Hello. I’ve been thinking of joining IFATC, but I have a few questions before I do. If there is already a topic on this, please link me to it.
If you are a controller, can you control whenever you want, or do you have to control on a specific schedule?
Is there a commitment, or can you quit at any time?
Are there strict rules about following the schedule?
Yes there is. We have it for a reason :)
To follow up on what Seb said, when controlling there are minimum times you have to control for. 30 mins for class charlie or delta and 1 hour for class bravo. So, you cannot just quit a session if you haven’t hit the minimum times yet.
Ahhh. That makes sense. Thanks!
45 minutes for class Charlie.
You don’t have to be really active, obviously not everyone has time to control for an hour or near hat often when you are busy with work or whatever but it should be fine unless you go months without controlling then you will need to be retested.
Thanks because my availability can be limited sometimes :) Also, I’m in a different time zone, but I think I can handle it
We’re all in different time zones ;)
To clarify about schedule: We follow a schedule about where we control, but individually you control when you like. If the region is Japan, I can open any qualifying airport (RJAA, RJOA, etc.) at any time during that period. I have an hour and a half free, I hop on slack and see that nobody is controlling RJAA, announce that I’m opening, and then control! No shift scheduling, just making sure I have enough time free and that the airport is within the region. Best of luck!
Hopefully I don’t have to be watching my screen the whole time I’m controlling, If I’m controlling for an hour :)
If you are an expert ATC then that’s what’s expected, you should be whatching at all times to make sure nothing is happening without you noticing. That’s whats expected of us in my opinion.
Unless I’m controlling an empty airport, or if I keep my device near me. (Someone can close the topic, I got my questions answered)
We understand life gets in the way, which is fine. Some controllers come in a few times a month but they are consistent and stay up to date on any procedure changes. Now if you spend all your time in the ATC slack and never control, thats a problem and it will be dealt with. Are you going to be kicked out if you log out 0:50 minutes into your one hour session because of an emergency, no. But its all about communicating with the other controllers so the pilots are not left high and dry and not making a habit out of it. Longer period of inactivity will result in you needing to be retested.
We are there to provide a service to the pilots and we take it seriously. We are also in a position to set an examply for others so we are expected to fly as such too. Controllers can be promoted/demoted as needed based on feedback so we do try to keep the quality to a high level. Some controllers take longer than others to find their groove.
The areas that are open are usually large areas with many airports so you do have a choice of airports unless it is a FNF or some other special event where specific airports are needed. It is nice to control other airports you are not familiar with to appreciate some of their designs.
I know I need to, and I can stay consistent with procedures, but I just needed to know the commitment to IFATC
Why not go for it. If it is too much or your schedule doesnt allow, then so be it. But you never know unless you do.
Plus you might get addicted to controlling…
c’mon… do it… all the cool kids are doing it… peer pressure.
lol. But I have to wait about 50 ish days, because I got ghosted about 3 weeks ago, but I definitely want to join!
Im one of those once a month or so controllers >_< Kinda busy right now but I’ve been able to be part of the team despite that. New procedures are often tagged in chat so we can follow up.
But replying to your post, personally, I would spend close to the entire time watching the screen, at times I refresh the incoming traffic page to look for inbounds and see if I can attend to them. (Eg. incoming in 50mins, I intend to stay for 45mins but I have time, I would extend a little to provide that service whenever possible.)
This is because pilots can spawn in any time and some could be making trouble (though a rare occurrence). Whenever I’m controlling, I just pretend like its a job, so gotta pay attention all the time xD
Ok, I definitely want to join, even though my schedule might not allow it at times :)