IFATC Question

In the last couple days, I have seen several expert ATC controllers operating very busy airfields for 3+ hours. Out of sheer curiosity, is there a burnout factor for controllers?

In my experience controlling on the training server, I’ve found that it can be nearly intolerable after 30 minutes or so, but the traffic there is much more undisiplined.


5 minutes on the training server can seem like an eternity. 4 hours can pass with heavy volume on Expert without even noticing. Since you can actually control traffic on Expert (they can’t just ignore you at will), it’s a lot easier to get into a groove.


I can tolerate about 1-2hrs +/- on a charlie/bravo airport, that is with the help of an approach controller.

Otherwise, about 1hr alone, just sending go arounds for people who cant separate themselves, and trying to clear deps and arrivals. It exhausts me be there are usually up and down times, they come in packs and disappear in packs too, so the breaks are a breather.

For Charlie airports, normally 2-2.5hrs alone.

I guess, its easier on expert because most pilots listen to you, sometimes you get a full session without ghost and you know, it was a nice session.


Completely agree with this, in a good session of controlling, time will fly by when you have a good sequence and traffic following instructions, have been on KFLL this evening for awhile, its flown by (pun intended)

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Beat me I did 3.5 hours at FLL :P

If you have an app controller, and pilots actually listen yes it’s very easy to bear

I usually control for at least 2 hours if the airport isn’t dead. A lot of my busy sessions have gone on to 4-6 hours, with my longest session at 8 hours, and I don’t even notice that much time has gone by.

The days of TS1 trying to get those 500 ops though. That was a chore and a test of patience.


I got 2000 ops on the training server to build my patience. I think it’s great now and I can control on Expert without a problem. Let’s see how I do at KLAX controlling my event tomorrow 😂. Of course I will need help with Approach, Departure, Ground, and ATIS from fellow IFATC members


I have another question for ifatc

Do you guys always get traffic no matter where you open?

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I am not part of IFATC but,

based on my observations people will flock to where controllers will be. At the end of the day, everyone loves a controlled airfield.


Nope, everyone goes to the big famous field and usually leaving only a few people going to the small one. That’s why I don’t understand why people complain about no small field being opened


No. I have controlled at small airports or a less popular one and you will be lucky to get aircraft.

I’m with you @Hezz on that one.

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I’ll just give my opinion even if it’s a bit similar to others.

If you’re working tower and ground it can get a bit tyring since you keep switching between frequencies. Especially if there is no app you really have a big amount of stuff to remember. Especially for ground when you say hold position. Let’s say you gave hold position to five aircrafts and now there are lots of people on tower contacting you. You can easily forget who needs a clearance on ground.

If you’re working only one frequency and the other two are active it becomes a routine really.
Tower just give a clearance and check for separation. Give a go around if it’s too close.
Ground give clearance and hold position if need be. It’s a bit more complicated than tower since you have to keep an eye everywhere. (Tower is only a straight line on the ils)
Approach (I’m pretty new at that so more experienced people might not agree) that’s the most complexe. You work with all 3 dimensions and speed. You keep an eye on a really big region (the most annoying are the people really high that contact 200milles away) so there it can get tyring but again when you get this routine it gets easier. You have a line where you know you need to get people. Ok so you determined the plan and now just work with vectors to get people where you want them. It’s not really tyring as long as you stay calm and don’t panic.

So for a little conclusion it can really depend on the frequency. Also when you’re in a busy airspace the time flies and you actually don’t think about it. You’re 100% in the controlling. You also don’t want to close since it’s hard to find a good gap to change controller.


I’ve opened pretty much only small fields and have been pleasently surprised at the amount of traffic, but I just became IFATC, I’m used to getting no traffic on the training server. If more than two people come it’s a good session. The past few times 6 or 7 have shown up. :)

You know you can do ATIS?
If do 25L, 25R, and 24L dep
And 24R and 24L arrivals

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Considering he’s IFATC, I’m sure he knows how to use ATIS.

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That’s why I said what I did

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are the IFATC forced to be set on a strict schedule of ariports they can controll? I see tyler posting ATC schedules on the ATC page and im wondering

Yes, they are required to control in the designated region for a particular day. With this week’s schedule, Tyler added airports that were to be opened first (today it is KSLC and KIAD). There are also some exceptions for events, but that rarely happens. We have a lot of variety in choosing an airport to control. The regions are always vast, and have a lot of options.

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so for instance tyler will say west coast and controllers will choose which airport they control in NORCAL or SOCAL

Any airport on the West Coast which usually includes California, Oregon, and Washington. Sometimes Alaska and Hawaii.

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