Skip NavigationMenu

Dutch Air Traffic Control Tutorial

Learn how to get insight in Dutch air traffic control with MDA/TactiPad

In the Netherlands there is a discussion going on for quite some time now about opening up an additional airport Lelystad. One of the aspects is the need to re-arrange the air corridors as part of the complexity of the air traffic control. To get an overview, a tactile map is helpful. How are the airports scattered around the country? Where are the major air corridors and how large are the descent areas relative to the size of the country? In other words, how complex is it with 500.000 take offs and landings for airport Schiphol alone?
Map of the Netherlands showing airports aircorridors and descent areas
Photo: Map of the Netherlands sketched with MDA on TactiPad, showing airport locations, air corridors and descent areas.

Using the tools TactiPad and MDA

By using the TactiPad and the motorised drawing arm (MDA) you are able to add elements in consecutive steps to the tactile map. First the contour of the Netherlands, next the five cities that are appointed as national airport already and the location of the sixth airport, Lelystad. Then some lines indicating the air corridors. Lastly the descent areas surrounding the cities. The information for the map is supplied by

You can watch the video or read the detailed instructions below.

Video: MDA interactive module Maps

Detailed instructions


By visiting with your browser you can obtain the same result. Maps of all sorts can be composed and downloaded in SVG file format. The TactileView software can be used to produce the map on your Braille embosser or swell paper.
However, there are a few differences.
When using TactileView, you need to download the map, open it in the software and print it, whereas with the MDA, you compose the map and press the button ‘Sketch with MDA’. Even more, after production of the map, you can still manually add details to the map by using a regular pen.


To have the right tools and a way to present the information in a fashionable manner can help you to understand complex situations. Let us know if you have any challenge that you would like us to showcase with the Thinkable tools for tactile graphics.

Any comments are welcomed