Why are Approach, Departure and Center almost never used?

Most of the time, on Playground, I see Ground and Tower in use, but no Approach, Departure and Center.
Advanced has an Approach in at least two airports, but no Departure nor Center (not counting the recent event at Sydney).
Why are these three positions so underused? Is it time? Lack of knowledge? The extension of the region?

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Yeah, it seems playground controllers aren’t bothered to do it. Not as fun, more experience needed, takes longer etc.

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Its the same on Advanced. I see only Tower and Ground.

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More than 99% of Playground controllers have no idea on how to control approach, Dep etc. More than 80% don’t know how to proply control ground / tower so this is the reason.

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Not all Advanced controllers are qualified to control in these areas. Also these controllers like to control in busy times.

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I thought when you were given permission to control on Advanced, it was for every position.

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Every controller started on Playground.

On advanced, you have to work your way up and take tests and other things to become an Approach controller.

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Not the case. Matter of fact, a new ifatc member is only allowed to open a delta airport in the beginning. We are eased into Charlie’s and then bravo airports.

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Interesting to know. How much time does it take for an ATC assigned to a Delta to be allowed into Charlies?

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It’s because people prefer ‘Proper’ controlling also some people aren’t qualified or don’t know how departure or center works! ( Approach can also handle departures so there isn’t a huge need for both at the same time)

Slightly harder my boy. It takes a lot of effort and there’s not much information about it so not many people have the skill set.

People probably like seeing the landing rather than guiding.

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It’s not open on PG because half the pilots on PG don’t follow the instructions. I have tried & most pilots either ignore your instructions or say flying VFR or Request FF.

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It’s the same on advanced @Belfast_spotter

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But they are hardly used because we rarely get traffic to support them. As other’s have stated we don’t have as many people qualified to operate those frequencys. So they typically stay with approach as it’s often needed more then the others.

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We just had nearly a half dozen IFATC controllers become qualified to control radar facilities yesterday, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of them on a daily basis. ;)

It takes patience and time to train and inform new aspects of controlling to people. Heck, I had to spend nearly two weeks of on and off time to train someone properly for his approach test (he passed). It’s all about consolidating information and making sure that it’s understandable and recognized, allowing efficient and smooth service.

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Center is very underused as its doesn’t have a great use like as in departure, most just ask for FF or VFR and never follow instructions

Departure, is also underused as there is no exact usage again, if you were on a departure frequency, this is what you’d hear.

  • FF
  • VFR
  • With you.

Almost no vectoring.

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Max find this thread very interesting! After more than a year it appears “Advance Controller” is really a misnomer! I recognize the volunteer nature of the commitment and the time required to become fully certified can be taxing on ones personal life but a commitment should be completed to its fullest. I always wondered way In the majority of cases B Towers only were filled on the Advance Server according to the In-App Status Q. Apparently there is a shortage of fully qualified individuals to fill all of the critical positions which make up a complete Air Traffic Control System.
Appears, there working towards the goal. Only time will tell when fully qualified controllers and a complete IF ATC System will become a reality.

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@dush19. MaxSez:Appears the Fledging Pilots need an IF organized ground school to introduce them the wonders of an ATC System. Professional knowledge “Known” is a good thing.

That’s why we have @Mark_Denton now 👏
@Maxmustang

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