ATC Speed restriction

I think the tone of your response was unnecessary. I don’t even believe it was the correct way to respond to someone at all. Here is a person seeking clarity on an issue and you implicate unwarranted sarcasm in your curt response. That is sad. Sorry.


It was Expert server.

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No need to apologise mate! Just highlights the need for a speed request command from a pilots perspective. Or perhaps a “free speed” request. Good job though! It was a busy session.

To be honest I’m not sure if we need another request, it might happen that you forget about one thing like the speed from time to time, however, when you work approach even on expert you get enough unnecessary requests already, I remember one guy who sent me a “with you” while being in the middle of the line on the downwind leg and another asking for a lower altitude several miles south of the airport while everyone else was at the same altitude there. And this was a quiet session regarding these unnecessary requests/ messages. When people still request altitude changes after VFR clearances I don’t want to see a speed request, many people would probably use it far to often just “to be allowed” to fly a certain speed.

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Let’s go this route:

The approach controller’s job is to manage separation. So use your location as a guide. 6th in line, well away from the glidescope, a maintain speed command is to maintain consistant distance between planes. If told to reduce to another speed on base, it’s because you may be going too fast.

After clearing you for the approach, which, again, was the situation here, there’s absolutely no reason why the approach controller would intend for a command to force you to miss your fix, nor is there any reason to add a request to configure for landing speed.

As the approach controller is done issuing commands to you after clearing you for the approach, your should be reducing to landing speed. There is no justification for a request of the tower controller to be able to maintain an appropriate landing speed.There is no reason for every inbound plane to spam the tower with “hey, is it okay if I don’t blow through the cone or blast a crater in the runway?”

The answer is simple. Once cleared for approach maintain the speed that allows you to hit your fix and land, in that order.

Situational awareness based upon where you are in the process.

Before you yet again tell me I’m not reading, once cleared for the approach, your dialogue with Approach is at its end.


I think that every help that pilots can give to the approach is welcome. In busy days, If the ATC gives you a speed but you see that it’s too fast to maintain a correct separation between you and the aircraft in front of you, you are allowed to go slower. Instead going faster it’s not permitted. Finally, yes if you are cleared for the approach, once you catch the ILS, the speed, heading and altitude are at your discretion.

I guess I am the controller you are looking for @Rambo …because I use the speeds 190,220,240 while controlling…I was about to make this post…usually (I don’t know about others) I do say “speed” followed by greater or lesser…but sometime while maintaining sep it is vital for all planes to be at a organise speed…

Also I try as much as I can to give a speed discretion command…

But sometimes the airspace is so crowded that it is that last thing (at least myself) would care about…

Also as others mentioned above …have situational awareness… It is evident that the plane in front of you is not going to land with the given speeds commanded by app controller but as you can he is gradually slowing himself…you(I request everybody) can also start slowing down…

Though not everyone is going to follow this but once given to twr it is more or less his responsibility to maintain sep…

But even the twr has high no of deps and arrivals

So it is appriciated some voulantary action from your side


Partha// IFATC Officer

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If you have an issue, PM me.

You and @Tim_B are incorrect sorry guys if they are with approach it’s the controllers job to maintain seperation not the pilots. We don’t have visuals for the radar frequency yet. When we do we will need to tell them to follow traffic at their 12 o clock etc.

In case you missed it here is when the speed restriction if assigned ends.

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“Or the final approach fix”

That’s the point I’m talking about.

And I said pretty explicitly, the controller is assigning speeds to maintain separation, but okay.

I must have mis interpreted what you said

Those parts. But I don’t want to get bogged down here. You know what you’re talking about, we all know that.

As I read the question, it was, after being cleared, when trying to make the turn into the ILS fix, is there a need for another request from the pilot if they need to slow a few knots to hit that fix? I think it’s superfluous.

Now, while under the Approach controller from beginning to clearance to handoff, “maintain” means “maintain”, to keep consistent separation. I believe we are in agreement on that, even if we’re kind of getting mixed up on semantics. I think we’re just using different words.

By Tyler’s definition I’m going with they need to maintain that thru the localizer up until 5 miles.

Once I get handed off to tower I do my own thing. In the end you’re the pilot. If you’re coming in too fast, go around. If you get a speed like the one issued and you can’t maintain that speed while trying to land, use the “unable” message. I use it all the time. In the end, I’m flying, not the controller.

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I was flying on the expert server in Southern California when I was 1 NM out to my destination the controller told me to increase speed to 230kts when I pressed UNABLE he told me to see the help pages for ATC instructions and then he ghosted me what should I do?

1 nm out? Then you are supposed to be on tower freq. Tower can’t issue spesific speed restrictions, only “slowest practical speed”, “best forward speed” “speed at your discretion” and “maintain present speed” something does not add up here


Aadit, see

If you know the controller, send him a private message, otherwise open a separate thread with more information (your callsign, time of the issue, the airport, etc.) and IFATC will look at it.

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Partha it’s not the controller’s job to send speed commands. Speed commands should be used only when necessary because speed is the pilots’ job.

John-IFATC Officer

In real life speed adjustments must be restated to a pilot after a handoff and speed adjustments cannot be issued after the approach gate or 5NM from the runway whichever is further. I would just assume 5NM because nobody is familiar with the approach gate.