Specific STAR Request For ATC

January, 3, 2021 by Jared H

Editor’s Note: This is a Infinite Flight feature request from an IFATC member that we felt was worthy of sharing with you, which is a new thing we’re trying, to give ideas such as this more exposure.

Currently, ATC has the option to tell an aircraft to add a preferred STAR to their flight plan. However, it doesn’t specify which STAR to add. I think we can go a little further than that by assigning aircraft a specific STAR.

Here’s how I’d think it would work:

Step 1: ATC goes to the command list and presses a button titled “Assign STAR”
Step 2: ATC selects the STAR they wish to assign to the aircraft.
Step 3: After selecting a STAR, ATC will have the option to press “Send” or include a transition(s) along with the STAR
Step 4: The pilot will respond with “Roger” or “Wilco” and add the newly assigned STAR and transition to their flight plan.
Step 5: ATC will tell that aircraft to descend via that STAR, or simply tell them to “Continue as Filed”

Not all pilots on the Expert Server are experienced with flight planning, so when ATC tells them to add a preferred STAR, sometimes the pilot will just add any STAR with any transition, which doesn’t make sense for their current position. This can be frustrating for the controller, and they will often end up just vectoring that aircraft.

With the addition of this command, I think it would lighten the workload of ATC during peak traffic periods, as well as help pilots follow ATC instructions a little better. Newer pilots who haven’t read the User Guide or watched the YouTube tutorials might fly into the busiest airspace of the day, not knowing how to communicate with ATC. This command will specify to them what they should do, as it is very specific.

If you like this idea and want it to be added to Infinite Flight, please vote for it here!

Jared is a contributor, you may know him as PlaneGeek. He is an IFATC Officer and Tester.