You are listening to Los Angeles ATC
September 5, 2017 4:24 AM   Subscribe

Watch a live stream of Los Angeles Airport's main runways. Actually, an incredible simulation. Actually, it's a simulation of a live stream. Actually, it's a large-scale 3-D rendering of LAX (and its sky conditions) rendered with accurate airplane models (and airline livery) arriving and departing based on their transponder data and other info (the YouTube description provides a complete list of resources with links). LAX air traffic control provides the soundtrack. appears to be a skinning of basic YouTube as Google's response to the popularity of Despite that the live chat is benign, the worst offenders being the occasional spammer, but there are some active moderators to keep the noise down. Click on the greater-than symbol next to the "Live Chat" label to collapse the pane; it not only hides the chat but if your window is scrolled all the way to the top the video will expand to fit the browser window.

As this post goes up there isn't much activity because it's 4:24 AM PDT (11:24 UTC), and aside from a couple early birds traffic is scheduled to begin shortly after 5:00 AM PDT. Similarly, air traffic tapers off during late night.
posted by ardgedee (14 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Since ATC audio is pretty dry even when the airport is busy, I suggest a musical accompaniment. I'm currently enjoying this two and a half hour long chill-out DJ set by Laurent Garnier, hosted by Boiler Room, but it's certainly one of very many good options.
posted by ardgedee at 4:28 AM on September 5, 2017

A couple final observations...
• The camera position occasionally changes. There's no predictable schedule for this.
• Airplane sounds are also rendered in 3-D. It doesn't always happen though.
• The models are very good but the animation is fairly crude. Airplanes move in straight lines and change direction by stopping and pivoting. The animation occasionally goes nonlinear. Airplanes will land on buildings or suddenly stop, pivot, and race across the tarmac at wild speeds. That can be fun to watch.
posted by ardgedee at 4:48 AM on September 5, 2017

This is very cool, thanks for posting argedee! Looking forward to some congestion on the taxiways later on in the day.
posted by carter at 5:18 AM on September 5, 2017

It would be cool if it had a deer running around at random
posted by thelonius at 5:21 AM on September 5, 2017 [8 favorites]

It would be cool if it had a deer running around at random

How about if they periodically had the ending of Heat playing out near the lights?
posted by lagomorphius at 6:06 AM on September 5, 2017 [5 favorites]

Funny, literally in the last week I've taken to relaxing by watching Flightradar24 while listening to the LiveATC Miami approach/departure frequencies. May as well get some use out of being very nearly directly underneath somewhere between 40 and 66% of Miami's departures most days.
posted by wierdo at 6:30 AM on September 5, 2017

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the site (or origin of this thread's immediate (and correct) ambient music derail), You Are Listening To Los Angeles (previously) is a site that layers the LA Police Scanner on top of a curated ambient music playlist.

Since it was originally posted to MeFi in 2011, the site has expanded to offer vocals from several cities and sources, including the LAX tower.

It's very, very good, and continues to be one of the best things that I've discovered by browsing MetaFilter.
posted by schmod at 6:50 AM on September 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

This is great. If you expand the stream's description it talks about how it's built. The core of it is Lockheed Martin Prepar3D which is a simulation system for training people including, presumably, air traffic controllers. The link to live planes comes from PSXseeconTraffic which looks to be a hobbyist project. I haven't found out much more about who the "Information Zulu" is that put this all together, but here's their planespotting Twitter account.
posted by Nelson at 7:03 AM on September 5, 2017

Lest we all forget, thread title owes something to Mike Doughty: Screenwriter's Blues.

it is 5AM...

we are all In some way or Another going to Reseda someday To die

god I feel old
posted by cyclotronboy at 7:05 AM on September 5, 2017 [7 favorites]

It looks like they've done other airports, but LAX is the only one live at the moment.
posted by srt19170 at 7:25 AM on September 5, 2017

Speaking of Live ATC streams and ambient music, don't forget Listen to the Clouds (Previously).
posted by miguelcervantes at 7:56 AM on September 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

For some other fun - my office overlooks LAX in a small cluster of buildings in the distance to the left of the screen just past the 105 and I think the parking lot in the lower left is the long term lot used by the RV Campers we've previously discussed here on the blue.
posted by drewbage1847 at 8:06 AM on September 5, 2017

Since ATC audio is pretty dry even when the airport is busy,

All the drier now the Kennedy Steve has retired :/
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:28 PM on September 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

I guess it's 5am somewhere.
posted by quinndexter at 12:19 AM on September 6, 2017

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