Event idea - catch the pilot

I’ve got a thought for a new type of event on Expert server, for which I would appreciate feedback from pilots and IFATCs.

The thought behind the event is based on the idea that it’s nice for a pilot that your destination airport is staffed. How about IFATC would open up, just to catch the inbounds that are about to arrive?!

We’ve got some awesome events, and creative ideas in our weekly IFATC schedules, and we have many active controllers. But who focuses on the pilots who participated in a fly-out event, on their way to many airports in the region or world; or the pilots who were brave and decided to set course to a non-hub airport. My idea is to try to ensure that, by the time they get there, the airport is staffed.

See the picture below and count the number of pilots who are less than 60 mins out of their destination airport.

How about an event, or some other procedure, where we go and search for pilots that are up to 45 or 60 mins out of their destination, and make sure an IFATC has opened open up to ‘catch them’ when they arrive.

Obviously we would set some rules and guidelines for an event such as this.

  • a little ‘opposite thinking’ is needed: this is not to attract or create traffic, but to catch traffic already there
  • how long would a controller keep the airport open (maximum and minimum time)?
  • would en event like this come in addition to a normal IFATC Schedule day, or another event, such as a fly-out? Or would it be on its own?
  • would we only have Tower and Ground services, or would we include radar services as well?
  • how do we avoid that all pilots fly to the one hub airport (again)
  • what to do with the obvious airports, such as KSFO, KLAX, OMDB, EGLL, etc

If this a good idea? Is it do-able? What are the pros and cons?

Would you open for 45 mins, to ‘catch’ two or three pilots?

Looking forward to a good chat about this!


I love this idea and would 100% participate as a controller! IFATC are volunteers though and I think for this to work, you’d have to host it on a weekend and have a group of controllers scheduled to open the airport for an arrival. When a controller opens a class Bravo airport, they must stay open for an hour and if they open a charlie, a half hour. It would kind of burn to open up for on pilot only to have them disconnect 20 minutes out.

In an ideal world, in my opinion this would be 100% doable but would require a lot of work and commitment from IFATC.

Maybe others can chime in with their opinions as I’ve probably missed a few finer details


I like this idea; it’s a great way for controllers seeking calmer airports to open up something that’ll have traffic, as well as help those quieter airports gain some more attention and cater to those that opt to fly outside of the main hub!


I really like this idea!

I love the idea! Not only will we not be bored, but we will also build up traffic along with the airport!


Thanks for the responses so far. Appreciated.

While I agree a staffed airport attracts new traffic, the primairy thought behind this idea is that IFATC go where the pilots are, and not so much the other way around. That’s why I believe there should be a maximum time to stay open, and no minimum time. This way multiple airports can be serviced by a controller, and more inbound pilots are served.

Would love to hear some more thoughts on this.

When pilots just want to fly alone…

I’m really, really sorry… lol

I like the concept of this idea, although personally I like always flying into an ATC destination. I wouldn’t know where to fly, somewhere with the most traffic like somewhere generical such as Heathrow or Los Angeles? Where would my next flight be? I like some style of structure, so I would have a rough idea on where to fly, and when.


I love this idea! I would be committed to “catch” inbounds. I do agree that we need some structure, but that would be a really cool event/featured day for IFATC!

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Great idea! Would be interesting to see where pilots would elect to fly not knowing if and where ATC would appear.
I hope this is tried at least once.
Thanks for the fresh thinking!

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A great example where my idea can be used, is, for example, this Saturday, with The Irish Flyout. This event counts over 30 destination airports where pilots can be flying out to. Just imagine, if the IFATC team could monitor inbounds for these airports, and then open for 15 - 30 mins or so, just to ‘catch’ the pilot coming in.

Wouldn’t a flyout be more fun for a pilot, if he knew there’s a good chance his destination airport is staffed when he arrives?


I agree with you, especially as a person who loves to fly where IFATC are, and if so many people didn’t want the same route then there would be at least double the number of destinations there are right now.

I agree! Really like this idea!

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