Controlling Approach through the Years

I’ve recently stumbled upon some very early screenshots of me controlling approach on the Advanced Server back in early 2016 (maybe even late 2015, not too sure). I want to share these with you to show how controlling approach was back then and how it is now and perhaps for some to get a tiny bit nostalgic ;).

The first two screenshots are of me controlling approach at Birmingham in the London region. Back then, the amount of traffic shown would’ve been considered as ‘a lot’, but for today’s standards, it is the norm. Unfortunately, these two are the only screenshots I have of me controlling approach; the others from that time are long gone. Does anyone see themselves in these old screenshots?

This screenshot was taken not too long ago controlling LEPA on Expert. The STARs into this airport look beautiful, especially seeing two lines of traffic going to parallel runways ‘merging’ together.

This one is from controlling the hectic NTAA also not too long ago. STARs into this airport with this amount of traffic were deemed pretty useless, so I had to vector aircraft manually for their requested approach. Center also played a crucial role in putting aircraft into holds to allow the Tower controller to get departures out as quickly as possible.

I hope you enjoyed the screenshots! It’s very nice to see how far the simulator has come since the first screenshot. I can’t wait to see what’s next in the pipeline.


Awesome photos! The simulator has advanced so much! When did you become an officer?
Cign :)

1 Like


I can’t remember when I first became an approach controller… it was too long ago. If I was to guess, perhaps November/December of 2015. I then had a ‘leave of absence’ from IFATC, got back in 2017 if I remember correctly but it was not until just recently that I had the time to get retrained for the Officer position. Approach control is super super fun :)

1 Like

Must be great making some lovely patterns ;)

1 Like

That is amazing! Was it easier back then with the terrain on the map?

1 Like

Thank you, Luke! It was indeed much easier to control with the terrain available on the map, especially at airports like KASE. It was also not an easy transition going from a map with terrain to a map without it. That being said, not having that tool anymore forced approach controllers to look at charts, other terrain maps and any other resources to get more familiar with their airspace before opening so maybe it wasn’t all too bad… I do miss it though! Hopefully one day we’ll get it back, but I wouldn’t put my money on it due to the complexities that have arisen because of the Global update.

That is cool, I agree. It would be nice for it to come back but I doubt it

1 Like