Bad Experience with ATC (AUH)

I was approaching AUH from BOM on a EY 77W, and the Approach and Tower were not at all in sync in terms of approach patterns and arrivals. Read more about one of the worst ATC experiences I have had on the expert server below:

Firstly, the runway which was being used for arrivals and departures was marked red which was very weird to me, secondly - the approach controller kept on changing the arrival runway for my flight, they changed the runway 2 times before just randomly going offline, I then attempted to get instructions from the tower who had given me preliminary instructions, approach then came back online giving me really bad radar vectors for the runway at AUH, The instructions given were very unprofessional in my opinion as they just allowed a 77F in front of my flight to turn before the flight path had started, in addition to this - the approach controller was not at all patient with my flight.

I had to unfortunately go around on my final approach at AUH, and again the experience became even worse, I had been told to switch to AUH approach and had requested fresh radar vectors for arrival, and the response “please follow instructions or you will be ghosted”, after this, I was quite frustrated and decided to quit the flight as I did not want to receive a unprofessional violation for no reason at all.

I really appeal to the IF Team to try and look into beginner ATC staff, they should start off with smaller airport operations and not be given such large operations in the beginning because I feel the approach controller was a beginner and I have never faced such a problem before, in fact the approach and arrival is my favourite part of the whole flight. Secondly, I also would like to request fellow members to be able to raise their concerns about bad ATC experiences and just start a conversation about this. I hope this helps!


Sending the controller a PM is usually a good first step in discussing what transpired. Have you reached out to the controller in this case?

Red runways could happen from time to time, but it doesn’t always necessarily mean that the red runway isn’t the most favorable.

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I actually have not sent a personal message to the controller, and have never done before therefore I am not actually aware of how that works,

A approach controller change was also a slight issue as the outgoing controller did not even inform they were going offline, in addition to this the new controller did not even allow me to request instructions before “attempting” to report me.

Therefore, I was a little angry about this situation.

I’m sorry you had an unsatisfactory experience. I can assure though, IFATC are trained to high standards and strive to provide the best services possible. I’ll send you a message with instructions on how to share your replay file.

Hi, I am very much aware of the standards set by IF For the ATC and do not doubt one about their job, infact, I think they do an excellent job. I just wanted to share my experience and get a perspective from someone else on the situation.

I have not been reported in the flight, therefore I have no appeal for a violation, I just wanted to simply share a very surprising incident.

But, I really appreciate your swift response and for us to solve the issue quicker rather than later.

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This exact problem happened to me at Mexico City yesterday.

We’re going to recommend the same information here, if you had a questionable experience, we recommend reaching out to the controller first since most misunderstandings are sorted out between the pilot and controller more successfully in those initial interactions than they are when third parties get involved. MMMX poses unique conditions especially for the approach controller and tower controller. Attention to commands and responsiveness to commands is paramount, the terrain and runway design aren’t so forgiving.


May I just add, that newcomers can’t control Bravos right away.
They open small ones, Charlie’s and Deltas.
Then they’re in a Checkride phase.

Just to throw that information out there, because you said, you feel like newbies shouldn’t be able to control such airports right away
They can’t right away.

As for big airports, it’s to each of their comfort zones.

I feel like I need to ease myself into “high stress” situations with lots of pilots.
I’m in IFATC but I control airports that won’t get suuuuuper busy.

Like KSAN, KDEN, PANC stuff like that. I see every day that KLAX, EDDF or EGLL have only few arrivals which I could handle but I do know that once I open there it gets extremely busy and then I will probably get overwhelmed after a while and make people mad.

Hence, everybody has to decide for themselves what they can handle.

One time I was circled by approach at TNCM for 55 minutes on a 1 hour flight. I left after that but that’s a tricky airport with a tricky approach and a lot of planes were put in a hold.

I understand your frustrations and actually do appreciate your feedback.

That gives people a chance to work on it and maybe incorporate it in future training sessions.

Take care


Maybe I missed it: did it happen on the ES? Or TS?

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Based on this, I presumed the Expert Server was in question here.


Ah ok thx, missed that.


I guess ES because PFI 2


Every controller on Expert is required to have an IFC account. If you go into the replay of your flight, you’ll be able to see their username and you can send them a message on here.

Sorry you had this experience, hope you can contact your controllers and clarify things!

Hey!! You can contact the ATC controller and see what the issue was. Good luck and I’m sorry for this experience. Hopefully you will have better experiences in the future.

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