So nowadays ATC on the expert server do not have a strict schedule anymore, so how do we know where ATC will be operating? Like if we are doing long hauls I wanna fly to places that will have ATC like 12 hours later
The ATC schedule has been retired, since May 2021 and a new region-based system has taken its place. This is to encourage flexibility and opening up of airports other than what was “prescribed” on the schedule. You can read about it here:
As for doing long hauls etc, your best bet is to look out for events that are ATC-staffed, or try and request ATC in one of the regional tracking threads when you’re close to approach and landing.
There’s not that level of predictability now unfortunately. We are waiting for the current system to develop further, and processes to come that allow frequencies to be reserved in advance.
A passing reference was made recently, by the ATC manager, about a possible future “bookings” feature. This is most likely to be looked forward to by users as the main aspect that has been lost by the changes is that certainty for flight planning.
Too many times now I will see an airport open, think of a quick short route, only to have ATC close at a critical phase or even before the flight has started. So anything that helps avoid that kind of experience will be widely welcomed I think.
FNF or some events may be the exception to this…however often users may find that events dont occur in a time zone that works for them, which is why the old schedule worked for those all around the world, because it kept airports open for a sustained period over a whole day (I presume by having a rota of controllers booked in advance).
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