Control of air traffic was almost unknown in 1944. Today, air traffic control, flight information and alerting services, which together comprise air traffic services, rank high among the indispensable ground support facilities which ensure the safety and efficient operation of air traffic throughout the world.
The prime objective of air traffic services, as defined in ICAO Annex 11, is to prevent collisions between aircraft, whether taxiing on the maneuvering area, taking off, landing, en route or in the holding pattern at the destination aerodrome.
Air Traffic’s goal is to find ways of expediting and maintaining an orderly flow of air traffic and of providing advice and information for the safe and efficient conduct of flights and alerting service for aircraft in distress. To meet these objectives, ICAO provisions call for the establishment of flight information centers and air traffic control units.