IFATC on Expert Server

Hi all, is it normal for only one airport to be ATC active on the Expert Server? At the moment only KIAH is open. I’m not criticizing IFATC but the lack of airports open with ATC in the chosen region can downgrade the enjoyment when flying. Are there normally more airports open with IFATC?


It really depends to be honest. IFATC are a group of volunteers and they have other life commitments, so they will open when they can and when time permits.


As @Declan_O said, IFATC is a voluntary commitment. IFATC will try to open as many airports as they can, but sometimes everyone has things on their schedule. It just depends on who is available at a given time. Cheers!

Yuh I completely understand that. I just wasn’t sure about the scale of IFATC. For instance, KMIA is the featured airport but no one is operating it.

Yeah, controllers get to pick what every airport they would like to open on the schedule. Even though an airport is the featured airport the week or a main hub, a lot of controllers sometimes like to open more diverse airports to make it interesting for themselves and also pilots.

Depends on timing as well. During the zulu day, it may be operational however later during the night they may stop controlling it due to lack of controllers.

That makes an abundance of sense. Thanks!

I think part of it is a dual-sided issue. Pilots only fly to one hub because that’s where they expect there to be ATC. So, if a controller can’t get the hub, their other choice is to typically sit twiddling their thumbs at another airport without anyone inbound. So, they don’t open, and the cycle continues.

If somehow we could get more people flying to other airports, there’d be more incentive to open them. But, on the flip side, if we opened there and stayed, perhaps more would fly. Kind of one waiting on the other to make a move.

I’ve tried the open-a-lesser-field-for-five-hours-maybe-someone-will-fly-here several times to no avail. I don’t know what the solution is, but the reason you see mostly the main hub open at times when it’s not high volume is because many controllers don’t want to sit with nothing to do for hours.

(Please read in full. Don’t skip the part where I mention we should open smaller fields more often, please. I’m not putting it on one end only.)


So, right now, going on hour two of them being open


All have fewer inbounds combined than either KORD or EGLL.

Neither of those was going to have ATC coverage today as even a remote possibility.


Maybe not feature any hubs or overused airports (KLAX/KMIA/ESSA/EGLL/YSSY etc) in the schedule. Then everyone would have to open the lesser used airports.

I really think some airports are featured too often. It gets tedious. (ahem, KLAX)

You thinking of training server? KLAX isn’t featured on Expert too much; it only started to get busy recently. I would say that overused airports would be something like YSSY (which we usually see more than once a month).

Thursday : London Luton (EGGW), Farnborough (EGLF), Paris Le Bourget (LFPB), London Biggin Hill (EGKB), Isle of Man (EGNS)
Featured Theme: GA/Corporate

you mean like this?

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That’s rare. Usually we’d see something like: EGLL, EGKK, EGCC

Tomorrow, OMDB, VABB, they’re featured almost every week.

I think the schedule follows the general demand of the community very closely. Yes, the schedule is mainly focused around larger airports - but that’s what most of the community wants most of the time. However, there are some of us, and I consider myself one of them, that enjoy the smaller airport type days. But we are a smaller portion of the population, and the schedule reflects that - fairly in my opinion.


There are a lot of great “smaller” airports that we control everyday. The problem is we often times sit around waiting for pilots to show up. If you want to help change it, the best suggestion is to show up at a lesser known airport, and help generate activity there!


No only Expert of course.
Florida is probably more frequent now than California actually.
And yes, you’re right about YSSY. Shame about YPPH, I guess there just isn’t the demand due to how far away it is from the nearest other hub.

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“Why don’t you guys open more airports?”

“But we can’t know which…”

ZBAA is open all week as the featured field: 3 inbound


That’s because everyone’s at EDDF. Take away their LAXs and JFKs and EDDFs from the schedule and give them some variety. ZBAA is an expansive hub with 3 runways - I don’t see why it isn’t more popular.

Spent 90 minutes controlling EGSS early afternoon and saw a total of 5 inbounds that weren’t pattern work. Frankfurt probably got 5 per minute. Would have been nice to see traffic spread out a bit.


Was looking for an approach frequency to open earlier and all that was open was EDDF with 80+ inbounds, the rest of the airports on the list with less than 10. 😞

Wish traffic would spread out more. We all know that EDDF has been/will be manned all day… :(

Then there are the days where Tyler features smaller, more unique airfields with the opportunity to diversify and they barely get any traffic as most everyone flocks to the larger hubs.

also didn’t open because my day got busy a lot faster than I thought it would but oh well.