ATC closes in route

Just a little aggravation. Flying from Nzaa to Yssy. Atc active at Yssy until 50 mins out, then closed. When you fly for 2.5 hours, would be nice to have active ATC still.

IFATC is a volunteer service, it is up to the ATC controller to choose where they controller, and it’s a highly stressful task. They are already required to control for 1 hour at a time in these conditions. I would recommend flying from a controlled airport, then even is your arrival airport goes offline you still had ATC for the departure.


Hello! I understand your frustration about this as I have experienced this many times. But as a IFATC controller myself you need to understand that we all have a life and cannot stay on to accommodate all arrivals until there are no more arrivals. We do our best to stay open as long as we can and find a replacement if possible. If this is not possible we are forced to close and hope all the pilots continue inbound with the provided sequence.


Thanks, I do understand. I guess best to do regional flights. Have a good one.

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Good to know is voluntary too, I thought these were staff.


As both a pilot and part of IFATC I feel your pain! It’s a bummer when you fly a longer flight and 100nm out both approach and tower close. Especially when the airport is busy and it is a hassle to land with any level of realism at all.

I know that I will try to stay open if there are inbound aircraft that are close and I know other do too. Not infrequently someone will say they are closing soon / in five minutes / etc hoping to have someone take over the airport. Then 30 - 60 minutes later you see a message says they finally closed because they (I) didn’t want to disappoint a bunch of close in aircraft.

Unfortunately there are definitely times when there is no other volunteer available to take over the airport and there is a steady stream of inbound aircraft. At some point we have to end the session and leave someone hanging.

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IFATC tries to staff the featured airports first before opening up additional ones. This is one reason they have a schedule for each day so you can plan long haul flights.

However, from time to time not as many are staffed for various reasons. We could always use more controllers to help staff the expert skies.


Also to note @David_Dollar, we do as much as we possibly can to keep a busy airport open beyond the time that we are available. So as we are nearing time to close, we will announce in our group chat that we are closing in XX amount of minutes and see if someone can take it. Unfortunately not all the time that can happen. But you will see busy locations usually be able to have a transfer. Now, if approach closes in a busy spot, sometimes just because of the amount of traffic a tower will have to close too and wait for a new approach controller.


I’m thankful you guys do the job, I dont think I would do it justice. Thank you for trying to make it as real as possible, I’ve learned a lot, makes me want to get some real lessons. Everyone have a Blessed year.

How many qualified ATC are there? Does anybody have a figure?

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