Gander/Shanwick Center

I’ve recently become facinated with the North Atlantic Track System (NATS). For those who don’t know what it is, I made a detailed tutorial about it here.

I’m currently on a flight that crosses the North Atlantic, and an idea came to me. “What if we could have the real world NATS in IF?” It sounds a bit vague, but I will explain what I mean.

The Idea In Depth

So, if you read through the tutorial or already know what NATS are, you most likely also know about Gander and Shanwick Oceanic Control centers. These two are important in real world aviation as they essentially manage all aircraft that cross the North Atlantic. My proposal is simple:

Allow a “Center” ATC Station at both of these airports. They will have commands for instructing aircraft which tracks to take, speeds, altitudes, etc. They will also require the user to have a flight plan with a particular NAT in their flight plan (something could be implemented to allow them to choose one and place it in their plan prior to departure). The controller will have the ultimate decision which track the user takes. If he agrees with the given track, he clears the aircraft. If not, he instructs a different track and it’s automatically put as the active leg (similar to the 360° patterns that appear when a hold is requested).

How Will This Work?

Each center will have commands for instructing aircraft which tracks to take, speeds, altitudes, etc. They will also require the user to have a flight plan with a particular NAT in their flight plan (something could be implemented to allow them to choose one and place it in their plan prior to departure). The controller will have the ultimate decision which track the user takes. If he agrees with the given track, he clears the aircraft. If not, he instructs a different track and it’s automatically put as the active leg (similar to the 360° patterns that appear when a hold is requested).

This will only be implemented on Expert and IFATC controllers will go through a specific training course before being allowed to control. Also (if possible) it would be benificial to have 24/7 service at the centers. Now, I’m not 100% sure how IFATC chooses who controls where and when, but these controllers could have a Schedule where each one controls for X amount of time. If 24/7 service is impossible, then an automated computer ATC could be implemented.

Why Should This Be In IF?

Pros:

  • More ®️ealism
  • Ability for IFATC controllers to learn about controlling these busy airspaces
  • Users can learn more about the NATS
  • The North Atlantic on IF will look more like this:
    image

Cons:

  • Could be difficult to implement (sorry, ahem, WILL be difficult)
  • People would have to wake up in the middle of the night to contact Gander/Shanwick center
  • People would actually have to look up the NAT before departure and add it to their flight plan

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Put them in the comments below.

Feeling inspired with the realism? Vote now, and it may soon be on its way!

24/7 covers never going to happen I would like the devs to make if possible a automatic basic ATC

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That’s a good point. I’ll add it to the original post.

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IFATC would have to develop non radar procedures to implement these procedures since we only get so many aircraft on ATC radar. It would be very difficult to implement and require 100% participation to guarantee separation.

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Yeah, maybe shanwick center could be completely autonomous for IF?

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I won’t be able to wake up at night just to contact ATC (Gander/Shanwick Center). I would be fine looking up the NAT and add it to the FPL but I can’t wake up at night just to have to contact ATC.

Fun Fact About Me:

If I wake up in the middle of the night, it will be very hard for me to actually go back to sleep.

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To be frankly honest, I dont think Center frequencies in general should be added back. It would mean that people who do overnight flights (and lots of us do this), would need to stay awake most of the night just so we can contact the next ‘Center’ frequency on our route.

Their should come a button were you can select that you are sleeping. The ATC will see this and will not contact you.
If center is added again.

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So excited for this in the next update!

What a beautiful Bump!

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It’s a nice idea for realism, but sadly I think it’s unrealistic

Uh… okay?

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How could be nice for realism if its unrealistic?

I’m quite unsure of the frequency. Especially since I’m the type of person to go to sleep before entering that airspace :/

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What I mean is, it takes place irl therefore nice for irl realism in the sim but considering how everything works, I think its unrealistic and not achievable

I know what you mean, I’ll start a trans Atlantic then go to bed so would we be reported if we then didn’t follow instructions

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Laura recently mentioned something about the reintroduction of center frequenices if im not mistaken

I think for ultimate realism, this would be cool. But if you want to be serious about it, and make the sim really real, find a way to keep people active first and prevent them from going to sleep. Because a majority of the people who fly expert, I would bet sleep during their long flights.

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Great idea I’m a huuuge fan (especially with the new update)

Thing is most of my long hauls are done at night so not rlly ideal in that sense