Dislike for new ATC system (and possible solution)

Since rejoining Infinite flight from a couple month break I’ve noticed the presence of ATC in the expert server is small or close to nonexistent. Most airports that are actually staffed are a couple hours away from eachother and by the time i get there the ATC has gone offline. I rarely see any small airports active anymore. There is no guarantee that you will get ATC at your destination anymore unlike with the old schedule.

I can’t be the only one that dislikes the new system.

Now I’m not just going to be one of those “complain and offer no fix” kind of people.

My solution to the problem would be to bring back the old schedule while maintaining the new system with it. It would work like this: each day a region of airports is set to be staffed by volunteers from IFATC, no matter what region they had assigned themselves to. At the same time members of IFATC are also allowed to staff whatever airport they want in the region they have picked, just like the new system allows.

This improved(in my eyes) system would allow the community to have unique destinations to fly while also allowing the IFATC community to have the freedom to staff wherever they want.

Go ahead and express your opinions and tell me how this could or couldn’t work.

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I think the original prospect and hope for the new system was a really good and promising idea.

As IFATC I was really excited when I heard about it, but yes, I agree. Although the idea was great, the outcome wasn’t quite as I (and I’m sure others) expected.

I don’t want to disrespect the organisers of this however, I know they will have put a lot of effort into the new change. Real shame it didn’t work.

It’s also early days so it is expected the system won’t be as strong and liked.

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Here’s Tyler’s reply to comments about the schedule:

As for your solution, doesn’t it seem a bit chaotic to have regions and a schedule at the same time?

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Hey mate,

It’s important to remember that this has only been the first month of the new region assignment program and there are still plenty of things that are being worked on in order to improve many of the things that you’ve mentioned above and much, much more.

Some of the changes that has been implemented thus far are as follows:

  • Lowering the required time that a frequency is required to be staffed for to 30 minutes instead of an hour as it was previously. This allows controllers to control more airports, more often and also allows the controllers to “catch the arrivals”.

  • Tyler has also mentioned about controllers from specific regions nominating airports that they are going to staff to the max extent possible for that month and have this featured in app. This way, this would provide the pilots that like to do long hauls or any pilot for that matter with some form of understanding in regards to which airports are going to be staffed with IFATC and when. Please note that this is still currently a WIP but hopefully will be implemented soon!

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The ideas about freedom and creative opportunities are all positive, but the practical application has proved to be a problem.

What most people want are busy airports and skies, with a flow between frequencies as the flight progresses. Also there’s a need to have enough time to plan a flight and complete it before controllers pack it in.

Unfortunately the system now can rarely provide these experiences reliably, with the occaisional event as the exception… In my experience these events can be rather quiet, often I’m the only plane coming in.

So the freedoms are a good idea, but it’s hard not to believe that a schedule is still needed… So we need freedom AND a schedule.

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I really enjoy the lack of mandatory regions for controllers (from a pilots perspective) as it adds more flexibility, and fundamentally changes the traffic dynamic (ATC goes to the hotspots instead of the other way around)

However one idea that I had, which is similar to yours in some respects, would be to create a separate sub-category within the #live or #atc sections where each ATC region would have essentially a mini forum for general discussion/ATC tracking/Local procedures in addition to a weekly schedule within each region.

So instead of one singular region per day, each regional ATC group would have their own.

This would be published the same way as the previous schedule on Sunday morning, with links to each sub-category, and suggested routes in, and between regions.

While it would still remain optional, I would wager to say that having a cohesive schedule pinned at the top of the IFC and featured across the social media platforms would help stimulate traffic around the world, while still not loosing the freedom afforded by the new update.

I was planning on making a separate post for this, but since it was so similar, I figured they were compatible for one thread.

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Hi! Thx for this post, i totally agree. When planning a flight i really look for the ATC part to be present. With the new system its very difficult to pick departure/arrival airport. (Or i have been very unlucky)
Twice lately I’ve just received push-back before ATC closed… other times looking forward to a nice approach by our extremely talented controllers just to see them close down before i make it there. Any improvement to the planability would be appreciated!

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Sad thing is is now it’s more like training server. Only busy airports is KLAX, EGLL, and KJFK

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I don´t agree with the statement above, however if you feel there´s an airport or an area that you would like to see staffed on a more regular basis you can make that change by joining the Team and controling yourself.

We´re always happy to see new controllers joining and making an effort to open lesser known airports.

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What’s so bad about that?

