Why so few controlled airports on expert?

How can there be so few expert controllers & so many training controllers at the same time? It’s getting to the point where it’s not worth the time & money spent learning when you have literally 1 destination airport that’s controlled on expert & as many as 15 on training, which has no enforcement of rules and regulations. If this doesn’t change soon, I suspect that IF while continuously loose paying customers for lack of controlled flight operations to the point where it’s just a waste of time. I for one,am getting tired of filing flight plan, getting most of the way there, & right before I get into radio range, the controllers disappear



I apologize for any inconvenience brought by the small number of staffed frequencies. On the training server, anyone can control who plays the simulator. There’s a higher chance of that server having many staffed fields.

On the expert server, only members of IFATC can control airports there. For this reason, there will be less airports staffed. Another reason is that IFATC are volunteers. They pay for the simulator just like you and use it at their leisure.

Since it is the holiday season, a lot of controllers are spending it with their family


Controllers have lives too, and they control airports on a volunteer basis.

As for the abundance of training server airports, those can be controlled by anyone, even if they are unprofessional. In Expert server, IFATC controllers are tested, qualified, and examined with high standards to live up to.

I hope this helps answer your question.


Hey there! Sorry to hear that you’re having a frustrating experience.

I’d suggest taking a closer look at the Expert Server ATC Schedule for the month (we’re at the end of December now so the January schedule will be out soon) and planning flights accordingly. While this isn’t a guarantee of ATC service, it’ll still increase your chances of having ATC open during your flight.

As has been stated above, IFATC controllers are volunteers. They open airports when they can - and for the most part, they are mandated to stay open for an hour (Class B airports) or at least for half an hour (Class C and D airports). The team is growing day by day and we hope to have more controllers controlling more airports as time goes by.

As for Training Server controllers…well, it’s free for all non-IFATC members to open, but there’s no guarantee of quality of service. You’re more likely to get vectored into a mountain and have twelve F22s buzz you as you’re lining up for takeoff, along with a spam of incorrect ATC instructions on the Training Server. Quantity doesn’t always translate to quality. IFATC controllers on the Expert Server have to pass rigorous tests and are held to a certain standard to be able to control on there.

Hope this helps, and hope you’ll also consider joining IFATC to contribute your service to the airports you’d like to see open more often!



As CaptainSooraj said above, while it might be frustrating to see more frequencies on the training server open, one solution to the situation is joining IFATC. By doing this you can ensure that not only more frequencies are open throughout the day since you’ll be a part of the team but that airports that you’d really like to see open you’ll then be able to control.

Upon passing all the required tests, you will then be inducted into the team and be given the rank of:


At this rank you will be able to control Class Charlie and Delta airports along with the ATIS frequency with a minimum opening requirement of 30 minutes

When Staff / supervisors feel that you are ready to take on more traffic, you’ll be contacted by The One and only Tyler Shelton and be given the rank of:


This rank requires a check ride phase of a minimum of 2 weeks however this could be extended depending on a wide range of reasons

At this rank you’ll be able to control class bravo charlie and Delta and ATIS frequencies airports with a minimum 1 hour opening requirement for class Bravo, 30 minutes for class Charlie and Delta

After your check ride phase has been completed you will be granted the full status of Specialist

The next rank after specialist is:


At this rank you’ll be able to control radar frequencies along with class bravo charlie and Delta and ATIS

While having the officer rank allows you to control radar frequencies, you’ll still be able to control ground Tower and ATIS if you so choose.

Radar frequencies requires a 1 hour opening minimum regardless of the airport class

You will also have a 30-day check ride phase

At this particular rank there are certain requirements you must meet before applying internally for the promotion:

Minimum of 60 days at the rank of Specialist

Minimum of 2000 all-time operations

Attend a minimum of 10 training sessions per 30 days in the #training-time [1-3] Discord channels (this is counted with the honor system and members are expected to track their own attendance)

Maintain an active controlling record* over the previous 30 days to ensure proficiency (this will be determined by the Recruiter at the time of application)

This rank also requires an extensive training period, a written theory test and a practical exam.

If you would like to volunteer and contribute your time to help keep frequencies open throughout the day, check out the link below 👇

I sincerely hope to be able to work with you soon should you choose to apply!



IFATC Team Member


Apart from the reasons mentioned above, I think there’s another reason why less airports on Expert are staffed. And this has all to do with traffic volume. While the IFATC managent team continuously evaluate how to make Expert server well staffed, and provide more predictability for both pilot and controller, the big problem is the fact that on many staffed airports, traffic volumes are low. And when you, as an IFATC, take an hour of your time to open an airport, you want some good traffic. When an IFATC can’t find an airport which is expecting some good traffic, he won’t open. And…you can’t really blame him, can you…


I do plan on it in the coming weeks. Gotta upgrade my device before I do though


That’s excellent to hear CoachDW!

If you open a tracking thread or anything like that feel free to tag me at any given time when you open I’ll do my best to attend. Keep me posted 🙂

Wishing you all the best,


IFATC Team Member

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