ATC Closing Notice

I’ve noticed that the amount of time ATC gives pilots before closing varies quite a bit. Some give 5 minutes, others give a couple of minutes, and some just close without any notice at all. Does anyone know if there is any standard amount of time ATC is supposed to give pilots before closing?

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We try to give five minutes, sometimes we can only give a minute or two


This also depends on when you connect to the frequency. You may have connected just as we announce we’re closing in a set amount of time, and haven’t heard it, or you connected just as we announced we’re closing in a minute. Personally, I end up giving a 5 min warning but end up closing 10 mins later 😂 but it’s all based on the controller

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There is no rules I don’t think. I usually find myself saying I’ll close in 5 and then I’ll get another spawn or inbound and I end up staying and the cycle repeats itself and I’m still there half an hour later. Sometimes you got to dash but if there is traffic we will let other controllers know so they can take over if they feel they want to.

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Not on TS, but IFATC is supposed to give 5 minutes at the very least. Of course, as mentioned, this will vary. Some will say 5 minutes and not stay a second longer. I, myself, tend to announce 5 minutes for about an hour because I always want to get that one last guy…in perpetuity.

But, as stated above, there’s always at least one guy who spawns or tunes in right at the end and doesn’t hear the warnings, even if I said it 10 times. It’s just the nature of timing.

I try to avoid the one minute warning, because I’ve found that leads to pilots panicking and doing things in a frenzied manner, so I just announce 5 repeatedly. But others may go strictly 5, 2, 1. That much varies, but there should be at least 5 minutes on Expert.

That said, things do happen. A weekend ago, I had a drunk driver roll up on my lawn and fall asleep in his car atop his horn. That session ended without a warning, needless to say. But it shouldn’t be common practice. (I know that story sounds made up…I wish it were. Best part: he told me “It’s okay, man, I live here.”)


Thanks, Tim. if they gave an award for the most memorable post of the day, you would surely win it for today for this post. (And thanks to you and all the other ATC controllers for the great job you do.)


Its mandatory to “try”, but for example being home alone and two little kids sleeping nicely but one waking up suddenly it’s impossible to give a warning.


I try to always give a 5 minute warning when i think I’m going to be closing.

IFATC communicates their closing as well in slack hoping someone will pick up the frequency and cause it not to close, in situations where that happens, sometimes i haven’t announced in the frequency as i hope until the last second that someone will pick it up

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I give 5mins notice when it’s busy, or if it’s FNF, other than that I’ll only give a 2min notice

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I don’t think there is an standard time except more than 1 minute but again even I’ve been at times when it’s impossible to give warnings as I may have to leave right then.

Wow, that person must’ve been REALLY drunk!


If you tracked Tim’s post on a regular basis …he would probably almost always have the most memorable post of the day… but the caveat is that since he is so busy…he neither has either the time or the crayons to explain everything to us !

I usually announce 5min when I know I need to start winding down, but it may be 5min or 10min. Then when I know I’m closing for sure, I’ll either give another legitimate 5min warning and/or a 2min and 1min warning.

If I close suddenly, it’s typically because I’ve stretched the time out to the very last second I have and I’ve got to go ASAP.

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I’ve said closing in 5 multiple times then proceed to stay open another hour 😂. I try not to do that though. I try to find the most convenient time to leave. Like when nobody’s around or when I’ve cleared everybody for takeoff or landing. Only time I’m firm on leaving is when I have something come up. I always give warning when closing though.

I always feel bad for the people that tune in right when I announce that I’m now closed after giving warnings for 5 minutes, but I’d never leave if I waited for everyone to leave my frequency.


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