IF how to greatly improve ATC || ATC only update idea

Not a feature request any longer? That’s a pity.

Chris changed the category so I guess not. Maybe they’ll look at each small request instead I don’t know though.

We’re only allowed one item per feature request, so this did not quialify as one. It’s just a way to get the word out ;)

I disagree. Some features simply have to contain more than thing or one picture. This one here requested a major ATC improvement and added multiple ideas of how this could look like. And I rather have one big suggestion instead of 20 small ones. I really don’t like that rule. As I said, some requests are more complex so sometimes one picture or one idea isn’t enough.

But who am I to decide and judge. I don’t have to agree with everything. Anyway… Let’s hope the word will reach the right place. 😊


After a few days now I see we’re at almost 90% that want this update! That really shows that as a community we understand how important ATC is. For all who voted yes please don’t forget to vote for your favourite of those requests as that’s really how we can have an impact and show our desire for a great ATC update.

You may have noticed that the thread has been moved to #atc. It’s mainly because of the format and how I requested the ATC update. However this means that there are some ideas that I posted here haven’t been requested yet. I will request them as soon as I find time to do so and I’ll update you with the links to the thread. If any of you guys have ideas I forgot or that haven’t been requested please tell me and I’ll ad the link to the topic. If it hasn’t been requested I’d happily make a request or otherwise you could make it and I’ll as the link and explanation here.(I don’t mind)

As a little conclusion to this post I really want to show how important it is to show our interest for such an update. It is partly like that that FDS may consider it and if it’s doable, do it. Voting on the pole I made obviously gives an idea of how many people would be interested, but it’s just an interesting stat. It’s unfortunately not enough (the way) to really show that we want the update. It’s by voting the proper way with limited amounts of votes the we can have an effect.

So I’ve just made the two requests (that didn’t already exist) that I find the most important. I have added them to the list so go vote! I also added a new feature request garry made which I find awesome!

So here’s what’s new

Would be interesting to have some of the capabilities of just the ATC side to be implemented onto a PC, specifically the use of a touchscreen PC. I think there could be some really cool data links from the interface into IF that could make controlling even better.

Also, if you were to have an ATC app/program that connected into IF, you could have it on the PC side with terrain and not worry about the device be able to handle it as much.


I really do wish this was a feature, as I think this is worth one vote, but I’m not about to put out 2 votes😉😕

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I totally agree. Unfortunately that may be a bit unlikely. Mainly because FDS are aiming the mobile market but also because lots of us can’t afford/ have a computer. That’s one of the reasons why we’re on mobile 😉… so in my opinion if they do implement an ATC part on computer it’s only if the full app is available for computers too. Just my opinion though hopefully they think differently it would be nice to have it on a computer it would offer so many possibilities!

Otherwise what I think they did talk about is having two devices for controlling (as an option). It would be nice but again I think the amount of people that actually have two devices is small so they probably won’t do it in a near future…

Who knows though…!🤷‍♂️

Little update:

I’ve made the feature request for the aircraft tag becoming green when cleared (for approach) if you want more information please follow the link here or otherwise it’s in the list now.

I have also updated the thread with a little explanation for the VS command and done a bit of cleaning up so there aren’t explanations for the topics that already exist. Here’s the explanation for the VS (same as in the thread now)

VS command

The VS (vertical speed) command is something that could be helpful for approach. Sometimes you have some pilots that are descending really slowly and the only solution is a delay vector or say “expedite”. The expedite command is really confusing because you have to make the link between that and the altitude. With the VS command there is no more confusion and it is more realistic. Sometimes it may be useful too in situations where there is terrain and you have to maintain a certain VS or you won’t descend fast enough to intercept the localiser. For example at VNKT it’s too risky to directly give the clearance for 6000 so the controller will keep you a bit above and on the last turn will give you the descend command. Unfortunately some pilots may not know that it’s important there to not go at 500ft/m and that is not enough… no delay vector is possible in that situation and you’ll have to go around. So this is a feature that won’t be used very often but when it is used it is really valuable.

Have a look and vote for your favourite requests! If you have any questions I’m happy to help!

