Radar certification training in Infinite Flight is no small undertaking, as trainees must demonstrate proficiency in various objectives and pass two tests before unlocking the officer rank. Terrain separation management is a crucial aspect of any radar controller’s skillset; for this reason, trainees are asked to practice at airports with varying levels of difficulty to display their knowledge and planning competence. Countless airports worldwide are suitable for this purpose, but below are ten of the locations that I believe every trainee should experience as they seek to control radar on the Expert Server.
KMFR: Located on the west coast of the US, Medford airport and the surrounding terrain proves to be an excellent training ground for those aiming to perfect their planning ability. With many procedures and nearby airports, KMFR is a popular choice for trainees to hone their skills before their practical test.
KMHK: It can be beneficial to revisit the basics without unneeded pressure, which is where Manhattan Regional comes in. A minimal amount of terrain and an abundance of local fields make KMHK the perfect place to practice arrival sequencing and pattern management without the added stress of terrain awareness and avoidance.
SBGL: .Rio de Janeiro’s marvelous procedures allow controllers to guide pilots above Brazil’s gorgeous landscape into this underrated airport. Trainers may activate runway 15 alongside runway 10 as an extra challenge, forcing trainees to get creative about managing intersecting runways while navigating the terrain.
KYKM: ifatc.org is a fantastic resource, but successful radar controllers must be able to plan for terrain without it. Yakima includes a considerable yet manageable amount of terrain and provides a unique opportunity for trainees to practice using approach charts, VFR sectionals, and even hand-flying to scout the layout of the area.
YSCB: The hills near Canberra Airport are mild, allowing trainees to dip their toes into working with terrain without feeling overwhelmed. YSCB has historically been a popular beginner/intermediate airport and continues to be used by trainers and trainees alike to this day.
OAKB: Arguably one of the most revered (and feared) airports, Kabul’s 3.5° glideslope adds a unique element to the ILS approach. Trainees are warned to avoid the towering peaks and pay attention to the increased ground speeds associated with high elevation fields.
SKBO: As the point-merge method of controlling gains popularity within IFATC, a similar trend can be noticed among the curriculums of the Training Team. Bogota’s fabulous STARs and parallel runways offer trainees a chance to perfect their point-merge talents before taking on locations such as Tokyo Haneda and Istanbul on Expert.
CYVR: The view of the Canadian Rockies and the parallel runways are two selling points for Vancouver’s airport. Whether the goal is practicing parallel approaches or hosting a mass fly-in, CYVR is sure to meet the trainee’s needs with its variety of procedures and dozens of nearby starting airports.
LFPG: .Working as center is a pivotal aspect of radar training. As such, many elect to practice traffic flow and separation management at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, where controllers are kept busy by the four sprawling runways and diverse array of procedures.
SCEL: Situated just to the west of the Andes Mountains, Santiago is often regarded as an advanced training location with its terrain and parallel runway operations presenting a substantial challenge for those who attempt it. Trainees who successfully control SCEL with minimal errors can rest easy, knowing that they are well-prepared for the practical exam.