ATC needs looooooots of work

Another reason why we need to have a decent AI ATC is that many of us have to put the sim on pause for different reasons during the flight (usually, family related things), and we cannot be all the time asking the Vatsim controller we need to go.

This and the reasons mentioned above are good enough for Asobo to put more love in the ATC system.


I hate to say it, but the ATC is bad. Like really bad. Even worse than FSX in many respects, which is astonishing because that came out in 2006.

The rest of the sim is great, don’t get me wrong. But they really need to focus on resolving many fundamental issues with the built in ATC.

Today, doing a flight from IAD to CLT, ATC didn’t properly vector me for an approach intercept. So like you, I basically ended up a few thousand feet above the airport, declaring a missed approach, and having to really kind of do things myself in order to get back on the approach path.

All your other points are valid too. Plus, there’s also moments where ATC will attempt to descend or vector you into terrain…


Just trying to keep you on your toes! :smirk: Had JFK this morning try to force me to land visual 13R in IFR conditions, while ATIS continually stated ILS runways 04L and 04R were in use. I refused to acknowledge the 13R approach. Finally after about ten minutes it approved my 04L approach.

I am an AirTraffic Controller. I agree with all the above. The phrasology is so bad I can not use it at all. It is like scratching a blackboard to my ears. The ATC in FSX was not great but it was a lot better than 2020. Can’t they get a real Air Traffic Controller for technical advice?


BINGO !! Found the ATC text in the locPak files !!
ATC text is different for each Location (language) – Obviously

While the reason for a particular radio Transmission may be the same, what is actually said can potentially vary between Language/location.

For example , the phrase used to tell the pilot to taxi, and position on the runway, and wait could be
(1) Line up and wait
(2)Position any Hold

etc etc.

In the USA language file it is
(callsign) taxi into position and hold

Note: Ref 7110.65Y
almost exactly 10 years ago this month

  • Beginning on September 30, 2010 , the words “Position and Hold” will no longer be used to instruct a pilot to enter the runway and await takeoff clearance. Under the new “Line Up and Wait” phraseology, the controller will:
  • State the call-sign.
  • State the departure runway.
  • State “Line Up and Wait” .
  • Differences in phraseology contribute to runway incursions. Analysis by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed that differences between FAA and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) air traffic control phraseology contribute to runway incursion risks. NTSB recommended that the FAA adopt the international standard terminology: “Line Up and Wait” to replace “Position and Hold”.

So mabe it should be :
(callsign). (runway). Line Up and Wait

So maybe that will change in the next Update :stuck_out_tongue:

(or you can always go in and edit it yourself now )

Whats is even more INTERESTING, is that there are ATC phrases specifically for helicopters !! ie A-109, A119 and A-129 and quite a few more !!

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Far more significant for me rather than worrying about the exact wording is the absence of proper vectoring for approaches. That’s the most important missing feature in ATC at the moment.


That’s something deep in the code that Asobo will have to take some time to fix., especially if they are going to customize it for different Regions.

Fixes to correct ATC Phraseology for existing communication messages, is relatively easy.

I got too confident in the sim today… After a couple great flights in the A320 with no bugs with the plane or sim, I decided to invest time in a 2-2.5 hour flight from KDFW - KDTW.

Waiting for atc to bring me down, they finally cleared me from 39,000 ft to 27,000 ft. Kept me there for a while and then after switching freqs. and confirming location and altitude, I was told to “continue as planned”. The next transmission was "please expedite your descent to FL210. Confused, I looked through the transcripts and there was no request to descend to 21,000 ft. At this point we were way to high, then they just made clearance after clearance for 9,000 ft, then 8,000 ft, 6,000 ft so on and so on. I disabled a/p at about 14,500 ft as we were not descending fast enough.

I deviated from the flight path a little to give me some extra distance so I could descend and slow down us without having to dive bomb the plane towards the airport. Set up the approach to 4L after stabilizing altitude and descent rate and made the landing without any further drama.

There was no way I was going to let atc screw up an otherwise great flight haha. Just when you think all is good, the sim tries to find a way to get ya… :laughing:

Another missing ATC procedure:

  • Call TWR for a practice touch and go on a cross country flight
  • you get pattern information and clearance for T/G
  • then on climbout nothing, no chance to request a departure to wherever, no approval to leave frequency, you can only call for “cancel landing intention” (or sth like that)
  • so all you can do is just to switch frequency to APP or next/destination airfield.

At any particular stage in a flight, there are many options.

If ASOBO was to put EVERY possible one into the sim, you would have Pages of option to have to select from, which would overwhelm most.
One possibilty if they add more option, is a Slider of level of ATC options

If there was a way to make the selection Voice activated, that might be a great feature, if the Voice recognition was up to it.

If you cancel landing Intentions, it would be assume you are no linger intending to stay in the pattern.
As you fly away from the airport, tower will see this and eventually tell you to change frequency.

There should be an option however, to call tower to request to leave their frequency.

I will hope that this will improve over time,
At the moment their is Basic (if somewhat broken ATC), but really there are many other thing "broken in the sim that should have a higher priority, like the fly-abilty and stability of the GA planes, ( and other major bugs, like disappearing GUIs)

Will be interesting to see what happens later today (8/29/2020) when today’s patch is released, and the chaos and Free-for-all to download the Update starts, and the rush to be the 1st to complain that “It is still Broken”

In my case it would be simple to consider the climb-out after a T/G a departure. All the ATC com for that is already there. I only picked the “Cancel” because there was nothing else.

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While waiting for this new Update, I have spent most of the time when on the sim ,just letting ROGER fly the plane, while i do something more constructive & productive, and just listen to Roger talk to ATC as he TRIES to fly the plane. a Good $60 worth of entertainment value, just in itself.

I only bring my attention back to the sim, when he is going to land, because that is Always "PRICELESS"

He has this bad habit of Full Flaps some 20 miles out from the airport, and then tries to maintain level flight, in a virtual stall, until he reaches the airport.
He then either lands very short , or just slams the plane into the runway at -1000 ft.min

If he request a Touch-and_Go, he lands so badly, that he gives up on the GO part, and will shamefully taxi to parking.

Warning: Do NOT let Roger fly your A2A planes, or they will be in the maintenance hanger more than in the air !!!


For all those who remember:


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I remember … " I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley."

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I have two words for you Edit Voicepack.

Go on … (I know I might regret asking) What 2 words ??

You do realize you can switch from VOR to low altitude airways in the map and set up your approaches at most airports? Some you can also set up your departures so that your flight plan is complete.

Yes ATC may give you a different runway and approach you would need to change that in your computer.

Also their is an assist to give a blue line for taxi-ways to and from gates. When you choose which gate you are arriving it once you land and contact ATC the blue lines appear over the center lines. :man_shrugging:

The “position and hold” instruction is out of date. All airports in the USA use the ICAO “line up and wait” now. They have been doing this since 2010 or somewhere around that time.

Also what’s missing that can easily be implemented is the first fix clearance for RNAV departures. When an aircraft has been given an RNAV SID for an IFR clearance, the tower controller is supposed to say “Cessna XXXXX, RNAV to YYYYY (first named fix), Runway ZZZ, Cleared for takeoff”. The purpose is for two things, one to verify the aircraft is to fly an RNAV SID and not a heading or runway heading, two to have the pilots verify the correct SID is programmed into the FMS and an incorrect track won’t cause an incursion.

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Its a start at least, ideas are welcome

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