How to enjoy the new ATC Region Assignment format

April, 21, 2021 by Cheng Loke Ng

As the IFATC transition from ATC Schedules to the new ATC Region assignments, we will explore changes that will be made, and how you can be involved in the enhancement of the IFATC community.

We start at the current state of matters. This is where Tyler would put together a schedule every week, and during the week, a specific region or theme would attract a sizeable number of pilot in conjunction with the staffing of airports which are in the region, or airports who are suitable to the theme. This is set to go away on May 1st, 2021, and controllers will be afforded a larger amount of freedom as they are allocated regions in which they will be controlling from.

What this means is that instead of having a localised region or daily theme and hub, controllers are finally allowed to open an airport of their choice in the region they have selected. While for some, the increased freedom would welcome a wider range of routes which may be flown to airports which are staffed by controllers, a general decrease in traffic is expected at staffed airports due to the more realistic spreading out of traffic throughout world.

However, despite some of the turbulence which you may encounter when “Regional Controlling” is implemented, here are things you can do to expand your horizons.

1. Fly to your favourite airports

The world is a big place, and with it, many places which many people have yet to see. This can help us controllers gauge which airports will be the most wanted. As you fly more, more statistics would be made available to the IFATC community, which would allow us to act in accordance to that data.

2. Create events

If there is one thing that many events lack, its ATC service. This will no longer be of any issue. Controllers will now be on the lookout for each event within their region, the number of participants, as well as the route of the event. Plans could be made to service your event in full, and in doing so, enhancing the experience for everybody involved.

3. Join Infinite Flight Virtual Airlines or Virtual Organizations

Within the community, there are plenty of Virtual Airlines (VAs) or Virtual Organizations (VOs) that go under the radar for some. With the world being available to all, the opportunities are endless. You could join the VA of your favourite airline, or perhaps, take the opportunity to create your own VA or VO with the approval of the IFVARB. With more popular VAs, there will be traffic that’ll flock to the airports operated by these airlines.

4. Join the IFATC

As Mahatma Ghandi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Joining the IFATC is definitely one of the best choices to make, and it’ll allow you to make yourself more visible on the community. I can personally say that despite not really wanting to join IFATC for fear of how difficult and unforgiving it could be, my perception has changed greatly since going through the process of joining, and has allowed me to meet plenty of people who have influenced me to be a better controller.

In all, there is plenty for us to learn as the meta shifts, and where controllers gain more freedom. It would be prudent for everyone to show the each other what is desired, and in doing so, helping the community become a better place for you and I.

Cheng Loke Ng is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Officer.