Edit: I’ve also added this explanation:

Contact further than 50nm or everyone at 50

Here’s a simple change in procedure (not really much to ad to IF other than a tutorial and informing of the change. The problem we currently have is that pilots contact approach at varying distances. In those conditions it can be hard to plan in advance and form a good line of inbounds. The problem is that pilots can tune in really far away (if I remember correctly 200nm) which is good and gives us space to work with but at the same time if they want to they can wait until 50nm… so for example if a plane is inbound from the east and our approach line starts north east of the airport if he contacts far away from the airport we send him directly to the end of the line. If he doesn’t contact us until 50nm he might start going south east of the airport and then when he contacts us he might not be in a handy situation to be vectored anymore or he might be interfering with other aircrafts already (but we can’t ghost since he’s not on the frequency…) another problem is for example some people will stay above FL 180 and contact when they are very close (even closer than 50nm) that’s very annoying since we can’t just give a random vector away from the airport and altitude since we don’t know when he’ll have reached a certain altitude and if it may create conflict… this is a really helpful change if it comes and would greatly help approach in my opinion.

If they could add more commands for approaches because aircraft often fly the wrong approach on parallel runways especially on training server. So if you could add a phrase like wrong runways approach that would be great.

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Yeah I understand that. It’s for when approach hands of to tower right?
If so here’s the request 😉

Approaching the wrong runway end warning An ATC warning if someone approaches to the wrong runway

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Little update with a few new suggestions from IFATCs.

There’s also this that would be nice to have as an option in ATIS. I’ll make a request sooner or later but not now as it’s pretty self explanatory and it’s not the most important. The message is

“ILS approaches only”


Pilots should not be penalized if the ATC controller instructs an airline to fly at a certain speed. There’s a 250kts speed restriction below 10,000FT and if the controller wants to clear up the congestion or if the airspace is pretty clear, an instruction where speed can be > 250kts below FL100 can be passed.

In real life they do that, but mainly on departure for heavy planes that have to go fast. On approach I have to admit I wouldn’t be a fan of it. Simply because the turns are much wider at 250kts and there would be a big difference in speed with slower planes. So I wouldn’t use it much…

However there is a feature request! I’ll go look for it and give you the link if you want to vote🙂

Here it is. But it’s for departure really ATC No Speed Restrictions, Initial Climb, etc.

I really do think that the terrain map is a must have. Especially for the approach controllers it would be a great improvement. If there would be a way around the performance issues of the terrain radar, I would love to have it back.

For the moment there is a workaround. It’s ifatc.org . Really really recommend using it it’s great, and there are lots of features in progress that you will discover soon!🙂

But yes if we could have it in the sim it would really be handy. Especially for people with only one device

Yup, that’s what I’m doing atm

Just saw this now… I have a few comments:

Terrain map:
I see what you’re getting at here, but this is next to impossible. Minimum Safe Altitude is depicted in the AIP of each and every airport, and you would manually have to get those (for the facilities actually having them). For approach I think getting the terrain map back would be adequate. Or as you say tweak it a bit to get a rough estimate of the MSA.

Airspeed visible too:
No no no. Controllers cannot see the airspeed on airplanes unless they are mode-S equipped. Airspeed is measured manually and isn’t broadcasted anywhere unless you have mode-S, which not many have yet. Also, having the airspeed could be a measure of false safety, since winds change at different altitudes. One would look as he’s going 250 KIAS, but he’s still overtaking the guy in front on 270 KIAS. Not good.

Tower: altitude command:
Well, this would be an awesome thing to have, but I don’t think having it as a command is the solution. What would be a lot better is include it in the ATIS commands as an “initial climb 6000ft” remark.

Tower: Maintain seperation with nearby traffic
This could be confusing. Instead of that, I would change the “please follow instructions or you will be ghosted” back to the not-so-scary “please follow instructions” command. You’re not actually saying which aircraft he should be seperated with, what I did back in the days was to chain the “please follow instructions” command with the command he did wrong. Worked perfectly. And if you’re thinking of this command as the “Maintain visual seperation with traffic” command IRL, that is not strictly FAA procedures, and we haven’t got enough VFR commands for that… :P

VS command
I don’t think this is a good idea either. This is almost never used IRL, as you are actually starting to mix up with the pilot duties here. Each aircraft has different descent profiles to which they can descend efficiently. I see what you’re going on about here, but it’s the pilot’s responsibility to ensure seperation with terrain. Another more realistic solution to this is the “cross/level at” command. For example “ABC123 descend 6000ft to level in 18nm” (since we haven’t got good waypoint practice). It’s then up to the pilot to calculate this. But this is also a matter of practice and situational awareness from the controller’s perspective.


That command would be amazing, could be an option when using the drag and vector since it can measure distance already.