" A new voice shouted angrily at them [Doc, Marty and Jennifer]: / "DeLorean, vector twelve, this is air traffic control!" / The voice was coming from the middle of the dashboard. Marty realized it must be some sort of radio. "
—From Back to the Future Part II by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, page 14)

Air traffic control monitored the flow of flying vehicles on the skyways in 2015.

To help computers regulate the flow of traffic and to notify drivers of any violations of air traffic law, vehicles were fitted with transponders.


An angry air traffic controller contacted the DeLorean time machine when it appeared in the middle of Skyway C25 — which was designated vector twelve — in the wrong lane and facing oncoming traffic on its arrival in 2015 from Lyon Estates in 1985, demanding to know why the car's transponder wasn't on. To cover for this mistake, Dr. Emmett Brown explained that their transponder had developed a fault.

Behind the scenes

  • Although air traffic control featured in the script for Paradox, where they reprimand Doc for "unauthorized entry into commercial airspace" and demand to know why the DeLorean's transponder wasn't on, this scene did not feature in the finished version of Back to the Future Part II. However, it did appear in Craig Shaw Gardner's novelization, which was based on Paradox.


See also