Suggestion (not criticism) for Advanced ATC

As the title states, this is NOT a criticism of Advanced Controllers, but merely a suggestion.

This may already be the case with some Advsnced controllers, but I haven’t experienced it too often.

I would like to see Advanced ATC learn, or have the basic approach procedures in front of them (ie on a separate device), and be aware of runway configurations for the current conditions for the airport they are controlling.

What do I mean by this : although in the advanced server (if you follow instructions) the ATC 99% of the time gets perfect spacing, good vectors, sequencing, runway clearance etc, and everything goes well down to touchdown, you often get vectored in extremely unrealistic ways, or get landing clearance / takeoff clearance on runways that aren’t used in such a way.

For me, the reason I do fly most of my time on playground, is because I have more freedom to fly my own course onto final. But, I don’t like the ATC in playground as generally they have no idea, but I like the ATC in advanced but then I usually have to follow the unrealistic approaches.

Maybe other people aren’t as pedantic as me, but I’m pretty OCD with my realism and flying commercial routes (the limited amounts) as they would be flown in real life.

I have been able to spend about 15 mins online for each airport I intend to fly to, and learn ATC procedures. You can look at the plates, websites that have all the procedures, airfield diagrams, listen to follow aircraft on flightradar etc etc.

I know it takes effort, but if you are passionate about IF, ATC, and really think you deserve to be advanced ATC, it’d be great to put in that effort to make your ATC session even better. Again, don’t take it the wrong way and accuse me of saying you don’t put in effort, as my caveat in the title and first paragraph says, this is not criticism!

I can give examples of what I mean with configurations etc to clarify if need be…


Most likely not following instructions…

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@Laurens no, not at all, but thanks for your straight out unjustified personal attack.

I will do you the pleasure of explaining without a childish comment or biting to your attempt of starting an argument - because in playground there’s rarely an approach controller on for more than 2 minutes, therefore no one is online to vector me, and I take my own course until I switch to tower


What airports do you think need the approaches changed? I can rely how you want them fixed to the advanced atc approach controllers for you.

I have no problem with your points at all, perfectly good post. But you have to remember that this is a game and lots of the controllers are kids! They aren’t going to know about realistic approaches or vectoring! 😊

It can be quite detailed to explain - and it’s quite specific for each.

One example, I’ve been vectored over Mexican airspace on an approach to San Diego from the north. There was only light traffic and could’ve been vectored onto the right downwind as happens for real.

I’ve been cleared to land an A380 onto 16L at Sydney as the controllers was doing all takeoff a from 16R and all landings at 16L. I requested a runway change right on clearance about 10 miles out but was refused. Not a massive deal, the A380 can (JUST) land on 16L, but heavies are never landing on the smallest runway (16L). Sydney runs simultaneous parallel ops (both ILS or independent visual) as they are over 1000m apart. Again, minor and pedantic, but an A380 has never been cleared to land on 16L.

Hawaii, in easterly winds, 08L is generally used for landing and 08R departures (for noise restrictions). The 04 runways are usually GA in the day to assist with sequencing. Also, the smaller 717s often do a very short final from a right base about 1-2 miles out from 08L traffic pending.

I could talk all day about the ones I know, but that’s not feasible. I guess what I’m trying to say is if an Advanced ATC is going to log on to a tower, if you spend 10 minutes beforehand familiarising yourself with procedures and configs, that would be much appreciated!


@MishaCamp understood - and why I’m saying a suggestion for them to take on board.

I don’t think it should be a strict requirement, but just something they could consider for their own benefit and development.

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On advanced server I have seen the ATC use only runways 04L&R for departures and 08L&08R for arrivals… A380s taking off from 04R 😁

A lot of us do try to use approach plates to help set up realistic approaches. Another problem is lots of them don’t know how to read/understand them! ((:


Maybe it’s something that could be a requirement for the Expert Server if that comes back? Just a thought :)


Totally agree, but there are a few ones who know what they are doing.
I’ve experienced one of those this afternoon (CEST) in the San Francisco region.

The comment above was referred to the fact that a lot of pilots follow their flight plans rather than (correctly given) vectors.

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Mmm highly doubt that could possibly work. The expert server is mainly for following instructions for pilots. Obviously the ATC therefore need to be near perfect but I think that is asking a little too much //:

Most controllers are kids or adults with real paying jobs like me. Although I am serious about learning the procedures and try to make the pilots experience as real as possible, I do not have the time to learn everything needed about the airport. You realize real life atc learn their specific airport and surroundings? They are not required to learn a hundred different airports which is what you expect us to do.


I understand - it could start with the basics, such as ensuring correct runways are used?

Correct runways? Do you mean for specific airports like Aspen? If you mean inactive ones then we can still use them if needed wind dependant

Graham, this is a great post! This is constructive. [Thank you!]. I for one, try and pull plates but it would be really hard to make it a requirement. Something to suggest to all new AC2 recruits though!

I use ForeFlight to study plates and airports. I follow ATC instructions, but a little more familiarity from controllers would be nice. Don’t know how many folks are willing to put the study into the region they are controlling.


I don’t expect people to learn every airport off by heart, and in all honesty, every Advanced Controller can tell me to get stuffed if they want. Like I said, no requirement, no ‘abuse’ or harsh criticism of you don’t follow the approach, it’s just a suggestion if people want to take it on board.

I only control on playground (not all too often though) and I ensure I know the basic procedures prior to logging on and which runways to use. It’s not that hard, it takes minutes. And once you’ve done it a few times it sticks with you

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Good stuff Mitch particularly the Honolulu Procedures. Flew those islands for almost 5 years know the dirt and controlled field like the back of my hand. I’m like you, I Fight Plan every sorties by the book and run the check list in and out. I’m a recip GA kinda guy but I long haul (lol) once a month in a trash hauler just to keep my hand in. I stay away from the “B’s” except in heavy tin and promised myself that I’ll keep away from the Advanced Server until they fully staff a complete node. Also like you I respect the hard work the volunteer ATC’s put in but Katy bar the door if you don’t approach an ATC problem with hat in hand. ( like your. apologetic approach, but you still got heat LOL). Will watch for your future posts, Do Good Work, Max Sends


I think this feature could be directly added to the controller’s screen