Question for pilots about an idea I had

Here is one of ideas I had for controllers that I wanted to get feedback from pilots on, for those looking to generate traffic out of specific non-hub airports.

Best marketing tool for anything is consistency. If you know 10 people, tell them you’ll be opening at X time every day. Then open at X time every day. People will begin to sense the pattern and eventually people will just expect you to be open at that specific time every day. Maybe even get a few other controllers to do the same.

Each controller could grow a “pilot audience” that will look to plan their flights that way. The idea is best described in this post.

It doesn’t necessarily even need to be once a day. Once a week, on the same day at the same time for only one hour would also work. Or twice a week, on the same days at the same times. Just as long as it’s completely predictable and the pilot would just know I am going to be open on X day at X time. That’s all that’s needed.

You’d eventually get to the point where people would be worried/concerned/confused to not see you open on Monday at 6:00PM EST time occupying New York Center.

It’s like that scene in The Office where Jim gives Dwight a mint every day when he played the reboot sound on his computer, because if you do that the other person will expect a mint, they will automatically crave the mint without thinking. Dwight is the pilots and the controller is Jim in this situation.

The goal would be that you would not even need to “build up traffic”. You’d get to the point where you’d spawn in to the airport/FIR at X day at X time and 15 people would be there waiting for you, with more spawning in throughout the hour, and 20 inbounds, because they will be expecting you to be open and expecting ATC services.

My Question

Would this be something you’d find interesting as a pilot to know that a controller, or a group, will be guaranteed be open at an airport at a specific day, at a specific time, every week. Would you plan your flights to land at that airport if it was say, in a region or place you don’t normally fly to?

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I love the idea, but of course the controller has to make sure that he/she can always open at the same time.

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Yes that is key, I agree.

This is a really good idea, and yesI think I would stronger consider a particular flight if I know there would be ATC there. Although we have tracking threads, obviously they can be late notice.
If I eventually do become IFATC I will do something like this.

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The goal would be that you wouldn’t even need to announce it anywhere, but you still could. People would just know you’re open without thinking, if they knew this is something you did.

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Ok, first off, the Office clip automatically made me love this idea. Second, I think this is an awesome idea. The ATC Schedule provided consistency and the ability to plan ahead which is sorely lacking now. This idea would completely fix that. Though, I do have to say I think it could get bigger. What if IFATC regions coordinated through discord and maybe like three controllers agreed to open an airport’s local frequencies for three hours (one hour each) and then they could post about it in their respective region’s tracking thread. For those who do not know, in the past reserving an airport to control ahead of time is not allowed. Maybe, we could change this and there could be a new IFATC schedule where controllers can sign up for an airport the day before and people would know to fly to that airport ahead of time. If they cannot make it, they can always ping tower relief and add that there are a lot of inbounds. What do you guys think?

On the one hand I love this idea, because it would offer much more planning stability to me as a pilot, but on the other hand it would also limited my choice a bit if I would be somewhat forced to attend every week. If it’s a big enough group, so my personal attendance every time isn’t necessary I would really like this idea though!

This wouldn’t apply to me, but if it’s in the destinations that fit, it would definitely be a big plus in my considerations.

Exactly what I was thinking

This is just one person, one airport/FIR. If the idea worked, then I’m sure other controllers would open other airports, on other days, at other times. First brave sole, likely me, would just be a guinea pig to see if anyone would actually be interested.

I’m thinking of doing New York Center, once a week, just need to pick a time and date that will work for me.

Others could do once a day at a certain time, whatever they could maintain.

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I was more on about the pilot side of things, because knowing that someone else will ‚replace‘ you would not make one feels as obliged to attend if you understand what I mean.

As I said overall I really like the idea though!

Oh no, you wouldn’t need to attend every week as a pilot. The controller would be servicing the pilots so they can do whatever they’d like. Just is an option for all pilots so the controller wouldn’t necessarily need to rely on a small group of people once the controller gains enough of a following.

This is why the ATC Regions are exciting because we can be as creative as we’d like.

The issue initially with that is the fact you’d, one, have to rely on other people which is not always fun, and two, a group of people would never be able to commit 3 hours each day consistently, which would never happen for a long period of time, which is what is needed. But if a group wanted to try, they could, because we have the freedom to do that now.

The good news though is that the premise is that anyone could do this on their own, with their own setup.

So I could open KPHL every Monday at 6, JimBob could open FAAB every Saturday and Sunday at 7, ButterLandings420 could open CYTZ every day at 10, and so on, the idea multiplies.

We have over 460 controllers, if say even 1/3 of them decided, “hey, I like that idea to have my own mini-event” they could create their own little system customized for them. Then you could have tons and tons of options every day. Or a group of controllers could team up to service a specific area.

There’s many options and configurations.

Making a group focus on one airport or multiple airports for one period of time for X amount of hours isn’t as manageable or fun for either side. That’s just my opinion though, it can be tried if someone would want to.

Having a guaranteed “Hub” or “Airport” opened every day would be perfect for all pilots and IFATC who love to have busy airspaces, This also goes back to my opinion on how before the change we would have a chance to fly to “rare airports to be opened” like costa Rica

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On the surface of it, it’s a good and the most logical idea one can implement as a controller but I’ll tell you the problems with it:

  1. As a controller one has to be absolutely consistent with it i mean we have other works too besides just IF so sometimes it may happen that we are not available to staff taht frequency at a particular time of the day.

  2. No one wants to wait one month to generate traffic at a certain airport its just going to be too repetitive and boring as a controller to open the same airport day after day in hopes of getting some traffic.

