ATC Drag and time feature

After visiting my local ATC facility I have a few things I would love to see in IF to help for doing ATC. Here is one of the tools that the tower controllers had. I call it the drag and time feature as a reference to the drag and vector feature we have on approach.

This feature is only for tower as it exists for approach already. It’s pretty much what we have on approach but for tower. When we drag to give a vector on appr it gives us the information of time to get to the point and distance. Here, it’s not for vectoring it’s just for info. The controller I was with constantly used that to determine whether he could fit another departure or not. It allowed an extreme amount of precision for the controller and could cut things really short without causing a go around. So for example when I was there there was more than 20kts headwind. So he had a plane on short final like 3-4nm which usually is really short. But with this system he easily saw that it was actually enough to let an aircraft takeoff in front. This could also be useful for example if there are two planes on opposite downwind. One fast and one a bit slower. If the faster one is further out with this tool you can easily see if that distance will be covered by the fact he’s faster. It can help to determine who goes first for sequencing.

If you’re more of a visual guy here’s a little photoshop I did to show what I mean.
So in this senario I would look at where the two planes up north will be in about 30/45 seconds and see which is closest to the airport. Based on the results and taking in account the fact there’s a base turn I could then determine who will go first. If you’re curious since we don’t have this yet I just waited a bit before sequencing to see how it turned out. But as you can guess if it’s busy that’s a bit complicated and time consuming… (Do note I put random numbers and didn’t actually calculate if it’s correct 30s at 204 kts for 5nm😅😉)

So I hope you like this request and please if you do leave a vote and have a look at other ATC requests!

I like your idea! It would be pretty useful when there are other aircraft in your airspace, and managing that traffic. Unfortunately, I’m out of votes :(

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This already exists for approach, drag and vector would just need to be made available for Tower and Ground.

Oops didn’t specify it but this is only for tower😬.

The white line in front of the aircraft does signify 30 seconds as well but the drag and vector feature would be nice to have.

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I can’t really tell whether it’s necessary or not. I’m not IFATC. That’s always the difficulty with those features. However, your explanation sounds reasonable. And as I think that ATC could need a rework for both pilot and controller side, this might be something that could be added.

Yeah that’s the solution for now. But this would give more precision. It also gives the distance which can be handy. Another way of seeing it is (they had that too) to have a grid (see below) where the planes calsign moves step depending on its position. It allows a quicker search for information but it won’t work for situations like the one I described with the pattern work.
Here’s what it looks like

time calsign
60s N241YD

The calsign would then go from one line to another depending on the time it will take from it’s current position to the threshold.

I definitely understand and that’s also a reason why an ATC feature will rarely get many votes… this is why I’d really be happy to answer any questions you have! So don’t hesitate to ask!

I think Marc answered his own question. ;)

I’d love this as Tower and Ground!

Edit: Was unaware this was 2 years old, don’t @ me.

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Definitely needed