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Both the flow of air traffic, and air traffic control communication, is interesting to observe - especially during rush hour! You can listen to live air traffic control (ATC) radio communication of many airports around the world, via the internet. These live audio feeds are also good for student pilots: get used to standard phraseology of ground control, tower, etc., at various speeds. As my first flight instructor used to say: "radio work is have the job!", especially in a busy corridor of the USA. Likewise, much of the world's air traffic (in particular airline flights) can also be tracked in real-time on a map. On average, over 5000 airplanes are in the skies over the USA at any given time (source: NATCA). Links to ATC audio and flight tracking websites are listed below.


LIVE ATC AUDIO WEB-STREAMS

Listen now


External links last checked: October 2015


FLIGHT TRACKING

The following website provides (near) real-time tracking of thousands of flights around the world, both of airlines and of "private" aircraft equipped with ADS-B. You can zoom-in on the map, filter on airline name and aircraft type, see the flight track & profile since take-off of the selected aircraft, etc. Coverage outside the USA and Europe is still limited, due to  the small number of (accessible) ground-based ADS-B responders in outside those areas.


Flight tracking

It is fascinating to see the amount of traffic "pulsate" between the continents, as the day-night cycle progresses. The clip below shows a 24 hour time-lapse of air traffic around the world, compressed into about one minute! In the skies over the USA, there are 80-100 thousand flights every day! Only about 30% are commercial flights (large & regional airlines), another 30% is general aviation (private airplanes), another 30% are air taxi flights (planes for hire, charters), and the remaining 10% are cargo and military flights.

24-hour time-lapse of world air traffic


HF (SHORT-WAVE) AIRBAND RADIO

VHF radio communication has limited range. Large areas of the world do not have VHF coverage for air traffic control radio communication - either because they are too far from land (i.e., the oceans), or because they are remote and the controlling countries can not provide coverage for economic reasons. To compensate for this lack of VHF coverage, a number of Major World Air Route Areas (MWARAs) were established around the world. For flights along these routes, air/ground communication is done via shortwave radio, on aviation-specific HF frequencies (3 - 30 MHz) with Single Side-Band (SSB) modulation. 

Note that, generally, the pilots do no communicate directly with an ATC-controller of, e.g., an Oceanic Area Control Center (OAC). Instead, the radio communication is between aircrews and intermediary operators at ground stations. The latter radio-operators have no executive ATC authority, and the ground-stations are typically not co-located with ATC-centers. The communications consist of position reports, clearance requests, updates of time-estimate for the next reporting position, and meteorological reports. Here is a list of the HF aviation frequency bands:

2850- 3155 kHz
3400- 3500 kHz
4650- 4750 kHz
5450- 5730 kHz
6525- 6765 kHz
8815- 9040 kHz
10005-10100 kHz
11175-11400 kHz
13200-13360 kHz
15010-15100 kHz
17900-18030 kHz
20005-21000 kHz
21850-22000 kHz
22720-24890 kHz


HF aeronatical frequencies map

Click on one of the following regions to get detailed information on the HF frequencies(in kHz):


For starters, you may want to try 5598, 5616, 5649, 8825, and 13306 kHz (USB). These North Atlantic frequencies are typically busy around 05:00 GMT.

Note: the list below has not been verified, and is not kept up-to-date! It is not to be used for any purpose other than personal monitoring.

Africa - AFI
General: 2851,2878, 3419, 3425, 3467, 4657, 5493, 5517, 5652, 6559, 6574, 6673, 8894, 8903, 11300, 11330, 13273, 13288, 13294, 17961
AFI 1
Abidjan 6535, 6673, 8861
Bamako 6673, 8861
Bissau 6535, 8861, 13357, 17955
Canaries 3452, 6535, 8861, 13357, 17955
Casablanca 3452, 6535, 8861, 13357
Conakry 8861
Dakar 3452, 6535, 6673, 8861, 13357, 17955
Freetown 6673, 8861
Korhogo 6673
Monrovia/Roberts 3452, 6673, 8861
Nouadhibou 5670, 6673, 8861
Nouakchott 5670, 6673, 8861
Ouagadougou 6673
Sanaa 5658
Sal 3452, 6535, 8861, 13357, 17955

AFI 2
Algiers 3419, 5652, 8894, 13273, 17961
Ghardaia 5552, 8894
Kano 13294 (6879, 9495)
Maiduguri 5652
N'Djamena 5652, 8894
Niamey 3419, 5652, 8894, 13273, 13294
Tamanrasset 3419; 5652, 8894, 13273, 17961
Tripoli 3419, 5652, 8894, 13273
Tunis 3411, 5519, 8826