  3. With the previous system we just needed to open a “non-hub” airport near any hub which was featured that day for enough te lets say 3-4 hours and bam you have great flow of traffic between those cities (airports) which was way way more convenient for both controllers and pilots as i said above one has many other things to do besides IF and with the old system i after finishing my day’s work could just open any airport and in not time get an enjoyable amount of traffic and not have to grind for it the whole month in order to do so.

  4. As I’ve so often being told that the Motive behind this new region assignment idea is that to explore new places and not be restricted, i think you are suggesting just the opposite, stick to one airport i mean with schedules even when i was restricted to a certain region i could have moved across it the whole day (and get traffic whenever i want and from a pilots perspective get ATC throughout my flight in most cases within that region and this included both highly busy airspaces or calm ones whatever your preference maybe) and bam to a new interesting place the next day, IMO it gave me much more flexibility.

  5. I dont understand why staff think this new system is more efficient, as i said above with all the Flexibility to open anywhere(and “generate” traffic)/ fly anywhere and be sure to have atc with the previous schedule system, it was much more efficient in concentrating traffic and make it enjoyable for both ATC and pilots, but this new system is just not efficient enough in either concentrating traffic or distributing it evenly.

All and all the issues are structural and not temporal so trust me i believe it cant be fixed with time.

Just my opinion but i guess many might resonate with it😉🙂

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You can work with others to staff the airport at the specific time to keep up so that’s a non-issue.

Again, doesn’t need to be every day. Could be once a week, twice a week, once a month. It’s not for everyone, the hubs are always full of traffic and there’s events.

This is not true after 3 years of controlling. You’d get some but it’s basically the same as it is now. The traffic spread is actually better currently.

With what this one idea it would not at all be restrictive. Now that we have control we are only restricted by ourselves.

If you don’t want it to be as repetitive, do one airport once a week on Monday. Then maybe on Tuesday choose a different airport. Whatever works best for whoever chooses to try this. I for example would like to try New York Center and KPHL once a week, because that’s what I would enjoy.

This program will offer a more sustained global presence, allowing our controllers to become familiar with region-specific procedures. The ATC Schedule was amazing while it was in use but this system opens up a ton of possibilities for the team.

Costa Rica sounds pretty cool.

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Yeah i agree with you there, so yeah this could be solved

Then how am i suppose to generate traffic( at specific non hub airports)? Isn’t it necessary for ATC to open consistently in order to generate traffic, was a non existing problem earlier.

absolutely not, try opening Hyderabad or lets say Ahemdabaad just for example for how ever long you want and give me the same result i would have gotten if the schedules were there and India was featured. You cannot 😂 because as ive said countless number of times the traffic is just not concentrated enough to achieve this, so your point in no way counter mine here🙂

I was talking about your idea to “generate” traffic at non hubs in order to do so we are restricted because we have to open the same airport day after day in order to do that.

Yeah and sit there every day to watch one plane land😅 i mean your whole idea about being consistent then goes out the window doesn’t it? Because opening different airports everyday without the traffic being concentrated in any particular region will just not work, and neither ATC nor pilots wants to be restrained about waiting for a frequency to open/ or traffic to arrive at particular day of the week at a particular time at a particular airport.

Just like TS? where one can open anywhere but still get almost no traffic except at hubs? One can and i believe most of us did look up airport procedures and plan everyday for airports in new regions everyday with the schedules, however much the possibilities this program maybe opening it is creating much more problems than that which are structural and cant be overlooked.

Thanks.

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So you wouldn’t need to “generate” the traffic if there was a group of “followers”, is the point. Whether or not the airport would be empty would not be of any concern anymore.

It’s like if I went live on Twitch with zero followers, I’d only expect maybe one or three people to view the stream. If I’m consistent and build a following of some kind I’d in theory be able to just open up and immediately have all my pilot followers spawn in or be flying inbound already timing the arrival to match the time I’m open. No subs or donos though unfortunately. jk

In theory, I could open in middle of wherever, like Hyderabad or anywhere I want, and if I have a built following, and I’m consistent enough that I gain the pilot’s trust, then I’ll be able to open and all those loyal pilots will automatically just come. It’d be glorious.

Now, once the team grows, imagine if we had enough people to just keep open whatever we want all day. The entire globe staffed, this is just the beginning.


I can definitely understand the frustration of getting no traffic, been there multiple multiple times throughout the years, which is why I’m trying to brainstorm myself.

For now, this is probably the way I’ll try it by myself with help from others to keep it going if I need to miss one for unknown reasons. I can commit one hour a week to this to see how it goes, personally. Everyone’s different so maybe some can’t but that’ll work for me.

New York Center on Saturdays (tentative) at 2000Z is what I’m thinking to start with. I’ll report back with results.

If I get bored of that date, time and frequency, I could maybe even hand all the followers of that frequency off to you, @Divyansh_Tandon! That’s another idea. I can’t imagine anyone will care who is doing the controlling as long as they get ATC.

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Yeah and for that bud we need to be consistent first right? That means we need to first grind one month before enjoying the traffic at our desired choice of airport, making it the same thing, which could have just been achieved in a few hours earlier,

For that the Multiplayers need to grow and since ATCs are pilots only if all are open who’s gonna fly😂

Also, wanted to clarify. This is literally just my idea I had randomly, a shower thought, this isn’t official or do I hope it gets adopted officially.

Controllers now have the ability to just act on their own to create events or mini-events like this would be, and as long as it’s allowed it’s fair game. I was just sharing an idea to see if anyone would be interested in participating which it seems some are which is cool.