Have individual runway assignments for controllers

Hey Pilots!

I am currently training to be an IFATC local controller and I can tell you I’m having fun with it! During my training at airports with parallel runways, I felt something wasn’t right.

In real life, local controllers are each assigned only one runway, either takeoff or landing. This GREATLY decreases the workload controllers. As a result, more traffic can operate in and out of airports.

Currently, in IF, local controllers have to be responsible for all the runways. This can be a burden on the controller, especially if there is heavy inbound traffic.

I would love for IF to implement this feature, so controllers won’t have to mentally scramble to get all the planes off and on all the runways.

If an airport has almost 5 runways, you wouldn’t have just one controller handling all that at once :)


So if I’m understanding this correctly, there would be one tower controller for the departure runways, and one tower controller for the landing runways?

That would be the case, yes

Ah ok - yeah that would be extremely useful.

We do have something similar - but this would improve on it.

Improve what? EGLL doesn’t need two tower controllers to operate smoothly. It’s as simple as knowing your limits before jumping into high traffic areas.

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I have personally not seen anything like this, and to streamline operations at airports and to lessen communication channels which would clutter the messages and therefore, lessen the quality of service, we have opted not recommend this unless the airport has become overwhelming busy. Just know your limits before hopping onto the frequency and you should be set.

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IRL EGLL sees far less traffic than IF EGLL does at points and at busy events it could prove to be useful to improve ATC efficiency.

You also have to remember that it decreases efficiency because of the hassle of managing both tower frequencies as a radar controller, too.

It’s also quite difficult for some pilots to understand.


During flash flights, we’ve already seen co-ordination between controllers on multiple local frequencies.


@Thunderbolt fair enough.

@LordWizrak true - and most of time it works well.

IRL, this is used a lot, at least in the US, especially at SoCal airports. You’d have a “north” Tower and Ground controller and a “south” Tower and Ground controller, each on different frequencies (depending on the layout of the airport)

I’ve also seen this used at busy FNFs or Flash Flights on IF as well, so yes, it is a strategy, but when the airport is very very very busy.


Where I think the OP is misunderstanding is with the fact that there’s only one frequency per station on Training, while there’s realistic amounts of frequencies on Expert.

Perhaps it’s just a misinterpretation on my part. What I thought was the case was where one tower in specific would take care of all arriving traffic, and another tower would take care of all departing traffic. Unless I’m missing something, area splits within airports are something I’ve seen many times before, like you mention on north and south splits.

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You said here that would be good two controlers at same time right?

I don´t know…

To return to OPs post though, the number of runways usually isn’t an issue whatsoever it’s more the amount of traffic. Managing 5 runways with 3 arrivals in the next 20 minutes can be easily done with both eyes closed, whereas 30 arrivals in the next 20 minutes on a single runway airport is a bigger challenge than taking KLAX alone.

Yes, this is exactly right. There could be 1,000 runways at an airport, but with only one arrival. So a single controller could easily work it themselves. Once you start adding more traffic it becomes much more stressful. During overnight hours at bigger airports, it isn’t uncommon for only two controllers will work (or the minimum required for that facility) the entire airport (clearance/ground/tower, etc.)

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Yep,I think that’s the issue where the OP is getting confused.

I won’t repeat what everyone else has said, but please keep in mind that the IFATC team just isn’t large enough to staff 2 controllers per airport if people want all these airports open. The only time we do this is if we are super busy and it is needed, otherwise there’s no point in taking controllers that could open elsewhere for other people at a perfectly manageable airport for one controller.

I think it really depends where you are at. For example, at DFW I hear the same controller handle departures and landings. One benefit of this is so both planes can hear and track what is going on.

Multiple frequencies are good at times but they come with their own issues. Being bounced around from frequency to frequency can lead to confusion and even violations. Some things simply look good on paper but given the bounds within IF may not be the best approach.

Only way of getting experience and dealing with large amounts of traffic is to go outside your comfort zone etc. I know on the TS it can be difficult to do as nobody listens to you, but those that do listen to you, it can be enjoyable experience.