Communications Between Controllers

This is not a feature request. This thread is intended to be used for discussion

I had an idea a few weeks ago. When in ATC mode, you see the tabs on the left side of the screen that you use to change between frequencies. What would you guys think about adding another tab that would be used for communications between controllers? For now I’ll call this the “Comms Hub” Infinite Flight already recognizes what region you’re in, what airport you are controlling at, and what position you’re controlling.

My idea is this: Upon spawning into an airport as a controller, the Hub will put you in 2 “chat rooms”. One chat is for the airport: approach, departure, tower, ground can communicate with each other. “SW8575 is on the ILS, runway 26R, over to you”. “FDS 9er crossing runway 04”. Etc.

The other chat is for the region. You would be able to talk to any controllers in the region. Especially useful for Center and approach and departure controllers. Of course the developers could modify these “rooms”. For example, the messages within a room would get erased after 5 minutes of silence.

Now comes the safety part. One of the many reasons why the devs decided to use a command-based system (where you have to select your commands instead of speaking or writing them) is because of safety. People under the age of 13 wouldn’t be allowed to write and speak, the same system should be used!

Instead of actually writing messages, it could be designed like the current command system. Click on the “Comms Hub” tab, select which controller you want to send a message to (it would show their display name, airport, and position they’re controlling), then you scroll through a list of commands (which would be designed by @Tyler_Shelton and maybe a team of representatives that will suggest commands based on popular vote) that you could send to them.

You could also select “all controllers”. For example: I’m controlling ground. I go the the Comms Hub, select “Tower”, then it will take me to a list of people on my frequency. I select any pilot in the list (pilots would be displayed as “Display name, callsign”) and it will take me to another list of actions they will perform, such as “crossing runway xx”, “holding short xx”, etc. Again, these commands would be customizable and specific to certain frequencies.

In the end this would prevent crashes from lack of communication. Currently, advanced controllers communicate with each other in different ways when controlling at the same airport. However, most playground controllers don’t do this, and an in-game chat might be a good way to solve this for both the advanced and playground server. (No more takeoff crashes because somebody crossed the runway)

What do you guys think about this? Sorry about the detail, my mind is crazy at 3 am after jet lag flying around the world…

Again, this isn’t intended to be a feature request. I’d like to hear input about whether this is a logical idea or not!

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This should be only on the Advanced Server as It will be misused in playground

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Will this be with a voice message as well? I think there won’t be anytime for this when it gets busy.

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Who knows? I bet the devs can easily flip a switch that controls if only the advanced ATC’s get it or everyone. Maybe everyone could try it and if it doesn’t work, flip get’s switched! Or controllers could get reported by other controllers for misusing the system.

I don’t know, this is just an idea. Most likely not because of security issues. Kids under 13 with some laws in some countries… I don’t study law but something tells me it’s not a good idea. Maybe advanced controllers (since they’ve been tested and are trusted enough) could get a voice communication feature, but there’s already been another topic that explained how laggy it would be, bandwidth, etc.

Why not simple boundry line and airspace.Which ever tower or approach they controlling show them them their limit. So no one can override their duty and stop them trolling. The problem is at the moment most of them don’t know the ATC structure. I’m still learning.

I am not a fan of voice message, now i can play when the wife is next to me on the couch watching tv. With voice I won’t ;)

Actual talking to communicate is probably not going to happen. Wife still happy, everybody’s happy!

In theory, good idea - will it work? Not sure… I don’t know if you will have the time to do this when it’s busy (which is when you need it)

Ground controllers should be watching and monitoring the tower, and deciding when to give runway crossing clearances.

I like your idea of the other tab though. I wonder if it could have certain features - whether it be when you’re acting as tower, it allows you to select and display active runways / approaches to approach ATC for example? Or maybe a button that notifies ground You are holding departures for a few seconds to allow runway crossings?

Not sure if too many features makes ATC just get harder and too confusing etc? People won’t have the time and skills to use an advanced system

I like these ideas! If controllers selected active runways then pilot’s could see which ones are active (despite green/orange/red runway number) so they know which runway they should request.

This is also true. The system is designed to be as simple as possible. Hopefully there are ways to implement this without making it too confusing.

Yeah, I especially hate when the wind is under 5 knots and all runways are displayed as active. I want to be able to select my active runways for arrivals / departures - probably something I need to post on a new features thread!

To know which runway active, that’s where the ATIS comes in isn’t!

Unless that airport doesn’t have ATIS, or the controller is not using ATIS, or the controller is not authorized to use ATIS.

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ATIS can’t be used by everyone on playground - and the METAR displaying wind doesn’t help for my cause - wind is often irrelevant under 5 knots, and then you get opposing runway operations as pilots want to land against the 20 other aircraft you’ve just cleared!

Also it is helpful for parallel runway ops - arrivals on one, departures on another, yet both are ‘green’ or ‘active’ solely based on ATIS

To be able to see the ATIS from the other controller would be great :)

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Violation for landing in wrong runway? If he is not cleared he shouldn’t be land there right. Even if they can see active runway, what make them stop landing in wrong runway?

If he isn’t cleared the controller would have already seen him long ago and ghosted him for not listening to previous instructions. But playground controllers can’t ghost… Maybe a violation could be implemented…

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No but you have the aircraft on approach in the opposite direction, requesting landing 2-3 times and you keep saying NO. Frequency is busy and he’s taking ALL your time trying to fight his approach off. Then you have people that taxi to the wrong end to take off in the opposite direction etc.

Even if you can select a ‘preferred’ takeoff / arrival runway would be good to inform pilots prior to their approach

Anyway, we’re a bit off topic - I might make a new thread re this at some point

This is a great idea the more controllers can communicate with one another the better in my opinion.

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This is currently an active conversation between developers. We want to improve the way ppl can communicate. We can’t keep adding ATC commands for every single situation. We are starting to warm up to allow chat between everyone, not just ATC.

The key is to make it as unobtrusive as possible to ppl (easy to ignore if ppl start abusing it) and have a way to have “channels”: 1 automatic channel that allow you to chat with everyone in the current frequency (or limited to closest airport or something similar) and other custom channels that you could create to chat with ppl from your group.

There is a lot of work to do before this can be a reality, so be patient :)

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