Traffic Advisories from ATC

Hello all you cool cats and kittens. There have been many times in the real world where I’ve heard ATC give pilots an advisory of the position of another aircraft in the vicinity when both are in a VFR tower pattern. I’ve also heard it when radar controllers clear aircraft for the visual approach and advise them of the aircraft type they are trailing, the distance, and the position in relation to one another.


Scenario #1- VFR Patterns

As illustrated by the following image, N4EM had requested a runway change to 14L. ATC says “N4EM, enter right downwind runway 14L, number 2, traffic to follow is on left downwind”. There are two jets on the left downwind and N4EM isn’t sure who he is following. ATC wants him to follow N1TW. If the command read “N4EM, enter right downwind runway 14L, number 2 behind the CRJ200 on left downwind”, N4EM would be certain to who he is sequenced behind.


Here is a real world example of this scenario 39 seconds in


Scenario #2- Takeoffs and Landings

At airports with intersecting runways, like Boston (KBOS), I believe it is critical for the pilots to know what the traffic on the intersecting runways are doing. In the example below, ATC instructed the traffic on 15R to line up and wait whilst the traffic on 4R was cleared for takeoff. To reassure DLVA128 that traffic was going to wait until he crossed the intersection before start moving, a takeoff command like “DLVA128, Runway 4R, cleared for takeoff, traffic will hold in position on the crossing runway” would suffice.


Here is a real world example of this scenario 11 seconds in


Scenario #3- Radar Services

There are times when aircrafts will be VFR in an IFR airspace or times when ATC clear an aircraft for the visual approach whilst trailing another aircraft. In both scenarios, I’ve heard the ATC in real life advise them of the aircraft type, altitude and the position relative to the initial aircraft. In the below example, ATC cleared Southwest 764 for the visual approach Runway 28L. I believe a command like “Southwest 764, 8 miles behind/in trail of a Southwest/company 737, clear visual approach Runway 28L” would bump up the realism. Alternatively or additionally, this command could be added for tower to say “Southwest 764, 8 miles behind/in trail of a Southwest/company 737, runway 28L cleared to land”. Effectively combining sequence and clearance. Furthermore, I think linking this to drag and vector on radar would be superb. When ATC uses drag and vector to place an aircraft in a hold at a fix, the distance in nautical miles and the time taken to get there in the aircraft’s current configuration are displayed. Similarly to holding, my idea would be to place the drag and vector over a nearby aircraft which would then activate a drop down list of actions to perform. This action could be called “advise”. This would automatically say the aircraft type, distance in relation to said aircraft, indicated altitude above MSL and direction of travel. The simulator already has an identical system which tells location when aircrafts call inbound to tower or request a service on approach.


Here is real world scenario that’s more relatable to my above representation at 6 minutes and 36 seconds in and here is another real world example of the VFR aspect of this scenario 2 minutes and 6 seconds in


Credits
  • The images used as examples were attained from a tower training session, a test on a private server and an approach session by yours truly, respectively. special thanks to @guxk and @CarlosFunes for helping me at 1AM with example 2
  • All the hyperlinks redirect to YouTube where the videos are the property of the respective owner(s).

You could argue this feature isn’t needed and I will agree with you. It will enhance the realism, however. Thanks for reading this feature request! Stay safe!

Sure would be cool! I know for a fact that @Rian16 might be interested in getting this added 👀

4 Likes

I’m on the fence on some of this, i like the realism, but i also know that the read outs get tough to listen to for everyone and adding more can confuse others.

I really like the part about “who to follow” in scenario one. I’ve always though that there could be a better way to do this - and in my idea also get tower controllers used to a drag vector that they may use if moving into radar training.

In scenario one, adding on to what it will read to them, my thought is how would it work. I think it’d be very helpful if on the pilots map it can actually “circle” or highlight who they are following.

How would this work:
Tower gives sequence - Pilot3, enter left downwind, No. 3, traffic to follow is on left downwind, and then the controller drags from the aircraft, to the aircraft they follow. This way they know who they are following.

On the pilots map, it blinks or circles who they are following. This would really help in busy airspace for the pilots. There are times where a sequence can get deep into the numbers and get up to like 8, then you honestly dont really have any idea whats going on if there are multiple people in the area.

Would it add extra work, yes, but would it likely cause less work by having to issue a please follow instructions and sequencing, yes - hopefully.

11 Likes

Wow, this is very professional.

3 Likes

Hmmm… not so sure actually, pilots gotta learn themselves:)

You have my vote, nice feature!

2 Likes

gasp I see me in the first picture!!! I just might have to find a vote for this now…

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Maybe this could be something implemented for expert server only, kind of like atis. I figure if the user is on expert server, they would be wise enough to read the command at the top of their screen or glance at their atc log to read the instructions rather than just listen for the instructions - especially in a busy airspace. Though I am always surprised by the skill/airmanship that I see on expert server. Lets just say at times it can be rather lackluster

3 Likes

Just randomly scrolled past this in a search, and can we all just reflect on the first sentence of this post and remember how absolutely weird 2020 became? Lol.