ATC Schedule

The planning has been offloaded to others… onto the individual controllers and groups of pilots (through VAs for example).

I’ve seen a few controllers really trying hard with their region threads, putting in airport info, suggested routes, with a rather desperate flavour coming through…

But nothing can solve the fatal flaw here, that opening just 1 airport without approach or departure, or a centre radar frequency, severely limits the potential for the sort of flight experience people want.

Combine that with the fact that individual controllers cannot sustain their frequency openings for a long enough period, and it becomes clear why the ATC schedule is missed.

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While the region threads are a good idea, if an IFATC member opened up a smaller airport and put it in the thread, I don’t think it would make a massive difference to the traffic that airport received when EGLL, KLAX, KATL and the other larger airports which will have traffic will also be open.

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Hey, All!

Just popping in to say I appreciate the feedback, both good and bad. This change was never intended to be an “implement and walk away” sort of modification, instead being a continuously evolving way of operating around the world that adapts based on user input and hard data.

I know it’s easy to say, “just go back!” but I definitely want to encourage us to keep sharing some constructive ways to improve the current system and I personally say thanks to those that already have. While the path of least resistance is just tossing up a schedule to appease a few that don’t like it, I’d pitch the question:

Where does that leave the future of IFATC? Do we remain in a small sandbox forever while leaving the majority of the globe unattended day after day?

With that said, here are a few improvements I’m working on:

  • Reduce controller’s minimum staffing requirement to 30min for all positions which allows more “catching” of arrivals from the in-app arrival board
  • Allow controllers to post staffing intentions up to 48 hours in advance on tracking topics for better pilot planning
  • Introduction of intermediate rank between Officer and Supervisor that allows veteran radar controllers to serve their airport’s Tower, Ground, and Radar (Departure or Approach)
  • In-app ability to identify airports each region would like to feature each month (For example, Oceania Region commits to continuously staff Gold Coast, Queenstown, and Melbourne which is highlighted on the map)
  • ATC events which are similar to Flash Flights, instead focusing specifically on the ATC efforts of specific region(s)

We will also be using the 10 global regions as a framework for the 3D airports we introduce in the future to ensure an even distribution which I believe will be one of the strongest sources of influence on traffic.

Thanks again for those embracing this with positivity despite finding flaws in the way it impacts the way you’re used to operating. I’m excited to develop this the same way I did with the schedule many many years ago! Cheers

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Its good to hear of commitment to ongoing improvement and response to user feedback 👍.

I agree that just turning back to weekly schedules is not an easy answer, and I think very few people would really want that.

My key concern is that it was a too sudden switch over, before any evolution had begun.

I believe the way forward is to identify those key elements from the weekly schedule system that need to be kept, that were central to the success of good weekly schedules and drew pilots in. Then find a way to implement those essential elements within the new system.

The central idea here, that pilots will take the lead and ATC will spot them and leap ahead to open up for them , is really very hard to believe, and surely is not backed up by any practical evidence yet…? So I wonder how reducing ATCs minimum opening time to 30 mins can help at all, when pilots are struggling to get there before they close as it is?

I like the thought about sort of mini schedules within each region, with a few highlighted destinations that are kept going through the week… I suggest that, as well as a main hub, we need at least one smaller regional airport open and one larger secondary hub further away, to give options for different flight lengths.

This way we can keep exploring and discovering new places, which surely was one of the key plus elements from before…

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That’s what I’m working on which you’ve also identified. The specific airports featured would also be up to each region, not me. I’ll simply identify them on their behalf. As for the minimum times, we don’t have hard evidence because it hasn’t been done yet. That is the point of the change so we can see if being more mobile as a controller allows more airport arrivals to receive service.

This certainly wasn’t sudden or done overnight. A great deal of work was done for months before we launched. We also purposely avoided over engineering this to give us an opportunity to see how people operate organically. Creating a hybrid of the schedule/regions, adding too many features, and implementing too many rules up front could’ve been counter productive without knowing how people want to use this. As intended, we’re now adapting quickly and making decisions based on what is needed to fill voids. 🙂

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Let me get this straight for myself. This region thing has only been around for 2 some odd weeks now. I have my upsides and down sides to this. My upside to this is that controllers can open up their own airports. Im still extremely motivated to become an IFATC officer next year. Like Tyler just said, this was not done over night. Tyler has worked so hard, and so has the IFATC team. Tyler over the next couple months he is going to build it up so that controllers can generate over 50 arrivals. The only downside which i’m sure Tyler will fix, is the no arrival issue. Its only two or 3 weeks it has been released, Tyler’s got this.😉

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I think we’re waiting to see… 😉

He certainly shows that he is starting to understand the problems, but is now having to play catch up.

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I disagree, Tyler doesn’t have to play catch up at all. Everyone knew there would be creases needing to be ironed out, but they would not be visible until a week or two after regions had begun. To ensure quality control, more discussion and planning would go into any adjustments made so this would not happen overnight. To say he needs to play catch up is very unfair in my opinion

I don’t think anyone can rightfully say that IFATC isn’t an amazing org putting tons of time and effort into improving the system, what they have is one of the most impressive user-run groups in all of flight sim. And fundamentally, the idea of allowing controllers to become more specialized in specific airports/areas is a great idea, I know I myself have complained about the river visual at DCA and other approaches not being followed accurately, and this seems like a way to combat that.

However, I would have to agree that it has fundamentally changed my experience in a major way and eliminated a huge part of what I typically do in Infinite Flight. Long haul, overnight flights to land in the morning with ATC were some of my favorite flights, that’s no longer possible on a regular basis. Flying without ATC in this game, for me personally is only about 20% as enjoyable as with ATC, I seek it out and rarely fly in places without it. And yet even when trying more short hauls recently based on the ATC that’s currently online, I’ve had the experience of my departure ATC going offline during taxi and destination ATC going offline during descent many, many times now, and thats an extremely frustrating time. Seems like there must be some middle ground between the new and old systems that would be more seamless.

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This specific point is addressed by Tyler.

It appears what you view as “catching up” was quite intentional.

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Of course, you’re right, that’s what he’s said now, it must have been all part of the plan 😉

I’m not going to continue talking about any individual, this is really for everyone to embrace now. I don’t know anything about any staff here, and I’m not here to get likes or be popular with them.

I’ve been speaking out in defence of the user experience, and what I see as the reduced value of the subscriptions.

I’ve never called for a return to the previous system, and I fully support the staff as they work at improvements with the new system. I’ve said in previous posts that there are great opportunities possible now… Its the practical implementation that is the challenge.

I’m starting to sense that my points are hitting home, so I am feeling more optimistic.

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Just a quick question, what counts as an arrival in the in-app arrival board? Does a pilot show up as an arrival based on distance, or time to destination, or does simply including the airport in a flight plan count?

I believe just having the airport in your flight plan counts you as an arrival!

That may be why they have added an automatic arrival airport waypoint after a STAR in the latest update version, in order to improve that info to help ATC track pilots.

I often forget to add the final destination myself…

Hey,could you please explain me that A bit? Cause I didn’t notice anything as such, Thanks!

Essentially when you input a STAR into your flight plan it will automatically add on the destination airport to the end of your flight plan.

That means ATC and pilots will always be able to see (that is if you have a flight plan) what airport you are flying to.

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Yes, this is copied from the 21.1 changelog…

“Adding an approach procedure now automatically selects the airport as the final waypoint”

Oh That’s Great,thanks for explaining!✌🏼

🥺 … exactly…

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AGREED. I loved these kind of flights.

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