It's time to discuss the failure of the new ATC Region Assignments

Do you remember the old ATC Schedule? Weekly, a roster would appear on IFC and we would gleefully click into it, keen to discover which parts of the world we would be visiting in the coming days.

The ATC Schedule ensured busy skies in various parts of the world. Pilots and air traffickers on IF largely rely on busy skies. Simulated airliner aviation is easy; plot a course, taxi, take off, engage auto pilot, take in some sweet views, land. Busy skies are one of the most essential thrills associated with airline flying.

As a result of there being no schedule, pilots fly to and from where they guess there will be traffic, and controllers control where they hope traffic will be. What I’m saying is that there are only so many times I can fly in and out of Heathrow before I wonder what on earth I’m paying my subscription for.

5th April 2021, we were met with this announcement which, I must admit, felt like a cop out from the start. It felt like IF were saying “We can’t be bothered bringing people together any more.” It says in the announcement:

“This program will offer a more sustained global presence.”

What that says to me is “We will be more thinly spread.” Global presence is a term used by companies operating in a physical domain. IF operates in a virtual domain; we don’t want to be more thinly spread. We’re all here because we like the same things, we want to be brought closer together!

Sure, FNF’s are still busy, but we used to see this level of engagement on a daily basis. FNF’s alone aren’t enough!

I’m not the only one to feel this way. This has been mentioned a few times throughout the forum.

The response to this post feels like they’re saying “it’s not our fault and more change is coming…” That was a quarter of a year ago. Where’s this change? These New ATC Region Assignments are still not achieving the desired effect. Traffic density is low almost everywhere and I’m about to cancel my subscription because I’m bored to tears intercepting the ILS for runway 27L at EGLL for the umpteenth time with no variety!

What I want to achieve is to establish a level of support beneath this topic so that the powers that be take note and hopefully restore what was an excellent ATC Schedule which was the very backbone of the IFC.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me, I’ve read this thread too and I don’t want to come across as bigoted or even unappreciative of the efforts that have been made. However, just because a lot of effort has been put in to an idea does not mean that the idea can’t be abandoned when the end result is worse than the starting position.

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This is obviously an opinion piece. None of it is supposed to come across accusatory. In the interest of efficiency, I have not been polite enough to put “In my opinion” at the beginning and end of every paragraph, however, please insert as required. If you believe that I am wrong, then educate me. If you believe that I’m right, then let’s have a constructive discussion that attracts the interest of influential parties within the community.

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Infinite Flight just wants 5 star rating but does not want to listen to our feedback and what the subscribers want. We are paying our hard earned money for the sub atleast you should consider our request.

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I understand what you mean, but the new ATC system works better. It would be nice to know when an airport will be staffed, but this new system allows controllers to open when they are free. With the old system, they would’ve had to cancel. I’d be glad to hear your thoughts!

Cheers,

WANNABE_IFATC | ATC Specialist

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You do realize that just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean that everyone else is that opinion, right?

When the ATC Schedule was a thing, there would be topics of people complaining about every aspect of it from featuring dead airports to staffing the biggest hubs.

Now that there are regions, the other side of it is complaining about lack of traffic, which isn’t true. I look at the server densities each day and traffic surely hasn’t gone down at all. It’s just spread out, which honestly is more realistic.

I understand you guys are disappointed that the whole server isn’t crowding at one or two airports, but that’s exactly what FNFs are. It gives the users who loved the regions a chance to continue it while also giving to the other side of the community that likes regions.

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Or the Infinite Flight can take the aspects and opinions from all the community members what they would like. That would be more transparent weather all the members want the new system or the old system.

Similar to the A330 rework poll.

The new ATC region system opens up so much more possibility for controllers. In the schedules, controllers were limited to 100+ inbound traffic or 0 arrivals (so even with the schedules, it was really just 1 or 2 airports with good traffic)

The system now spreads more traffic across the globe, and more airports are open daily compared to the schedule.

Not only that, but now, every event has the possibility of being ATC staffed, which has been a great thing for many VA’s

Of course, everyone is allowed to have their own opinion, but make sure to see it from multiple perspectives before saying “everyone wants the schedules back”

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To be honest, I liked Tyler’s schedule better because if the traffic was appropriately busy, it would be fun. If it was too serious, my brain would explode. That’s a shame. After the schedule change, the advantage is that I can control every area of my choice, but the feeling of controlling the concentrated traffic except FNF seems to have decreased. I think there are pros and cons to each other.

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Adding another point, it’s one thing to write in a long way and simply say “I don’t like it”, but that’s not going to solve anything.

Help out and offer some solution for how they can meet in the middle or how they can keep a system while making most users happy. That’s the communication we need, not just complaining about something we don’t like.

Offer solutions to your problems

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From an IFATC POV, it is just not fun to sit an hour in front of your iPad and have 1-2 airplanes as long as you dont open LHR or LAX. My activity has literally dropped from like 40% to 2%.

FNFs are great but so many people want to control this one busy time per week so as long as you dont wait for it and instantly open, you can forget that as well.

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That also comes with the other side where a lot of IFATC users would not be able to control because only 2 airports would get traffic, leaving the others dead.

For the reason you stated above, people would only camp for the HUB, but there was an hour minimum, so now at the end of the day, under 100 controllers would ever be able to control that day. We have over 500 active controllers in IFATC

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I would suggest the Infinite Flight staff to raise a poll to know the opinions of all members, pilots and IFATC.

It would be great if you can consider it.

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I’m just going to pop my opinion in here. The other day Surf Air was having an event flight, @Drummer opened and we were able to have full ATC when we landed, if the ATC regions were still in place we would have not had active ATC for landing. Think about it that way.

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Personally, I have had success in opening airports in other regions and getting traffic

Some examples are:

  • TFFF
  • MMMX
  • SBGR
  • SBRJ
  • MHTG
  • MMUN

Traffic does come to you, and airports that aren’t LAX/LHR do get busy, if you take the time to open for more than the minimum 30 minutes

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That’s not really a solution to the problem, that’s pretty much just saying do you like it or no, which the community would be 50/50 to if it was an official poll

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An excellent example of this:

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The new ATC idea, also allows for IFATC to open more exotic airports around the world, with the busy
hubs almost always still being staffed.

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We should just try it to have a clear picture and maybe after that the staff can rethink on the basis of the results.

I love Region ATC also.

Because We can Control Every Airport Which we Selected.

Although the Traffics are Concentrated KLAX EGLL just Like Training Server, That Would be More Realistic Schedule.

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see take me as an instance I fly on weekends and just once or twice i have got ATC.

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