Tips For Running Atc

I only have permission to operate on the training server(because I’m not in IFATC :(] but I find it quite challenging to run Ground and Tower at the same time. Does anyone have tips on how to manage both of them?

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Start at small airports and eventually work your way up.


That helps a lot, thank you. I never thought about that.

Yea I’d have to agree, I’m not an IFATC so my opinion doesn’t matter BUT if you start at regional airports it will get you to grasp the basics of controlling an airport/airspace, and then when your confident enough you’ll be controlling New York (or any other high population airspace) in no time! :)))

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Correct! And your opinion DOES matter.

As long as realistic procedures are used at New York airports 😡😡😡


Lol true tho

Ugh… I contacted Los Angeles Center on training server when I was flying a 767 from KLAX-KBOS and the controller for the airspace asked everyone in the airspace to descend and maintain 1000 feet no matter if we were departing or arriving, man I was so happy when I crossed into Arizona so I didn’t have to put up with the controller spamming me to descend and maintain 1000.


Some ppl tho

I made a dumb decision to fly Mach 1.5 (if I recall correctly) in an F-16 over class bravo airspace in expert from Shaw AFB to Dover AFB (flying over Charlotte) flying VFR and I got a violation I was at 20k feet but I made that decision. So my consequence is flying with the uneducated swines in training server …

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If only I was 30k more feet in the air I wouldn’t had gotten a violation…

The same thing happened to me at Canberra

When you are running both, you really have to keep a mental picture in your mind of each radar. With ground, it helps to use give way commands or progressive taxi to resolve potential conflicts early so you can turn your attention to other items. I like to turn an aircraft and then tell them to follow the aircraft ahead. This prevents me from needing to potentially issue a give way command much later if one is speeding towards the runway. I also use reminders when I tell someone to hold position at a busy airport so I don’t miss getting back to them. Don’t be afraid to let some planes sit at the gate while you get control of your field.

As for tower, it’s always best to work inside out, meaning deal with the aircraft closer to the field first and those further away later. If I am not sure about sequence, I just give a pattern entry until I can figure out the sequence I want. Also use 360s to buy yourself some time if you have aircraft stacked up on one another. For departures, I only use line up and wait if I think I can push the departure in under about a minute and a half. This helps you keep situational awareness and not risk forgetting about someone if something else takes your attention away leading to a potential conflict with an arrival. Obviously one of the benefits of controlling on expert is you can issue violations for folks not following instructions, but that still sometimes takes your attention away from everything else at critical times.

Most importantly, always take time to scan the field and radar. You have to be constantly performing scans even when caught up with lots of flashing lights. This allows you to identify issues and deal with them early before you find yourself in a tight spot. I also remind myself we are not professionals. Mistakes are going to happen, the important thing is to learn from them so you know how to deal with them the next time.

Happy controlling!


Rocco is a strict enforcer of this. Rocco will hunt you down if the procedures are not realistic.

Also, don’t spawn in at the wrong terminal 😡😡

Most of what I have to say has already been said (opening up smaller less busy fields, etc.). However, working your way up on the training server can be difficult as many pilots have minds of their own and tend to spam the frequency and completely disregard ATC instructions… now that I think of it, this also happens on expert, but eh.

My tip would be to start an ATC Tracking Thread such as @BritishAirways001’s thread which I will link here. People can come and fly to the airport you have open and are much more likely to follow your instructions (and should follow your instructions). If you plan on applying for IFATC, it can also help with preparing for your tests as pilots who are IFATC (such as myself) can attend and provide feedback.

If you do create a thread like the one I linked above, make sure to check out this topic…

Also, feel free to private message me or @ me when you open and I’ll try to attend!

Hope this helps!


Thanks :)

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I use my tower/ground checklist to get set up so that I’m plenty organised before even starting to direct traffic. Then as others have said, it’s only a case of being organised, knowing your airport layout and hot spots, and keeping a mental picture of who’s going where.

I don’t think that’s necessary. The quality of flights in training server may be lower, but there’s no need to get personal about it.

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