ARTCC and TRACON differences?

moulds80

Well-Known Member
Forgive my ignorance, but am I right in the understanding that TRACON’s typically control flights at lower altitudes preparing to land or lift off to a higher altitude shortly after leaving an airport, and ARTCC facilities manage planes at a much higher altitude which are not often descending for landing or elevating as they are usually already at a cruising altitude to their destitution, and neither facility gives specific landing and runway instructions, correct?
 

Rosstafari

Likes tacos
Forgive my ignorance, but am I right in the understanding that TRACON’s typically control flights at lower altitudes preparing to land or lift off to a higher altitude shortly after leaving an airport, and ARTCC facilities manage planes at a much higher altitude which are not often descending for landing or elevating as they are usually already at a cruising altitude to their destitution, and neither facility gives specific landing and runway instructions, correct?
Yes, that's pretty much correct. On a typical IFR flight, the process is Tower -> Departure (TRACON) -> En Route (ARTCC) -> Approach -> Tower.

Simplified, of course. The wiki article linked to above does a pretty good job of going into detail.
 

ATC RET 2003

No More Vectors
Forgive my ignorance, but am I right in the understanding that TRACON’s typically control flights at lower altitudes preparing to land or lift off to a higher altitude shortly after leaving an airport, and ARTCC facilities manage planes at a much higher altitude which are not often descending for landing or elevating as they are usually already at a cruising altitude to their destitution, and neither facility gives specific landing and runway instructions, correct?
Some centers also have ultra-low sectors (below the base of the low sector to the surface) and do approach control functions.

ATC is not responsible for getting any pilot to his or her "destitution"... that's usually taken care of by the folks who hire them. :D
 

JT ATC

New Member
TRACON is used at major airports. ARTCC's (centers) will do the same function at all the other smaller airports, along with planes flying everywhere not controlled by TRACONS...which is a majority of the airspace in the US. There is a reason training for a center is generally considerably longer than anywhere else. Lots and lots of rules to know.
 
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