ATC Issues

While doing Friday Night Flights, or just flying into an airport with heavy traffic it can get pretty busy in the air. I understand that IFATC has to give us vectors to avoid traffic but to be honest I think it is a mess in my opinion. When I get vectored I am sent all over the place. I think the traffic would be a lot more organized if we were sent into holding patterns than just being sent all over the place

Hi Sebastian,

I totally understand your frustration from the pilot’s point of view. I’d like to clarify some things from a controller’s point of view.

The first reason why some radar controllers may avoid using holding patterns is because a lot of pilots do not actually know how to fly one. Holding patterns won’t show up on a controller’s map which leads the pilot to run on an honesty system as we don’t know where the pink oval will reside.

Another reason why some controllers may prioritize vectors as opposed to holding patterns is because it becomes more organized for the controller. If we make our own pattern in heavy traffic, we can control the flow of our airspace and give everyone an approach without them waiting for an indefinite time. Pilots will also be able to see how far until they are on final which helps for some less patient users.

While on the pilot’s side, it may seem unnecessary, the controllers have a method to their madness to help them be efficient.


Holding patterns would be great, I agree. The issue is that the tools available to IFATC in the current system can make it a little tricky for holds to work.

The amount of traffic too during very just times is also normally way more than irl, even at airports such as Heathrow etc, so a hold would only work so well.

Last issue as Bruce noted is that pilot skill in flying the hold is limited, and often it gets real messy real quick, so longer approaches are better for everyone


On the topic of pilot flying holding patterns, a proper holding pattern requires a 3 deg/sec turning rate which is not usually what IF’s autopilot gives. So a hold requires manual flying as well which is just annoying.


As mentioned above, more traffic comes from FNF than reality. IFATC aims to get you to the airport as quickly as possible. Of course, this may seem unnecessary to you, but there is a reason for giving them such a vector. :)

I suggest checking out the ATC Manual to learn more about the methods we use at IFATC. I am personally not a Radar controller (I am a Local controller that is in his apprentice stage), so I can’t give you a straight answer on my end. However, I know, whenever I have questions and do not understand something, I go to the ATC Manual. I think the ATC Manual can shed some light on the methods and practices we use and why we use them. In some sections, it also includes some diagrams and representations to help visually convey the reasoning behind these procedures. As Misha, Bruce, and BAK said above, Infinite Flight traffic is not exactly the same as real life traffic, which can result in some of these techniques needing to be implemented more often.

In conclusion, I think you should check out the ATC Manual if you really want a good explanation of these methods and procedures.

Have a nice night and I hope this helped. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a PM. If I got anything wrong, or if anyone has anything to add on to this, feel free to do so!


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