Dear expert server pilots

Local flying is an issue. It can disrupt the flow, cause ATC to become distracted dealing with pilots local flying, thus having potential to lead to a degradation of ATC service and level 3 violations that could’ve easily been avoided.

But what is local flying? Local flying is when a pilot decides to depart from an airport extremely close to their destination airport so they can receive ATC service.

How does ATC handle local flyers? When there is little to no traffic, local flyers may be accepted (this is at the ATC’s discretion.) When it is busy, 9 times out of 10 local flyers will be denied. Pilots will receive the message “airport is unable to accept incoming traffic, please divert to a suitable airport.”

There is one major issue with “airport is unable to accept incoming traffic, please divert to a suitable airport.” It is extremely vague. Most of the time, pilots don’t know why they are denied so they keep trying, which may lead to a violation being issued by ATC. This is not a feature request, so I will not suggest messages that are more clear to pilots local flying.

I was controlling JFK approach today. In the 2/3 hours I controlled approach, there were close to 10 local flyers. Why? This is a genuine question: why do people love local flying at JFK? Why is Newark to JFK or La Guardia to JFK so popular?

Here’s a old topic by @Oliver_P that goes more in-depth about local flying and which I took some inspiration from.

In conclusion, local flying during busy times is getting in the way of ATC and your fellow pilots


Completely agree I noticed it too when I was controlling LTFM Approach a few days ago on the Expert server many many pilots are local flying it’s really a bit annoying, especially if the frequency is really busy.


I used to do that on FNF when they were still a thing. I regret doing that now.


Is Boston to JFK considered local flying

If your flight has a cruise period in it, it’s not going to be close enough to be considered local flying. Local flying is taking off and instantly contacting approach/tower and requesting inbound

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No thats a normal Route

(Sorry this is not really regarding the topic)

But, thanks for the service a lot, i was the TAP Air A330Neo planning to go to Lisbon but i was stopped half way cause my dad called me to go somewhere. But anyway, thanks for the service it was awesome!

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Accept and take them on tour (away from requested airport) of your airspace until congestion clears. This will make them realise what they did next time.

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Often, I see an airport with ATC that I’d love to fly into, but I have no idea how long that user will be active…

So the only thing to do is pick a really short hop that’s at least at the outside end of a STAR, and hope to heck I arrive soon enough to not wind up on UNICOM.

Not, NOT complaining. This is just the situation I find myself in often enough.

Spawn in at the airport you wish to land at and in the ATC menu in the bottom left it will show you how long the controller has been active.
Controllers have to control class bravo airports for a minimum of 1 hour and Charlie and below for 30 minutes

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Oh really, I didn’t know this thank you. It totally makes sense to have this in es now that I think about it, always wondered what that time active was used for

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This is a great feature request for this issue — "No Local Flying within __nm" ATIS Remark

Would be great to have something like this to bring some clarity.

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wait but JFK to La Guardia is indeed a rl route, so I don’t know why it’s considered as a local flying

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I try to start a flight that is at least 20-30 minutes away if i just want to fly into an ATC controlled airport

I guess I was local flying When I was doing LFSB-LSZH In IF before I got a subscription

I can easily switch to the ATC tab before I start my flight and see the times there, that’s not a problem.

Even if a controller has been active for just 1 minute, there’s no way of knowing whether they will still be active at the end of a 2, 3, 5 hour medium range flight… It’s more likely that I’ll arrive on UNICOM.

I’ve had far more reliable ATC interaction when I spawn at an active field, and depart.

Nature of the beast, when IFATC is a team of volunteers that’s much smaller than the real world ATC staff.

It’s not a regularly scheduled route, it’s only used to reposition aircraft.

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oh that’s why!

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