Forum Request: Making a Combined Sub-Category for Expert ATC Region Tracking Threads

With the advent of the new ATC regions system, I think that the region-based Expert Server ATC tracking threads (such as this one) should be either pinned to the top of the #atc category - or a new sub-category should be created, possibly named #atc:regions or similar. It becomes easier to access and search for them quickly, and see which controllers and regions are active, and for how long. What do you think?

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This seems like a good idea! Although that would be a lot of pins lol

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Agreed. A sub-category like #atc:regions or a similar name might be better. Updated the post to reflect that.

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I like the idea! It would a good way to see what airport has active ATC much more easier.

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Thanks! Yeah - not just the airport but also the time that the controller is active for. That would be very helpful especially in planning short-haul flights where we want active ATC.

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Yes, good idea… I think its about forward planning. The IFATC.org website now tells us what airports are open in real time (divided into the regions with tabs now).

But we lack what the published ATC schedule previously offered… A forward plan of expected open frequencies and key routes.

I love the idea of the “IFATC Takeover… (Italy, Greece etc)” and I’ve flown in a couple of them… But, they were worryingly sparsely populated by pilots, I presume because of everyone being more spread out and the relatively short notice.

Yes, I personally use IFATC.org and love it - but the tracking threads give us the most up to date information, along with the times that the controllers plan to remain open.

That’s why it would be great if they were more prominently displayed or easier to find on the forum.

I’m gonna bump this myself, because I’m seeing posts on the forum with people saying that there’s been a lack of Expert ATC services since the regions update - and I know that’s not necessarily true. If the tracking threads were made more accessible, people might see that a little more. :)

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Because I’m seeing a lot of topics ranging from “My opinion on the new ATC system” to “I hate the new Regions system,” I’m gonna expand on this a little more…

Full disclaimer: I know it’s only been a week or so with the new system, but there are obviously some cracks/issues with it; and while I know it will take time to settle, this might help speed up the process.

The basic benefit of the old ATC Schedule system was twofold. One - that it offered a level of predictability of destinations. That goes out the window with the new Regions system (unless we’re talking about events). Two - that it was pinned to the top of the forum so it was seen by everyone.

The “predictability” factor is now counterbalanced by the fact that opening airports is now very flexible, so there would be greater variety of destinations.

But tbh, let’s face it - if there’s one thing pilots love, it’s predictability.

And that factor would return to a large extent if the tracking threads were made more visible (aka, the second factor - visibility). It’s a win-win for both factors.

Most of us don’t have the energy/time to sit and search for our region’s tracking threads in the chatter of the forum, and by the time we do get to it, the controller is on the verge of closing. This leads to us as pilots saying “let’s just fly to airports which we know will be active no matter what” such as KLAX, EGLL etc. See what I’m saying about how visibility and predictability going hand-in-hand?

The forum organises topics by the most recent post. If there was a dedicated sub-category for regional tracking threads, with one simple look, we’d know the most recently active region/airport without even opening the thread. And then of course, it would have to be compulsory for controllers to post the time for which they’d be active.

This would lead to a better, more predictable system which would result in increased traffic at the airports that otherwise get lose in the chatter of the forum.

I’d love people’s opinions on this :) is this a possible solution for now at least?

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I agree the change makes it difficult to plan to arrive with ATC. I have made my flights shorter and shorter and even then ATC just vanishes. If the tracking were made easier to follow that would be a great help.

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Yeah I definitely miss doing long-hauls, especially flying from one active region to another. I’ve been flying less and less these days because I just don’t know where or when ATC will open up.

Unfortunately I don’t think the answer is simply about more visibility and awareness of the intentions of ATC people to open or not… I mean, just having more people know in advance that Atlanta tower and ground will open for 1hr isn’t going to help ultimately with the disappointments that so many are talking about.

This is because there’s no structural support to the new “system” (which can’t really be termed a system, can it?)

The issue is that the old system was taken away suddenly with no effective, practical solutions to replace what was good with the old schedule. 😐

It’s not the only solution, or a fix-it-all, that’s for sure. But I feel this would be a step in the right direction to getting more traffic and involvement at more airports. Right now, by the time we see the ATC tracking threads it’s already too late - and end up not flying. If they were more visible, there would definitely be a slightly more definite sense of being able to plan a flight in the area where they are active, instead of stumbling upon the thread in the chatter of the forum.

Not just Atlanta tower though - that’s my point. We’d know all the airports from Atlanta to Johannesburg to Hong Kong, in one glance, if it’s more visible, rather than going and searching for the region tracking threads through the clutter.

I support your idea, but for now we would just be informing more people through one information source that its not worth planning a flight!

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Maybe the mystery of it all is part of the master plan…

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