Why do we need this?
So, while everyone has been posting feature requests for even more planes and reworks for planes, I had an idea like @Chris_S that we need better ATC!! BTW, his idea of making ATC better and cooler is also cool, I suggest you go vote for it. Anyways, I hope you can help me adjust, edit, and such to make this feature request the best it could be. I searched around the feature category and found some similar topics saying that we need better ground ATC commands. I completely agree. There are more in-depth requests saying that ground ATC should have the option to tell aircraft what taxiways to take to get to the runway. This is quite similar to that and could go hand-in-hand with it.
What needs to come before this?
For this feature to be able to function in IF, taxiway maps need to be shown on both the ATC’s control map and the Pilot’s mini-map/globe map. Other features have this requested.
What is it?
You know how approach/departure has that awesome drag and vector feature? Well this is similar to that, but for Ground!! The controller — when contacted by pilots on ground that are ready to taxi — will hold on the plane, and drag on the taxiways shown on the ATC map all the way to the runway where you would let go, and the command would be sent to the pilot. Taxiway maps (as said above) need to exist in IF so this is capable of being possible. Other people have already requested this and one of these requests is from this thread: https://community.infinite-flight.com/t/improved-ground-atc-experience/130131?u=ethan_chloe123. I suggest you go vote for that because it is a very cool request.
How would it look?
Well it might look a little like this (exuse the horrible drawing skills):
In this photo you are a ground controller at LDZA. The white are the taxiways, the grey the runway, the red the terminals. Imagine N762NG is pushbacked and calls ready for taxi. You as the controller would hold down on his plane, and drag a line via the taxiways to the runway where you would let go. This would send a command to the pilot.
What about the commands?
The commands might go like so:
Pilot: “N762NG ready for pushback”
ATC: “N762NG pushback approved, expect taxi instructions to runway 23”
Pilot: “Pushback approved, N762NG”
Pilot pushes back and contacts ground again
Pilot: “N762NG ready to taxi”
ATC goes to the map, holds on N762NG’s plane, and drags to runway 32 via the ATC’s taxiway choices, ultimately creating a route to the runway, and a command to the pilot like so:
ATC: “N762NG, taxi to runway 23 via bravo, turn right onto delta, turn left onto sierra 3, Hold short of the runway”
Pilot: “Taxiing to runway 23 via bravo, turn right onto delta, turn left onto sierra 3, hold short”
The route then shows up for the pilot on their mini-map in the HUD and disappears for the controller
Once the command is sent, the pilot will respond and the route will show up on their mini-map. This also means that taxiways need to be visible on the mini-map/the globe map (when zoomed in to the airport). There are other requests on that as well such as this one: https://community.infinite-flight.com/t/taxiway-map/1208?u=ethan_chloe123. The taxi route will disappear for the ground controller to make controlling other planes easier without all of these lines. However, if the controller taps on the plane, their specific taxi route shows up again until the controller taps on a different plane or anywhere else on the map.
This also goes for arriving planes. The controller would hold and drag to the terminals and release. It would go like this:
ATC: “N762NG, when able turn left and contact ground on the taxiway”
Pilot switches to ground
Pilot: “Request taxi to parking”
ATC would hold and drag to the terminals via taxiways, this sends a command to the pilot as this:
ATC: “Taxi to parking via delta, turn right onto bravo, terminal and gate at your discretion”
This creates a taxi route to the terminal from the runway for both the controller and pilot
Pilot: “Taxiing to parking via delta, turn right onto bravo, terminal and gate at discretion”
Would it be abused?
Like almost everything in IF, it can be abused by trollers and such. Our idea to combat this would be to have it be an
Expert Server Only command. This way if the expierenced Pilots that are on expert server abuse it, like some do, then professional, trained, and capable IFATC will threaten to ghost or will ghost depending on the situation.
What’s the point?
Not only does this feature add extreme realism to the game, but it makes it easy for the controller and the pilot to instruct and follow commands. This also makes controlling ground much more fun and challenging! I personally would find this very helpful and fun as I am IFATC myself.