91       Chapter 18 – ATCT – History and Overview
  • 97       Chapter 19– Tower and TRACON
  • 103     Chapter 20– Tower Operational Positions
  • 109    Chapter 21–TRACON Operational Positions
  • 115    Chapter 22 – Hey There…It’s My Turn!
  • 117    Chapter 23–Transferring Control
  • 121    Chapter 24 – Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC)
  • 139    Chapter 25–ERAM Implementation
  • 143     Chapter 26–What is VFR Flight Following?
  • 147     Chapter 27–ATC Zero
  • 151     Chapter 28–Talking to ATC
  • 157     Chapter 29–Frequency Congestion
  • 161     Chapter 30–IFR Clearances
  • 167     Chapter 31–Clearance Limits
  • 173     Chapter 32–Special VFR Clearances
  • 175     Chapter 33–How Flight Planning Affects Your Clearance
  • 181     Chapter 34–Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR)
  • 185     Chapter 35– Where Does It Say I Can’t Fly There?
  • 189     Chapter 36 –Wake Turbulence
  • 193     Chapter 37-–GPS Anomalies
  • 197     Chapter 38–Stay On Top of the Charts
  • 201      Chapter 39–Watch Out for Drones
  • 205     Chapter 40 –Special Use Airspace
  • 211     Chapter 41-–Special Traffic Management Programs
  • 215     Chapter 42–When Systems Don’t Work
  • 219     Chapter 43-–Careers in Air Traffic Control