How and the correct ways to Contact Tower in the absence of approach

Hello everyone and I hope everyone is well safe and secure in the current situations…

My name is Sreehari and I am an IFATC Specialist.
It’s been Two months since I joined and I’m loving it …

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But I am here today to discuss and help all those who find it difficult to know when u should contact a tower and those who get frustrated when things don’t turn out good …

         First things first 

Be patient and wait for Tower to respond to your call. OFTEN what I see is people spamming around Inbound calls. Try to think from the controller’s perspective , handling 50-100 inbounds can be so challenging without an approach… Making frequency spammed will only mess up ur arrival …

1. What is right way and how u must call inbound when there is no approach ?

Here’s a detailed view of tower, approach and Centre’s airspace coverage with the minimum distance u must be from airport before u tune into .

Once you are below FL100 and atleast 25nm from the airport you can contact tower

You only need to call inbound once and it must be : " Aircraft XXX is XX nautical miles from the airport inbound at xxxx feet inbound for landing requesting xx runway ( if you want a specific runway ) .
You should not call inbound on the ILSor visual as these approaches are to be cleared by approach controller

Tower not responding to my inbound call ?
  • Often times people call inbound multiple times when they feel their requests was not heard or noticed. But this creates a huge problem for controller.

  • The controller is handling lot of arrivals and departures and need to Focus on the departing aircrafts and the ones on final approach .

  • Landing and Takeoff are the most crtical phases of flight and the phases that require most attention by a tower controller.
    Tower might give a " Continue inbound " .
    This allows the aircraft to continue as filed on their STARS and give more time to the controller to focus on critical phases.

  • I have also seen people finding trouble when a " extend downwind and I’ll call your base is issued
    It simply means is you will have to continue your downwind leg ( parallel to runway) until controller instructs you to turn base…
    This helps the controller to create spacing and a room to depart traffic and avoid any kind of separation losses etc…
    As a tower controller you have to handle departing and arriving traffic efficiently without any delays. Having a smooth spacing and timing is very critical to decide CLEARANCE to takeoff or land …

When everyone keeps repeating their inbound calls it only makes the situation worse and delay your arrival.
Being a controller and handling such huge traffic without an approach is very stressfull…
Especially on HUBS we always have supervisors on lookout .
We want to give you the best possible service ❤️ always provided all we request is to be patient when on a busy airspace .
Each orange flash light is noted and though controller may not respond but he is aware.

We at IFATC are humans too and sometimes we make mistakes to .
All we want is a calm environment to think and give our best services…

We are not looking for reporting people before each report we ask our officials or supervisor wether it is viable for and we maximum try to give out warnings before .
We want all of you to come and fly into our airports but also follow all rules properly too.

Also one very thing that controllers always find annoying is some who takeoff and suddenly call inbound.
It is called a pattern work and at busy airspace pattern works will be not allowed due to heavy traffic. But people think if they can takeoff and land . Trust me if I were to give you a chance to be a IFATC controlle for one day you would be saying the same as all of us.
It simply adds more trouble to as clearly it’s said no pattern work

  • For departures you must request departure to any of listed direction say north or south or if in ATIS it says a staright out departure you should announce the same

ATIS is always your best guide to your airport
Do check in ATIS before you call any atc services to get all details
Tap on your airport icon ➡️ tap on WX ➡️ D-ATIS
Stands for digital atis will give you all information regarding airport services and runways in use/ prefered procedures.

Here is a Short D-ATIS guide

Thank you for reading through patiently and I hope everything is clear if not please do drop in a pm … We want to you to fly professional to give you the professional service .
I would like to thank my supervisor @Juan_Oosthuizen who helped me create this topic and also @SamC for ideas. !
Have a great day


Thanks for the reminder as this is something I often see pilots doing wrong.

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Thanks for this Hari, many Pilots out there needs to be reminded! :)


There’s no harm in a refresher every now and then :)


Thanks for the reminder. As traffic increases, there’s more of a chance of this happening. It’s always good to bump this idea to remind pilots as to what to do as this occurrence is more common now.


No problem 😃 I understand all controller’s troubles…

This is very important and something that a lot of pilots in Infinite Flight may not understand. Thanks for the kind reminder Hari! It’s always a pleasure working with you.


Good job 😄

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Awesome job @Hari!

@Thunderbolt, I don’t see the reason to be rude, he was helping out people who may not know that there is an ATC manual and user guide.

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Nice reminder.

@Thunderbolt I think there’s no need to be so rude and negative. Let’s keep it cool guys :)


A pressing issue I faced while controlling Tower at SBGR yesterday - Pilots following their flight plan and not adhering to the pattern instructions. For Example - I assigned them a right downwind entry but they kept following their flight plan which brought them on a left downwind for the runway.
It’s important to note that ATC instructions supersede a filled flight plan 😄


Yes thank you Manav 😃…

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Good job Hari 😉

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Everyone’s calling me out for being rude - let’s be realistic here. There’s a user guide and ATC manual on the Infinite Flight website that can be read by everyone. There have been many topics concerning this exact subject in the past. Do they make a difference? No. Has the expert server environment improved since the beginning of the year? No.

We must find alternative methods to get the message across. Writing about it over and over, quoting the user guide and manual over and over isn’t working, especially with the people that aren’t on this community (which happens to be the majority of the expert server pilots).

While I know you have good intent, how can we truly get the message across? Expert server is horrendous. “Reminders” are nice to have, but for the minority that do not have the luxury of the community, we must stop, think, find a way to get everyone on the same page, and then make progress. Together.


I understand your concern but a lot of people post reminders on the forum as well, including you a few weeks ago. I don’t see the issue


Being honest, there is no harm in posting these topics on the forum. Let’s please remain on topic and discuss the points that was brought up in the OP’s post.

Nice work @Hari!


You could’ve phrased it in a nice way, instead of being sacarstic. While I agree with you on some points that you made, I do not see any problem in reminders as it is useful sometimes.

For example, your topic on EGCC was also a reminder, wasn’t it? Did it improve the expert server behaviour?

I don’t wanna start a argument here, but you get my point.



I’m not normally one to get involved like this, but Matt, if he wants to make a topic he can🙂


At the end of the day this is a great topic. And the fact remains that more people read topics on the IFC than those who go back to read the user guide or ATC manual. So these “reminders” are actually useful to the majority of the community.


I get your point. But that is no reason to be rude to him. He did his part and has permission to publish the thread. He thought he was getting a point across and wanted to remind everyone about the procedures. I feel like he has done an excellent job. So let’s leave it be.