Approach Etiquette (ATC)

Hi - as someone just starting on the TS1, and wanting to do things right and politely and make it to the Expert Server … what is the etiquette for when you contact the approach ATC at an active airport? I usally have my fpl set to bring me in close for an ILS approach but the ATC guidance takes priority. Should I make the call from farther out so that the ATC learning his or her trade has time to vector me in? Thanks.


Usually, when you are 65NM away from the airport and at 18,000 feet, that’s when you contact Approach on Infinite Flight.

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Good to see you are trying to do the right thing. Under the #tutorials category there are several topics that talk about this. I’d start here:


Thanks both. Appreciate the swift advice.

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So to summarise (hopefully correctly!)

  1. Contact APPR ca 65 miles out at FL18

  2. Ask for ILS to any runway

  3. APPR says to expect vector to particular runway

  4. Wait, Flying towards airport

  5. Receive vector (ie fly 250 and maintain 3000 until on localiser)

  6. Move to ILS heading and center localiser line then contact Tower and state “Inbound on ILS” for final clearance.


Awesome, this is one of the things I’ve been wondering! 👍

Almost correct :)…

You will receive several vectors. Your example would be the final vectors and is called ILS clearance.

Remain on approach frequency until you are handed over to tower - don’t change frequencies without permission and also no need to request frequency change - approach should hand you over to tower once he sees your successfully intercepted the localizer.

The only “small” caveat to all of this is that you are flying the Training Server (for now) and things out there are… wild.


Thanks. Looks like I have a lot to learn and practice!

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You’re asking the right questions!

Apart from the answers above, you can also check the IF tutorials on YouTube. You’ll find links in the #tutorials section


Our range extends to 50nm, not 65. We’d prefer you tune in once hitting closer to that distance.

@RTG113- Take note of this.


FL18 should be FL180


Thanks appreciate the correction


Yes I stand corrected. Good point.

All the above info is sounding good, just a couple of tips from an old hand:

  1. Always check the respective STAR Chart for the expected approach, I normally program this as my part of my flight plan.

  2. When at my Top of Descent I will check ahead and see how the APR ATC is directing traffic and then change my flight plan accordingly so that I can merge with the other inbound traffic.


If I may take advantage of having opened this topic to raise two more etiquette ATC questions:

  1. Again with Approach, if I’ve been given an ILS vector but feel I am too high to descend to that level at a reasonable rate can I do a 360 (or series of 360s) to lose height before vectoring or do I need to immediately track the ATC command?

  2. And a question about Takeoff etiquette. If I am joining a queue of 3 or 4 airplanes to reach a runway at what point do I switch to Tower and ask for Takeoff clearance?

I am in the Training Server (for now!)


Only request takeoff when first in line. It is super important that you do not request before as it clutters up the frequency. If you are close to the airport you can go around/missed approach. Otherwise you should follow exactly what atc says - they should give you altitude instructions.

Follow ATC instructions. If close to intercept and feel like you can’t make it announce a missed approach and wait for vectors.

Typically remain on ground frequency until first or second in line. This is specially important in airfields were there are secondary taxiways and parking spots close to the hold short line - the “give way” commands are only available on the ground frequency, so if you switch too early and ATC needs you to give way to someone, that becomes an issue.

Thanks both. I think on approach issues I just need to work on my fat fingers in the AP settings, and I take on board what you’ve both said about takeoff that makes total sense.

Just wanted to drop into this thread to say it is really great to see a new user diving in and asking some great questions! When I joined the community, i knew very little… you’ll be surprised how much you can learn here!

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Thank you! I appreciate your welcome.