Tower ATC, please check if you have an Approach ATC

If you are operating as Tower ATC then having an Approach ATC as well, can work great! You can be a great team.

But Tower, let the Approach ATC do his job and do not send Guard messages to Pilots who are with Approch!!! The Approach ATC will handover the Pilot to Tower. Just wait for that.

Planes fly to airports from all directions and Approach instructs Pilots so that planes line-up nicely in front of the runway, and then hand-over to Tower.
And this is hard enough with Pilots ensisting to flying VFR to a busy airport and ignoring instructions from Approach.

Pilots, consider this: on the Playground Server, where we are still in a learning mode, it may be better to obey Approach instructions from a learning ATC, even though they don’t make sense. At least we will learn…


@azeeuwnl… Good observation but your preaching to the choir young fellow.
First I saw you on the Forum. Welcome… Mad Max Sends


If there is an active approach controller, Tower should never send an on guard message. All inbounds should already be with approach. It’s our job as ATC to communicate. Even under VFR, you should still be tuned into APPR while they monitor your flight. They will still hand you off to tower when appropriate.

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Sorry. I thought we were speaking in general terms, not exclusive to playground haha! All bets are off there.


At the moment if you’re on duty as a tower ATC, the only way to see if an approach controller joins midway through your session is to tap the airport on the map screen and look at the top left. It’s not really practical to keep doing this, especially when the airport is busy.
Would be good if a message could pop up on the tower controller’s screen announcing that approach is active, I must admit I’ve sent “on guard” messages to inbound aircraft before without realising approach had joined !


@Simon_H also, when you click on the aircraft to send the ‘on guard’ message, the top left of the screen shows what frequency that aircraft is currently tuned to. So it’s easy to quickly glance at that prior to then sending the on guard.

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Not entirely true. After takeoff, when you send the frequency change approved message, the approach frequency will become available as an option.

Yes that’s true, although I was referring more to inbound aircraft where you wouldn’t be telling them to change frequency. @MitchellJames makes a good point though about selecting the individual aircraft, upon which you can see which frequency they’re tuned to. A notification would still be nice though, just to let you know that an appr. controller has joined the party…

I agree completely. There should be a box that pops us for ATC just like the one that does for pilots letting them know when a frequency is opened or closed.


Communication between approach and the tower controller would be awesome too.


Most of the time we have it behind the scenes through various chats. However, in game communication is still the best option 😉

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Some approach controllers hand over so late. Or the pilots don’t change frequency on time. I see guys in approach frequency on cones and you have pattern work goes on aswell. Approach should hand over at least 2-3 miles from cone. Let them intercept 45*° or straight in and tell them to maintain 3000ft until intercept localiser. Not guiding them all the way to ILS


Once the aircraft is established on the localizer I hand them off. The tower usually owns 5 miles around. A lot of people in the game when flying VFR patterns go a lot higher and wider than usual. They also will extend their downwind or make 360s for sequencing lol but I digress.

I have not been able to find an ability to assign a speed to a Pilot, other then slowest/fastest practical, discretion, maintain speed, etc…

Would it not be logical that an Approach ATC is able to submit to Pilots their flying speed?

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You can tell them to fly a certain speed. It’s in the maintain speed option. I would like to see an expedite descent option in there.


In the past few days I’ve been in the LAX Approach control seat I’ve noticed a lot of people that forget to adjust their descent rate to more than -250.

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