Today was my 1st day in Expert Server in just over 2 years (re-subscribed yesterday) and was disappointed to see such a lack of ATC coverage. The only airport that has seen coverage throughout the whole day is LAX. Outside of this, it seems like it’s random as to which airports get coverage. Even airports that have little activity are getting coverage while airports that have more activity like JFK or MIA haven’t gotten any or got little.
This is somewhat annoying as I try to plan my flights between 2 airports that have activity and ATC. However this wasn’t possible today because of what I said. Without ATC, a huge chunk of the realism and structure is taken out.
Is this just normal for a weekend, especially a holiday one, or is this how it always is? Also, how strictly is the set ATC schedule followed?
It’s probably the holiday weekend. Personally I think there will be a pick up of atc throughout the week
Usually every airport on schedule have active ATC but today it looked like KLAX was getting numerous amount of movements with about nearly 200 arrivals so i’m guessing that’s why not many airports were active. It also depends on the time of the as you know many people have work or school so you won’t be guaranteed active ATC 24/7.
Hello, sorry to hear about your experience. I just wanna clear out that IFATC are volunteers and control whenever they are free. The schedule is just something to follow that can assure a controller to get traffic however it is not required for controllers to open at airports that are featured. They have the freedom to open where they feel.
Remember that we are volunteers, so if you fly during weekdays, expect a lot less ATC coverage because people are busy with school, work etc.
However, there can be the occasional IFATC takeover and a region in the world will be fully staffed for 2 hours! The last IFATC takeover was a couple weeks ago and the entire east coast was fully staffed (KMIA, KTPA, KJFK, KPHL and many more!). Make sure to be on the look-out for them if you enjoy flying in heavy traffic c:
I was disappointed when only 2 of the scheduled airports on friday had coverage
It’s not required to be followed. It tends to drive traffic which ATC sometimes follows, but IFATC members can control whenever and wherever their heart desires.
Please bring back weekly stricter schedule… 😢
Come on everyone it’s July 4 weekend you should kind of expect a little less service
Given that it’s been around 2 years since you’ve returned on the ES, there are some things to mention:
ATC schedules aren’t the same way they used to be. While you have certain airports that are featured, IFATC are also allowed to control other airports as well. This was changed about an year back if I recall correctly.
LAX is anyways on the schedule today, most people may have decided to fly there as well.
As others mentioned, it’s the July 4th weekend, so ATC coverage may be limited.
It’s not always like this, though it’s certainly not as it used to be earlier. Hope this answers all your questions!
Oh hi ran! Which ATC schedule system do u prefer, from an ATC perspective and from a pilot perspective?
Albeit a bit off from OP’s thread, but I have my own views regarding it. I prefer the system of allowing ATC to control where they would like to with recommended airports list. However, I do think FNFs should returned (even though I wasn’t in favor of them earlier).
I 1000% prefer this over the current system. It was simple—you’d know where and when the action would be. I also think that FNFs should return for this reason. Now it’s just a free-for-all. The system before the current system was even worse, which is part of the reason why I didn’t subscribe at all last year.
It’s a Holiday weekend, people are at cookouts, enjoying time with family… Normally there is a considerable amount of airports open. Next weekend things will be back to normal.
Like aforementioned by others, people have lives. Not everything is sim aviation and planes, especially on a very special weekend for many. I would advise you to lower your expectations when it comes to ATC Staffing, after all, controllers aren’t paid and they are volunteers on this network.
Welcome back and thanks for subbing!
Today is a US holiday so it’s not surprising to see things a tad more quiet. That said, I saw most of the featured airports staffed earlier in the day. The general trend I see throughout a standard UTC day is:
Early: mostly featured airports staffed
Mid: mix between popular airports and ATC schedule
Night: mostly popular “staple airports” (LHR, LAX, JFK, etc)
Days where controllers are anywhere but what’s scheduled usually tells me it’s not as desirable and I frequent them less on the schedule. Controllers and pilots drive traffic together so a lack of either results in deviations from the schedule.
Either way, the freedom to choose has worked out well for all. Keep an eye out for some upcoming scheduled airport changes as we prepare for our next big update of the year! There will be plenty of new airports to explore and I’m certain ATC will be there too. 🙂
My bad I should start controlling again, I take the blame on this one
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