How To Start Off On The Expert Server As A Controller

October, 4, 2021 by Eoghan Collins

Upon joining the IFATC you will receive a very warm welcome from many people but most importantly you will gain access to controlling on the Expert Server. We will be giving you some advice on how to start off on the Expert Server and what to avoid.

You will firstly be promoted to an ATC Apprentice, this means you can only control Class Charlie and Delta airports.

This is the perfect opportunity to get prepared for controlling bigger and busier airports and also picking up on some skills.

Remember, do not rush. If anything, the best bit of advice that myself and many other controllers can give you is to start small. Although it is indeed tempting to rush into a busy hub once you join, the results can be poor.

Think of it like building a house; in order to build a house you need the foundation first, without a foundation the house will fall apart.

Be open to feedback and criticism. In IFATC, we have a handful of supervisors who have been carefully picked to help maintain order in IFATC and the Expert Server and also to help new and older controllers. A supervisor may swing by one of your sessions and message you a few things. Take this feedback positively, we all make mistakes/do things that can be done in a better way. If it wasn’t for the help from the amazing supervisor team I would not have improved my ATC skills.

Ask questions. If you are not sure of something then ask. We are all here to help!

Finally, a message from Tyler Shelton, the Infinite Flight ATC Manager:

“It’s a marathon, not a race. Take your time in the process and focus on developing a strong ATC foundation. This means being reasonable with your airport selection, picking skillsets to focus on each session, and really putting in the effort to improve without rushing the journey.”

Eoghan Collins is an IFATC Officer and a member of the IFATC Testing Team. In the real world, he enjoys spending time on the rugby pitch or with his dog.