People will always fly there regardless of ATC schedules since they have the most variety in terms of airlines, destinations, and now 3D buildings.
Might as well have ATC open where it’s the busiest.

ATC caters to pilots, not the other way around, so it’s only logical that ATC and Traffic is most abundant at the mega-hubs around the world.

I’m all for the weird, unique, or obscure airlines aircraft and airports, but unfortunately it’s not realistic to expect that from everyone.

Plus I’d rather have the hubs open, than the spokes (which inherently have fewer flight options)

And ATC is free to open anywhere they’d like within their regions if they want to break the repetitiveness, but obviously traffic will be lighter.

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Zero diversity. If you wanna fly somewhat that’s busy you can only really do the same Boeing routes. The only title you can use during the FNF. I miss the old schedule

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No one forces you to fly where ATC is.

Previously when ATC was forced to open some obscure airport/region, that would be reflected by traffic numbers.

You can make ATC open in diverse places but you will never get the traffic. As a large percentage of people generally fly where they want, instead of chasing ATC

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I’d like to add on here that it is now Summer for a lot of our community and controllers. Thus more time to control! So you will probably be seeing airports open for longer and more open aswell! This will be true for me and many others I’m sure!

We will work out some of kinks for issues as we become more familiar with this new system!

Also, controllers when their going to be open and for how long. So check the desired threads to see how long the controller is going to be open. :)

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I agree with this it’s so much more organized for and when you’re in the air for about two hours in the ATC goes off-line at the destinations ,that’s a big pain

Sigh, that’s the bright side

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I’ve been looking for this topic for a while now and i completely agree with OP. I’ve seen days where there are literally 0 events planned on the forum meaning there’s absolutely no guarantee of ATC coverage anywhere.
I feel like by trying to make atc coverage more diverse they’ve actually achieved the opposite.
It’s really unfortunate but i’ve questioned cancelling my subscription. It’s really frustrating when you prepare an awesome flight and coverage stops before you arrive. The skies just feel so lonely now :(

I hope that the IF team is working on a fix, as mentioned above maybe integrating more scheduling information directly into the app.

Also i’m sure as mentioned it will take time for everyone to get used to the new system including myself!

Kind of just wanted to vent and let it all out. It really doesn’t feel the same and i don’t see that many people discussing it here. Don’t mean to be a downer, i’d love to brainstorm and come up with ideas and i have faith in the IF team to find the best solution!! cheers
james

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Yes, I completely agree with you. IF should do a community vote to see which system we prefer.

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Hello! Thanks a ton for voicing your opinion. It’s certainly been an adjustment and I know many have different feelings about it. I’ve managed to get some great flights in by visiting some of the more predictable 3D airports, attending published #events, and monitoring the #atc tracking topics.

Much like when the ATC Schedule was in place, controllers can still come and go as their personal availability calls for which unfortunately means service may terminate just before you arrive or depart.

That said, we are actively developing a feature which will help you forecast exactly where ATC will be in-app to integrate the predictability aspect that was lost with the retirement of our ATC schedule. I don’t have a date for it’s release but development is going well and I’ll look forward to sharing more with the community soon!


To reiterate the reasoning for this change -

This move to a region-based system, similar to what you’d find on other platforms like VATSIM, was with the future in mind. It allows us to tap into the entire globe and offer a network of service that spans the whole world rather than a single highlighted region. Of course this can’t happen overnight and without growing pains but the change was done with the idea that it would help us expand as a team. Since implementing this change we’ve welcome nearly 50 new members and recruiting continues to increase! As we grow in size, so will our global presence and ability to sustain air traffic services at various airports around the world throughout the day.

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Agreed. Let’s face it, having ATC at an airport is a massive pull factor to depart or arrive from that airport. When I plan my flights I’m always looking for which airports have ATC. Since the new system came in, it has completely changed the way I choose flights (particularly long-hauls)
The old ATC schedule made more people explore regions that they wouldn’t usually explore. But now, less people fly to these destinations and not much variety

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The same can be said for real life traffic too. The data showed that scheduling remote or underserved regions didn’t result in high traffic levels. Often times we’d staff those airports while watching the uncontrolled LHR, JFK, and LAX have a higher inbound count. The eventual solution has to be to stop going against the grain and provide service where the traffic is.

I certainly love exploring those areas too and we have many controllers who will only staff airports off the beaten path to continuously offer that diverse experience. Best thing we can all do to encourage them to continue doing that is spawn in and give them traffic!

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