My opinion on the new IFATC regions

Thanks for your opinion! It’s certainly valid and everyone looks for something different. This is a pretty drastic departure from our previous way of operating. I’d fully expect it to be a small step back before we can take a giant leap forward. Whether or not we loved the schedule, I think we can all agree it was rather restrictive. We were creatively boxed in no matter how unique the schedule was from week to week.

It’ll take a little time for pilots and controllers to find their footing but I have no doubt this will evolve as the schedule did into something special. The decision was made with the future in mind, not present.

To address your suggestion, there is nothing stopping each region from advertising an airport they’ll try to provide constant service for. We’ve asked that they don’t make full weekly schedules that conflict with one another, but they can certainly staff a HUB or route for the week that offers some predictability. Cheers!

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I personally really like the new controlling system in place. Its is quite incredible to take an airport from 3 inbounds to over 20. Of course it requires a bit more work than before, which is expected due to the fact traffic is no longer expected when you open unless its a hub. The East Coast controllers have all been a pleasure to work with, and we have some great ideas to provide excellent service in our region. Below is a picture of tagging with a few awesome people.

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That’s virtually an ATC schedule. Yes, there were 7 or 8 airports, but there would usually be only one true hub.

Also, the reason they are only controlling 3D airports now is because they only just got added in beta. I suspect pilots and ATC will want to focus on these for at least a few weeks after the main release. After that, people will get bored of 3D airports, and start moving to different places.
You’ll end up with a supply and demand system. The busier the airport, the more ATC coverage. Some ATCs will go and control smaller airports and regions. You sometimes see ATC takeover events in certain regions. Also the #live:events category is a good idea of where ATC will be, plus the tracking threads.

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I find that the new system has its advantages and disadvantages:

On the one hand, we are able to get almost full coverage on certain routes such as the example outlined by @Zachary_Naponic’s photo, as well as have more airports opened across multiple different areas at any given time. The controller also has a say as to where they would like to open and when, without having to follow a restricted schedule.

But the irony of this situation is with the hype for 3D buildings, I find that everyone will be only wanting to fly to these new 3D airports and just the 3D airports alone. Because of this, I find that the controllers, and pilots have almost become even more restricted in regards to where to control or fly to in order to get any type of decent traffic or Atc coverage. Now whether or not this settles down as @InfiniteFlightDeck mentioned, only time will tell

But as multiple people have said, let’s not cast early judgment and let it run its course and see how things shape out moving forward.

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You would think, but I found through and error, that’s not usually the case. At the time of my photo above, DCA and JFK were not staffed. Traffic wasn’t FNF numbers, but still really fun to provide complete coverage. Consistency is the biggest thing with this folks. The more you control at a specific airport or gather a group to control with alongside, you are bound to have enjoyable traffic.

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Thats true, thanks for stating your opinion on this.

You should also look at this from the ATC side. Being allowed to control any airport in a certain region allows the controllers to have a choice, enjoy opening up their home airports, or to try and open up new airports in their region. For example I know right now that someone is open at Wilmington NC, an airport that we really don’t see open that often at all. This makes it very enjoyable for the controllers and might even entice some people to join IFATC, so that they too can have fun opening these airports that are not normally open. Sure there are hubs in each region, but there are many controllers who also look past the hubs and go control a smaller lesser known airport.

Having regions increases service as well, as the controller is very excited to open the airport of their choice, which in turn leads to more quality services for you. Not to mention, many regions are coordinating atc events to also make your experience more enjoyable. I understand my opinion and am not trying to shut you down, just giving my two cents from the ATC side.

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That’s a really good point I would love to control my home airport, but speaking from my perspective having a hub set every day would make flying much more enjoyable as I do like to fly to busy airports. Thanks for engaging!

I agree. Would always enjoy setting up an overnight flight to a new and different airport I know would be controlled. Now it’s back to the very old days where everyone flys into the LAX/JFK/EGLL etc. and it’s not like they are controlled the whole day. Definitely prefer having weekly schedules/featured airports

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Under the old system you could just see what airports were staffed, and just fly there whenever you like and there was a good chance that there would be ATC there. Plain and simple. And no matter what time of day it was, there would be ATC at at least one or two of the featured airports.

Now with the new regions, if you want ATC service, you have to plan your flight entirely around someone else’s schedule, and even then if the winds are different than what you planned or if there’s two or three people in line for takeoff, you could potentially miss out on the ATC service you were planning for. And planning your entire flight around someone else’s life and when they’re controlling is a hassle. And looking at 30 different tracking threads to see who is staffing what airport is much more complicated than clicking on the ATC schedule. And now instead of 100+ arrivals, there’s only ever 40 at the most from what I’ve seen at least, just doesn’t provide that same sense of fun from a pilot’s perspective when an airport is nearly deserted.

I know I can’t speak from a controllers perspective on this, but from a pilot’s perspective it’s just not the same when the only airports that are staffed are hubs like KLAX and EGLL, and even then there’s only 30 arrivals, whereas before you could’ve flown into a random airport in Italy you could see 90 (sorry for the run-on sentence).


The only solution I can think of is bringing back the IFATC schedules, or something similar. Or maybe just featuring one or two hubs a day.

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@Butter_Boi I’ve almost never seen Heathrow or Los Angels only open. There is usually quite the variety of airports including some interesting class Charlies that offer unique routes. But at the end of the day, LAX and LHR offer a wide variety of routes, and have buildings. Be the change, and I’m sure the outcome will be different.

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I named one of the few I usually see but what I’m saying is the most known airports are usually open now, for example, I don’t see Philipines or Costa Rica being open anytime soon. Thanks for replying

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I am IFATC, but I think the system is better before. Because it can control a lot of traffic. And when separation is necessary, it is difficult because there are not many personnel. When flying, I like it because I can fly with a lot of traffic :) But I don’t really care. You’ll get used to it over time :)

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If anyone has any ideas on how we could work with pilots to satisfy everyone’s needs then it’s going to work out fine.

This new system is exciting because it allows controllers and pilots to be creative.

An ATC Schedule is not scalable, because you have a team of 460 controllers, but everyone is fighting over 2 airports all day. Add on top of that the fact we have a growing user base of pilots, and the already unrealistic traffic levels would become unmanageable.

Now it will allow the IFATC to grow because the workload and pilots are spread out and pilots have more places to fly whenever they’d like around the entire globe.

We just need to work together in creative ways and open up communication so we can coordinate operations with pilots.

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As mentioned several times before: patience is a virtue. Now, we have to be patient with the new idea and concept of how it evolve. It’s natural to be critical at first. New ideas require new behaviors and I think it’s up to the community how to deal with the new situation. And to be creative. I personally think the new system is going to become great.

That is true giving it time is one way because adjustments will be made, but planning routes to a region has never been harder if u mostly fly to IFATC staffed airports.

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