AFI 3
Addis Ababa 3467, 5517, 11300, 13268, 17961
Aden 3467, 5517, 11300, 13288
Benghazi 3467, 5517, 11300
Bombay 3467, 5517, 13288
Bujumbura 11300, 13288
Cairo 3467, 5517, 6574, 11300, 13288
Comores 5517, 11300
Dar es Salaam 8879
Djibouti (5505, 5659, 8959)
Hargeisa 5517, 11300
Jeddah 5517, 11300
Khartoum 3467, 5517, 6574, 11300, 13288
Kigali 5517, 11300, 13288
Male 3467, 5517, 13288
Mogadishu 5517, 11300
Nairobi 3467, 5517, 11300
Riyan 3467, 5517, 11300, 13288
Sanaa 11300
Seychelles 3467, 5517, 11300, 13288, 17961, (8903)
Tripoli 5517, 11300

AFI 4
Abidjan 13294, (6586)
Accra 5493, 8903, 13294, (6586)
Bangui 6559, 8903
Brazzaville 2878, 5493, 6559, 8903, 13294, (8873)
Bujumbura 8903, 13294
Gabarone 5493, 13294, (6586, 8888)
Gbadolite 8903
Johannesburg 6559, 21926 (8826)
Kano 8903, 13294, (6879, 9495)
Kisangani 8903
Kinshasa 2878, 5493, 8903, 13294
Kumasi 8903, (6586)
Lagos 5493, 8903, 13294, (6586, 9495)
Libreville 6559, 8903, (8873)
Lome (6586)
Luanda 2878, 5493, 8903, 13294
Lubumbashi 8903
Maiduguri 2878, 5493, 8903
N'Djamena 2878, 5493, 8903,13294
Niamey 2878, 5493, 8903, 13294, (6586)
Ouagadougou (6586, 6673)
Sao Tome 5493, 8903, 13294
Windhoek (8861)

AFI-5
Antananarivo 3476, 5634, 8879, 13306
Beira 3425, 3476, 4657, 8879, 13306
Bombay 8879, 10018
Bujumbura 8879, 13306
Cocos 3476, 5634, 8879, 13306, 17961
Colombo 8879, 13306
Comores 4657, 8879
Dar es Salaam 8879, 11306
Harare 8879, 3682, 6915, 8849, 8861
Johannesburg 6559, 8826, 21926
Mahajanga 4657, 8879
Male 13306
Mauritius 3476, 5634, 8879, 13306
Nairobi 5634, 8879, 13306
Perth 3476, 5634, 8879, 11306, 17961
St. Denis 3476, 5634, 8879
Seychelles 3425, 3476, 4657, 5634, 8879, 13306, 17961, 10018
Caribbean - CAR
General: 2887, 3455, 5520, 5550, 6577, 6586, 8846, 8918, 11387, 11396, 13297, 17907
CAR
Barranquilla 2887, 6577, 8918, 11387
Bogota 8918
Cayenne 5550, 8918
Cenamer 2887, 5550, 6577, 8918, 11396, 13297
Havana 2887, 5550, 6577, 8918, 11396, 13297, (13339)
Maiquetia 5550, 6577, 8918, 13297
Merida 2887, 5550, 6577, 8918, 11396, 13297, 17907
New York 2887, 5550, 6577, 8918, 11396, 13297, 17907, (8846)
Panama 6577, 8918, 11396, (5520)
Paramaribo 5550, 6577, 8918
Piarco 2887, 6577, 11387, 13297
San Andres 6577, 8918, (6532, 6728, 10017)
Central East Pacific - CEP
General: 2869, 3413, 4657, 5547, 6673, 8843, 10057, 11282, 13300, 17904
CEP
Honolulu 3413, 5547, 5574, 8843, 11282, 13288, 13354, 17904 San Francisco 2869, 3413, 5547, 5574, 6673, 8843, 10057, 11282, 13288, 13354, 17904
Central West Pacific - CWP
General: 2998, 3455, 4666, 5652, 5661, 6532, 6562, 8903, 10081, 11384, 13300, 17904
CWP
Guam 2998, 6532, 8903, 11384, 13300, 17904
Hong Kong 6532, 8903, 13300
Manila 2998, 6532, 6562, 8903, 13300, 17904
Naha 2998, 4666, 6532, 8903, 11384, 13300
Port Moresby 2998, 6532, 8903, 13300
Seoul 2998, 6532, 8903, 13300
Taipei 6532, 8903, 13300
Tokyo 2998, 4666, 6532, 8903, 13300, 17904
East Asia - EA
General: 3016, 3485, 5649, 5655, 6571, 8897, 8942, 10042, 11396, 13309, 17907, 17958
EA-1
Beijing 3016, 6571, 8897, 10042, 17958
Hailar 3016, 6571, 8897, 10042, 17958
Guangzhou 3016, 6571, 8897, 10042, 17958
Irkutsk 3016, 6571, 8897, 10042, 17958
Jinan 3016, 6571, 8897, 10042, 17958
Kunming 3016, 6571, 8897, 10042, 17958
Lanzhou 3016, 6571, 8897, 10042, 17958
Pyongyang 3016, 6571, 8897, 10042, 17958
Shanghai 3016, 6571, 8897, 10042, 17958
Shenyang 3016, 6571, 8897, 10042, 17958
Taegu 3016, 6571, 8897, 10042, 17958
Ulaanbaator 3016, 6571, 8897, 10042, 17958
Urumqi 3016, 6571, 8897, 10042, 17958
Wuhan 3016, 6571, 8897, 10042, 17958
Zhengzhou 3016, 6571, 8897, 10042, 17958

