Visualize holding patterns for ATC

Almost a year ago now, holding patterns was introduced for IF. It was a brilliant addition, to be able to sequence planes in a standardized holding pattern – easing the load for radar controllers. However, it has always been troublesome to use, because ATC have no way to see where the holding pattern will actually be.

I am suggesting a way for controllers to see holding patterns visually. This could be a permanent selection, so the controller would see the holding pattern regardless of what he is doing.

The way this could be accomplished is with the help of the existing waypoints where he would place the holding pattern. The controller could tap on a waypoint (fix, waypoint or airport), and he would be presented with a menu:

1: > Show holding pattern (left turn)

2: > Show holding pattern (right turn)

With this method, the controller can easily see which aircraft are in the holding pattern (something that is very hard to do now), in addition to seeing which aircraft that are put in said holding – but isn’t following it correctly.

Don’t think this topic needs a visualization picture, as it is pretty self-explanatory.

Do come with feedback to this request below!

Good idea!

I was thinking it would be nice to be able to rotate it around the fix or waypoint. But… That would require sending the fix and orientation to the aircraft.

Baby steps are better, so maybe go with the north/south orientation for now which would only require changes to the ATC code.


Yes,can be a great solution,completely agree!


When ATC initiates a hold request are they assigning an altitude including the airport or VOR point? I haven’t faced this scenario in IF yet because I avoid the SoCal region. Either way, I think that this would be a great addition with your request presentation and the possibility of many airports being heavily congested once Global releases. NIce work.

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Indeed! They also give a direction (left turn or right turn). But it is hard to actually see which direction it is and where is is placed.

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Thank you for the clarification. You have a yes vote from me.

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While we’re brainstorming, it would be nice to add additional aircraft to the visual hold by dragging a vector anywhere inside it. The menu presented would then allow you to specify the entry altitude.

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It sounds like a great idea! I would vote for it but I can’t because I’m out of votes.

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MaxSez: Good Idea @Mats_Edvin_Aaro… Understand the present ATC Hold procedure is flawed and difficult to use. IFATC’s have identified the flaws here repeatedly. That’s why there seldom use during high tempo operations I suspect… Would your suggestion require an immediate program change that would correct the present flaw? Why generate Holdsing Points as you stated; “it has always been troublesome to use, because ATC have no way to see where the holding pattern will actually be”. Why not just utilize the known Holding Patterns as established on Charts and Approach Plates and stack’em?

Because that requires that we manually put in EVERY holding point for EVERY airport in the world… If the controller wants, he can utilize the real world holding points, but that is not something that should be implemented IMO.

@Mats_Edvin_Aaro… MaxSez: No Mats to insert permanent Holding waypoints in all airports world wide on the chart is illogical and an extrapolation of my comment and never suggested or intended. Let the present high tempo Airports be the guide. You’ll note only major HUB “B” at present have overloaded controlled air space where permanent Holding fixes would be an asset and workload reducer… Survey the present high flow/tempo fields to determine if HUB’s are ripe for fixed Holding Points, which I believe is the case. Placing permanent arbitrary Holding Points at logical hi tempo B’s worldwide, over time, would be a simple Fix during the ongoing Global Chart build out and would be a problem solver. What do you think Mr. Charts, @Kilt_McHaggis?

Mr Mustang holding points would be a good idea. We already have them though. They are called ‘Regions’. Once Global opens up the flock will spread quite thin me thinks.


I’m going to bump this topic, because I recently used holds for the first time. I have to admit they are pretty good and should/could be used more often. Unfortunately I was faced with a problem at the start is that I couldn’t understand where planes were going. If I could see the holds that wouldn’t have been a problem, but without seeing them I never knew weather the pilots were entering them wrong and if so which ones. This would also help for example if you’re using two holds close to each other. That was my case. I didn’t know weather they intersected or not which meant I couldn’t use the same altitudes for both of them. I ended up pretty much using one since it did the same thing…

I also think this is a simple feature that has been asked a long time ago so why not integrate it with another update…?

This sounds like a nice idea, which could increase the use of holding patterns in the simulator!

Bumping this again because I think we need it as pilots AND as controllers. I’d like to be able to enter a hold as a pilot with it performed as an Autopilot function so I can wait out congested airfields when there is no approach controller, etc.

Bumping again.

I just saw this now and thought this could be a very nice addition to the game. Holds are used all the time in real life, and could be a good way to help alleviate large amounts of traffic at busy airports. Though I’d there isn’t already, a tutorial would definitely be needed since I doubt many pilots would know how to hold properly

That would be nice!

This would be a really useful feature.

Over the last week it’s been pretty obvious to me that A/C are not always following the HOLD request from ATC but it’s harder to be sure when you’ve can’t actually see the holding pattern.