I initially rejected an edit to this question as it created an extra tag for a question already tagged . Since the primary function of ATC is traffic separation, wouldn't an tag be sufficient? The edit has since been approved by others.


1 Answer 1


Well, traffic separation involves more than just air traffic control. VFR traffic is responsible for their own separation, and many times they aren't even talking to ATC. There are also technologies that are strongly linked to traffic separation (TCAS, ADS-B, etc.). That being said, I'm not sure that there will be a lot of people searching for "traffic separation" type questions. More likely, they will be searching for questions about ATC rules, technology questions, etc. that involve it.

I could go either way on this one. As a tag, I doubt that there will be a lot of activity so we probably don't need it, but it doesn't really hurt either. I say let it go and we'll see if there are more questions down the road, and if not we can get rid of it then.

  • $\begingroup$ At the moment I don't see much need for traffic-separation either -- We have a few questions that are specifically about it (like the one above, and the one about oceanic/non-radar separation), but so far they all seem to be more "ATC Procedure" questions (and really all those questions are in some way related to traffic separation) $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    May 15, 2014 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ maybe it's just me, but I feel the term "traffic separation" is intrinsically associated with air traffic control, sure there is VFR traffic separation... in class B. :) The kind of traffic separation VFR traffic does on their own amounts to "don't hit nobody" doesn't it? I mean you can fly within inches of someone and still be legal, can't you? Of course, that's subjected to the rule "don't do nuthin' dumb", but still. $\endgroup$
    – falstro
    May 15, 2014 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ @falstro Well, there are regulations that VFR traffic must follow (cloud clearance requirements, lighting requirements, recommended radio practices, see and avoid, etc.) that could be covered by that tag. Like I said, TCAS, etc. it's more than just ATC is all I'm trying to say. :) $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    May 15, 2014 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ True, that's all stuff to give the pilot a decent chance of not hitting anybody, but there are no rules that planes should be separated from each other except when ATC is involved. Or are you saying simply giving someone a wide berth is a form of 'traffic separation'? By analogy, would keeping your distance to the vehicle in front of you on the freeway also be considered 'traffic separation'? To be clear, I'm not trying to troll you, I'm just asking because (until now at least) my understanding of the term 'traffic separation' is what ATC does. $\endgroup$
    – falstro
    May 15, 2014 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ Well all of the rules and procedures (whether ATC or not) are traffic separation techniques. ATC procedures would be a subset of those techniques. As far as the tag, I would think that we would want to keep it generic and not limit the scope of an already low use tag. $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    May 15, 2014 at 18:12

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