EA-2
Guangzhou 3485, 5649, 5655, 8942, 11396, 13309, 17907
Irkutsk 3485, 5649, 5655, 8942, 11396, 13309, 17907
Pyongyang 3485, 5649, 5655, 8942, 11396, 13309, 17907
Ulanbaator 3485, 5649, 5655, 8942, 11396, 13309, 17907
Europe - EUR
General: 3479, 5661, 6598, 10084, 13288, 17961
EUR
Beirut 2910, 4689, 8875
Berlin 3479, 5661, 6598, 10084
Malta 5661, 10084
Tunis 4689
Middle East - MID
General: 6625, 6631, 8918, 8951, 10018, 11375, 13288, 13312, 17961
MID-1
Aden 5667, 8918
Amman 2992, 5667, 8918, 13312
Baghdad 2992, 5667, 8918
Basrah 3404, 5603, 8847, 13336
Beirut 3404, 5603, 8847, 13336
Damascus 2992, 5667, 8918, 13312
Jeddah 2992, 5667, 8918
Kuwait 2992, 5667, 8918, 13312
Riyan 5667, 8918
Sanaa 8918
Tehran 5667, 8918, 13312

MID-2
Bombay 3467, 5658, 10018, 13288
Delhi 3467, 5658, 10018, 13288
Islamabad 5601, 2923
Kabul 3467, 5658, 10018, 13288
Karachi 3467, 5601, 5658, 10018, 13288
Kathmandu 5658, 10018
Kuwait 5658, 10018, 13288
Lahore 3467, 5601, 5658, 10018
Male 3467, 5658, 10018, 13288
Muscat 5658, 10018
Peshawar 5601, 2923
Seychelles 10018
Shiraz 5658, 10018
Tehran 5658, 10018, 13288
North Atlantic - NAT
General: 5598, 5616, 5649, 6622, 6628, 8825, 8831, 8864, 8879, 8891, 8906, 11279, 11309, 11336, 13291, 13306, 17946
NAT-A
Canaria 3016, 5598, 8906, 13306, 17946

NAT-B
Gander 2899, 5616, 8864, 13291
Reykjavik 2899, 5616, 8864, 13291
Shanwick 2899, 5616, 8864, 13291, 17946

NAT-C
Gander 2872, 5649, 8879, 11336,13306
Reykjavik 2872, 5649, 8879, 13306
Shanwick 2872, 5649, 8879, 11336, 13306, 17946

NAT-D
Bodo 2971, 4675, 8891, 11279, 4666, 6544, 8840
Cambridge Bay 2971, 4675, 8891, 11279
Churchill 2971, 4675, 8891
Montreal 2971, 4675, 8891, 11279
Kangerlussuaq 2950, 5526, 8945, 10042
Reykjavik 2971, 4675, 8891, 11279, 13291
Shanwick 2971, 4675, 8891, 13291, 17946

NAT-E
New York 2962, 6628, 8825, 11309, 17946
Santa Maria 2962, 6628, 8825, 11309, 17946

NAT-F
Gander 3476, 6622, 8831, 13291
Shanwick 3476, 6622, 8831, 13291

Gander Volmet - (broadcasts at 20 & 50 minutes past the hour) 3485, 6604, 10051, 13270
Other Areas
NCA (North Central America) 2851, 3004, 3019, 4678, 5646, 6592, 100039, 10096, 13303, 17958
NP (North Pacific) 2932, 5628, 6655, 6661, 10048, 11330, 13300, 17904
SAM (South America) 2944, 3479, 4669, 5526, 6649, 8855, 10024, 10096, 11360, 13297, 17907
SAT (South Atlantic) 2854, 2935, 3452, 5565, 6535, 8861, 11291, 13315, 13359, 17955
SEA (South East Asia) 3470, 3485, 5649, 5655, 6556, 8942, 10066, 11396, 13309, 13318, 17907
SP (South Pacific) 3467, 5559, 5643, 8867, 10084, 11327, 13300, 17904

Source: AirNav Systems, 2004


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