Pattern work as Tower when there’s no Radar controller

Hi everyone!

I had a question regarding the use of pattern instructions when you’re tower and there’s no radar controller. I’ve been reading the ATC manual and I noticed that it said that tower must issue pattern instructions when there’s no radar controller present. But I was wondering what do you do if there’s an airplane that is using a STAR/Approach in their flight plan that aligns the aircraft perfectly with the runway. Does the tower still need to intervene and give them something like an “enter straight in” instruction, or can they can just clear the aircraft for landing and be done with them. Would the “continue inbound” instruction be more appropriate in a scenario like this?

Thanks in advance!



When there’s no approach controller or approach clears and aircraft via radar vectors, you must give a pattern entry, sequence if necessary, and clearance. You can also resequence however many times as necessary.

So in your case, the instruction would be, "Callsign, enter straight in runway xx, number 2, traffic to follow is on downwind/base/final(all this only if a sequence is necessary). Then, when you’re comfortable, you would clear them to land.

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For further information, please reference section 3, in particular 3.5, of the ATC Manual.

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In the real world if you where flying circuits (patterns) you would stay with tower frequency anyway.
At our airfield we report downwind every time then air traffic will give our sequence and when next to report (either base or final) we only get a landing clearance when on final. IF tends to go what I assume is a more American way and they will issue you a landing clearance x miles out number 4-5+ with no realistic way of visually looking at how that sequence fits to you but using the mini map you can see the other traffic and slot in as requested 👍

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Thank you!

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Also as mentioned and hinted to by @Thomas_Bennett, for pattern work it is suggested that aircraft remain with tower for patterns as well in Infinite Flight, it is tower’s responsibility for all patterns to sequence and clear for option as needed. When there is approach, you will be communicating them and receive guidance for where to slot a pattern in.

For your scenario, you simply just sequence the aircraft behind who you need them to be on. if they are flying a STAR/Approach, that doesn’t mean that get to have that exact approach, sometimes you have to extend them downwind, or turn them early. That will adjust their final into your airport.


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