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.
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.