Recently, IFATC members have been opening positions at many airports, but not fully staffing all of them. Going forward, we will be looking to fully staff one or two airports before opening others. For example, take the SoFlo region. Instead of opening KMIA, KRSW, KFLL, KTPA, etc., we will try to open KMIA Tower, Ground, Approach, Departure, and Center, and the same for KTPA, before we open other smaller airports. This won’t always be possible because of the different qualifications of our controllers, but we will be striving for this. This method will start during this week’s FNF.
So, how will this impact you as a pilot? For starters, it will create a more realistic environment. Hopefully you will be vectored to your destination from the start of your flight all the way to the end, instead of following your flight plan. Of course, this won’t always be the case. It will also help you all get used to the normal flow of operations, with handoffs from Departure, Center, and Approach.
From the controller’s perspective, this makes our jobs a lot easier, especially during peak traffic times, like FNFs. This is because we will be able to vector aircraft into steady streams between airports, instead of radar controllers having to deal with aircraft coming from all directions at different speeds, altitudes, and headings. We will be able to get you to your destination more efficiently, and most importantly, safely.
I hope you all will enjoy this change to the ATC environment as much as I and my fellow controllers will. See you in the skies!