I’ve been reading through the ATC manual recently and noticed a discrepancy between the manual and IFATC performance. (This is nothing against IFATC, I have huge respect for you guys. Hopefully I’ll be one soon, I just applied!)
I have a few questions to make sure I’m not misunderstanding. My questions concern the “No Light Aircraft” message from ATIS. According to the manual, this message does not depend on traffic levels at all, as shown here:
This brings me to my first question. I have observed instances in which this message is traffic dependent. For example, a few weeks ago I saw this message at KEWR, which does have a GA ramp. I have also seen it the other way around, where an airport with no light aircraft IRL does not have this message on its ATIS, because the airport isn’t busy. Am I misinterpreting the manual or is it something else?
Now, onto my second question. If this message is not traffic dependent as stated in the manual, then why does the message have at this time at the end. “No Light Aircraft Accepted at This Time” If it is truly not traffic dependent, the message will never change, so there is no need for “at this time”
Any help is appreciated, and if this is a duplicate topic, just reply below, and I can flag it.
To begin, we should define what Light Aircraft are in Infinite Flight. They are: Cessna 172, X-Cub, SR22, Spitfire, and P-38. These are slow pokes, as I like to call them. And in Infinite Flight, lights refer only to these planes, not GA in general.
A lot of this comes down to how much research beforehand is put into the airport a controller opens. For airports like EGLL, for example, no lights should be in at all times because that’s how it operates in real life. I’m not sure what KEWR accepts in terms of GA, but don’t forget GA goes beyond the small Cessna and X-Cubs. It includes private jets (Citation X in IF), and others (TBM for example). So, based off of KEWR’s requirements and what they allow, they could simply only allow bigger GA aircraft. In terms of your second point about an airport that doesn’t accept lights IRL accepting lights, that could just be controller error and not adding it to ATIS. This goes back to the point about researching the airport before opening.
While the manual may say it isn’t traffic dependent, in practice, the Infinite Flight light aircraft as listed above can and will be denied at peaks due to potential interference with the mass waves of big jets. It’s not an elimination of all GA planes. Simply the light aircraft I stated at the start. That may sound like it’s traffic dependent, but it’s also really not. A key thing to remember is this: you’ll see no lights most frequently at the very big and busy featured hubs, most of which deny lights in real life. Hence, why you’ll find no lights at the big and busy airports. It’s not really traffic as much as it is real life procedures. I’ll ask around and clarify this a bit in the AM.
Hopefully this helps you out a bit. Let me know if you have more questions.
Edit: in terms of why the message says: “no light aircraft accepted at this time,” it could be for instances where an airport that does accept lights in real life is simply too busy to reasonably accommodate lights at that specific moment. That command is different from the ATIS message regarding no lights. I’ll be sure to double check this in the AM and update as appropriate. Clarified by Trio here.
When @ToasterStroodie says they’re slow pokes, he’s referring to their approach speeds. A TBM (GA aircraft but not light) can go anywhere from 120-140kts on approach to keep up with the airliners… but a C172 won’t go above 70kts.
That is because, technically it isn’t a light aircraft, it would most likely disrupt the flow of traffic more than anything. LAX when it is featured and open is quite hectic and you were understandably denied.
Agreed. A controller should never deny an aircraft just because they may be slower than others (unless lights are not allowed, of course). They should work around it and find different ways to fit them in.