What protocol to follow with ATC when on final and operators change

If your are seconds from landing on an airport with no atc (unicom), and suddenly someone takes over as atc, should they be asking you to report to tower informing you that your are in an active airspace?

This just happened to me in expert and it resulted in me being told to go around.


I would say, in this specific instance whereas they come online just as you are on final, ‘Report Position’ and listen carefully for the response from the op. If you get no response, assume they are still configuring their session and continue to follow your Unicom rules and land, (Assuming it is safe and legal to do so)


Thanks for the feedback! What I encourage is for controllers to take in their surroundings and realize that operations were occurring before they showed up. If someone is taking the runway for departure and rolling, let them go. If someone is short final, let them land. If someone was already taxiing and close to their destination, let them continue.

100% control should occur rather quickly but we should still allow people to finish the operations that are taking place within the first few seconds without punishment. We have been growing rather quickly and have many new controllers manning facilities so we’ll continue to reiterate. Go arounds make for an interesting experience but the intent definitely wasn’t to inconvenience.


Thanks Tyler for expanding, @swift see above from the boss.

Thanks both. good to know the situation on the new recruits. I later got ghosted when trying to transition out of the area and land at a different airport. I messged the atc but still waiting for their explanation. In the end, none of that would have happened if I was allowed to complete my landing in 6 seconds.

Hi @SWIFT Mr Shelton will be able to assist you with that. @Tyler_Shelton FYI, maybe this could become a private thread for Swift to speak with the Op?

It seems Swift already hasn’t a private message with the controller. Allow some time for OP to respond to you. If not resolved by tomorrow, contact me and I can investigate further. Cheers!


Glad to see there is a discussion on this. I had the same thing happen to me yesterday on final to KJFK. No one else had been flying or controlling in the region and was flying IFR from KEWR. With kess than a minute to land I could not tell who the approach controller was but they were courteous enough to let me proceed as soon as I checked in, then left quickly. In the confusion my A320 was too unstable to land and tried to go around but crashed.

This has happened a number of times in the past for the New York region where ATC shows up long enough to just mess things up.

Is there a published procedure for how ATCs should come on board while there is Unicom traffic?

Yeah the published procedure is right here in the thread:

Try to read the thread before bumping a topic backup. In this case the answer to you’re question was in the thread. In any event keep in mind that if IFATC "came on board"there would be no more Unicom. Once IFATC becomes active we would just follow “the published procedure” as you put it.

Also it sounds like you may be talking about something that would happen on the training server. Fly on the expert server for a more realistic experience.

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Thanks for the quick reply. I saw your procedure and was hoping there was something more detailed. Sorry about the bump, I only meant to bookmark it. Yes I was on the Training Server and hope to accumulate enough XP for Expert. Even with the TS server rules it can be frustrating when pilots act like they are on Playground. Appreciate there are follks like you helping to keep both the forum and IF pilots in line.

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