Overuse of ‘No Pattern Work Allowed’.

Hi all,

I have noticed on the expert server a trend, the use of ‘No pattern work allowed’ is very prominent, with a majority of the active airports not accepting pattern work, understanable that the amount of traffic or meteorological conditions are not acceptable for patternwork. But mainly the leading cause is too much traffic. But I see an issue, some times you look at the activity of the airfield and the weather, but all is fine, but yet it still states on the ATIS that no pattern work is accepted, I feel like the IFATC overuse occasionally due to laziness. I am not having a go at the IFATC or anything, so don’t get angry at me 🤷‍♂️.

What do you all think?

Cheers 👍


I mean when IFATC controllers have about 25 planes inbound at once it makes patterns a little hectic for them…


Maybe give your feedback to @Tyler_Shelton as he manages IFATC! As he does a great job of the schedule and organising the controllers.

Completley understandable! But there are the occasions where you look around and there is sparse traffic. Yet no Pattern Work?

I want different peoples opinions on the subject, I may consider taking it to the IFATC directly, but not right now, right now this is just a discussion.

I know what you mean. Sometimes, we plainly forget to change the ATIS and that’s the way I see it. I don’t think any controllers are lazy…

No pattern work is mostly used when an airport is very busy. Most of us allow patterns depending on traffic flow. Of course no pattern work is issued due to the weather around the airport. So just because an airport may not be busy, take into account of the weather playing a factor. If an airport weather is fine and not busy, controllers should be allowing patterns.


In the busy airports (airport of the week), I always use no pattern work allowed due to traffic. But in other featured airports, I usually allow on ATIS but I will decide for pattern in each case again when they call for takeoff remaining in the pattern. If there are a lot of aircrafts inbounds, sure I can’t accept more pattern so I use unable pattern, straight out dep approved until less traffic.

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I have, but there are still situations where controllers do not allow pattern work, for no reason.

Maybe this is the issue, and needs to be raised with the IFATC.

I can see @Tim_B typing, kinda excited 😁

I’ll have to agree on what Jeffrey said to you. Sometimes we plainly forget to update the ATIS. However if you do see that there is very little traffic and the weather is good for patternwork, when you request for takeoff tell us you want to remain in the pattern and most likely than not we will let you do patternwork.

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Due to the recent update, you can’t request pattern work if it says it is not being accepted on the ATIS, so really the only way around it is to ask the controller on the IFC.


Well, as IFATC, we are supposed to bar patterns only when absolutely necessary, so if you see no pattern work and there doesn’t seem to be a clear reason, it’s fair to ask. If you’re more comfortable beginning with the controller (via PM) so as not to appear to be going behind his back, that’s cool. If not satisfied, Tyler or another mod (Tyler I’m sure gets a thousand messages a day) would be open to looking into it. Make sure you include a screenshot of the airspace. Also, check the METAR. I always feel uncomfortable when I have to bar patterns with 2 miles or something of viz, but those are the rules, so even though the airspace would allow for patterns, VFR isn’t allowed and I have no choice, but I know some are wondering why in those scenarios.


Unless the weather is extremely bad as @Tim_B has said, or there is an exceptional amount of traffic, I always allow pattern work. There’s no harm in it.


Well, yikes, that’s a lot of pressure. A little provincial this time. I’m sure IFC will offer me more chances for better stuff soon though ;)


Maybe the issue is ATC not updating the ATIS

Could be that simple?

That is always an option, but then again, the controller is probably not going to read the message until after he finishes controlling. Maybe we need to bring back the Remaining in the pattern button, even when the ATIS states it is not accepted. But thats a completley different topic.

I would have to disagree there. We should aim for enforcing regular ATIS updates rather than a workaround that just facilitates bad habits.


I agree. It was added for a reason.

Without that functionality controllers were overwhelmed with pilots who did not pay that much attention to the ATIS to begin with and still request for pattern work. Even when told it was not accepted they would take off and expect pattern work. This resulted in numerous ghostings. The change was put in place to reinforce that and make it even more obvious to pilots that it is not allowed. There are still people who take off at a FNF airport and immediately ask for inbound to the same airport


If it was implmented I would see it more as a reminder. But the better way of dealing with the issue would be by directly tackling it so I agee with you there.

@Chris_S @Tim_B

On the flip side there is still an issue of people asking for pattern work and then departing.