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Tower view with ATC1
Tower view with ATC1
Type Air traffic control
  • Syd Adams
  • Csaba Halasz
FDM Unknown
--aircraft= ATC
Status Production
 Website The website for the ATC-aircraft developments.
 Repository The development repository of the ATC-aircraft.
Download Download the ATC-aircraft aircraft package for the current stable release (2020.3).
License GPLv2+

The ATC-"aircraft" is the FlightGear interface for the Air Traffic Control. This means that any player can log on as ATC and control the traffic for any airport of their choice. Only users with FlightGear version 1.9 or higher are able to control the airspace.

Currently two version of ATC-aircraft are available.

Aircraft help

Key Function
Ctrl+F Font selector
Shift+P Toggle radarscreen
Ctrl+T Toggle visual target tracking
  • To move to a new airport, use the Location > Tower Position menu.
  • To adjust view position, modify /sim/tower properties in the property browser.


Multiplayer setup

The other pilots must know that you are a controller and which airport you're controlling. For this reason you should use a special call-sign. In ATC tutorial you can find a table with the call-signs which are used by the different types of controllers. Since we don't have a lot of controllers at FlightGear, we almost always have to be the tower controller.

Airport diagram

After the multiplayer settings have been set, a diagram of the airport should be downloaded. The diagram shows the names of the taxiways, directions of the runways, and locations of the gates, etc. So the airport diagram is very important for a controller!

The best way to find an airport diagram is by searching Google for xxxx Diagram. For KSFO we search for KSFO Diagram, first hit is already what we need. Most of the countries have their own databases with diagrams. It's worth it to take a look at them, because they often provide better and more detailed diagrams.

You can print out the diagram and put it beside your computer. This way you don't have to switch screens to look at the diagram.


Now we're finally ready to control. Launch FlightGear with the multiplayer settings we set above. After FG has loaded you'll find yourself in the tower. You're screen should look like the picture shown on the right. The large black sqaure with green and white texts is your radarscreen. Each dot is a pilot. Beside the dot you find some information about the aircraft (like altitude, speed and heading).

  • Click on the triangles on either side of No # to select planes within the set range of the radar. The selected plane is highlighted in white on your radar screen. At the same time you see the information of the selected plane appear in the boxes below the radar.
  • To increase the range of the radar (to see more airspace) click on the triangles near Range. You can only select planes that are within the set range of the radar.
  • The large bar at the lower part of the screen is used to compose chat messages. You must click the send button to send your message.


  • The radar screen is oversized on some screen sizes. It should be automatically resized for any window size.
  • The screen showing the ATC view is very small when viewed with radar. The radar screen should be resized by the user if possible.
  • There are some bugs when using normal MP Chat. You can't then use it again (FG has to be restarted to fix the bug) and you have to use the ATC Chat box at the bottom.
  • Please add how to shift targets on the Radar screen in ATC2 so as to move from target 0 to 1, etc in a multi-aircraft environment.

See also