The importance of communication in IFATC

July, 17, 2021 by

I often see two or three controllers that take over frequencies over the same region or same airport but do not communicate with each other, or worse, do not even know such frequencies are open. In my previous post, I already mentionned communication. I thought I should, and could write a little more about this in particular to emphasize the importance of communication for a successful controlling session, hence my post today.

Stay active in discord for as long as you control

Unless it is not possible for you (i.e. single device), try and keep discord open in another window in order to monitor the chat when you are actively controlling. This helps managing traffic in a more efficient manner which is one of the main goals we have as IFATC. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of communication, especially between controllers of “neighbour” frequencies, that is, Ground-Tower, Tower-Approach or Approach-Center.

Voice Chat whenever possible

If you can, head into VC. It is much more enjoyable to hear other voices and again, much more efficient. When traffic is heavy, controlling one or two frequencies and managing the discord chat at the same time can become overwhelming. This is when VC comes in handy. Additionally, we get to speak with people from all around the world and get to know them better. We are a team, and a voice chat is one of the best ways to get together.

The more traffic, the higher the importance of communication

Once again, when traffic is high, communication becomes a must. We almost all like controlling for Friday Night Flights, flash flights or other main events. However, during those times, lack of communication can result in multiple inefficiencies that lead to congested airspaces and an unorganised controlling session. Trust me, when traffic is heavy, you don’t want this to happen so keep communicating with your peers and ensure a good service to pilots exactly like what is done in real life, you won’t regret it.

Special airports

As a last point, notice that there exists some airports that have special procedures. For instance, mountains on only one side of the airport can result in aircraft taking off from one end of the runway but must land on the other end. In these kind of scenarios, communication between tower and approach is key. This avoids creating unnecessary go arounds or close calls.

Overall, remember that as long as you plan your session, concentrate and of course communicate, your controlling sessions will be the best you ever have.

Sebastien Ollquist-Cartier is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is a passionate CS student that always loves what he does. He is a IFATC Officer.