|or on PC via Steam or itch.io|
updated: 16 January 2021 (see changelog)
For users without any knowledge of ATC, there's a short beginner's guide. Here are full instructions for the simulation game Endless ATC:
|Aircraft labels, runways, and the ILS|
|This timelapse can give you an idea of giving vectors for an ILS approach.|
- Sequence the randomly generated arrivals to the ILS (Instrument Landing System) of a landing runway. The runway is the thick blue line in the middle of the radar screen, and the ILS path is the thin blue line extending from the runway. Guide the planes to this blue line, far enough from the runway. In order to capture this ILS beam and land, a plane must comply to these conditions:
- the ILS mode of the plane is activated,
- the plane intercepts the ILS line at a shallow heading of 50 degrees or less with respect to the runway heading (in reality they use 30 degrees or less),
- the plane has to be descended low enough to intercept the glideslope; the blue circles mark the altitudes of 2000, 3000 and 4000 feet.
- When a plane is established on the ILS, it will be handed over the the tower and then you score some skill points. The amount of skill points you score per plane depends on your current skill score. You always get at least 0.1 skill points per plane handed over to the tower. The skill score represents how well you are managing the airspace and it also determines the number of planes you will have to control simultaneously, so a score of 8.4 will give you about 8 planes to control.
- If a plane is too high on the ILS (flying above the glideslope) it will eventually call 'missed approach'. ILS mode is then deactivated. Try a new line-up at a lower altitude, so it will capture the glideslope from below. If a plane is about to land on a runway that is still occupied by another plane, it will go around: it climbs to 2000 feet and ILS mode is deactivated. Give it new vectors to the ILS, now with more distance behind the leading plane.
- At the top left you see your current game score. This number is the maximum of what your skill value has been in the current game. So your score can only increase. Then there's also the high score: the highest game score you ever reached on your device (unless you cleared the app data or reinstall).
- Departing aircraft determine their heading and speed themselves; they only require an instruction to climb to a higher altitude. This can be done, when its safe, by just one click to select FL130. Other altitudes can be selected but keep in mind that eventually the plane has to continue the climb to FL130. Optionally, a heading can be given by disabling 'SID' mode temporary. When you disable SID, the climb is also restricted to FL90. Make sure to activate SID mode again and continue the climb so that the plane has climbed above FL90 before passing the boundary of the airspace. The airspace boundary is displayed as the outer circle (radius 30 NM). For New York, departing planes fly on a heading initially, so you'll have to manually enable SID to clear planes to the departure fix.
- You can lose skill points when planes:
- fly too close to eachother (in general: overlapping circles and altitude difference <1000 feet),
- divert (leave the airspace at the 30 nm boundary), also if they are departures but fly at or below FL90 when leaving the airspace,
- abort the approach (runway occupied, too high altitude etc.),
- are delayed (not landed within about 30 minutes)
- An aircraft label has the following lines of info:
- current altitude and selected altitude (in feet divided by 100),
- ground speed (in knots), weight category (Light, medium [no tag], Heavy or Super J), mode (ils/direct/hold).
- destination (if other than main airport)
- When a plane is not in your control, it has a smaller label of just two lines.
- When a plane wants your attention, it has a flashing blue ring, until you select it.
- You don't have to hand off (or hand on) planes from/to the tower or other controllers. To keep it simple, planes do this automatically. Handoffs are possible, but not necessary.
- You can drag from an aircraft to easily set its heading. When you then drag onto a beacon (grey circle) then it flies directly to that point and the DCT button illuminates. Directs can also be given by pressing the 'DCT' button: then it will snap to a beacon/VOR/locator closest to the selected heading. DCT is, like ILS, a mode that alters the heading of a plane automatically. If a plane reaches a beacon without further instructions, it will fly circles above it, like a holding pattern. Avoid holding planes because it will cause delays and crowds the airspace. Longpressing DCT will 'HOLD' the plane at its current position. Some runways have a beacon (a locator) on the ILS path; planes can fly direct to it but won't enter a holding there, but continue ahead. You can also drag from a selected VOR beacon to set a heading on which the plane must fly after reaching the beacon. Departures fly to a randomly chosen beacon and then continue ahead.
- In some cases, the separation minima (1000ft/3NM) are reduced: planes may fly closer to each other when:
- both planes are on a different ILS localizer ('LOC' status), so independent parallel approaches are possible,
- one or both planes are under the minimum altitude (1600 feet),
- two departures are on a divergent heading of 15 degrees or more,
- just after a go-around you'll get a short amount of time to regain a safe separation.
|Plane with destination 'RD'|
|Flow varies when a minimum and maximum value is set.|
- Simulation speed can be set at 1, 2 or 4x.
- Heading line can be set at 0 to 5 minutes.
- Separation ring with radius 1.5 nm can be switched on/off/auto (nearby only)
- Skill value can be capped, so the traffic rate is reduced.
- Font size of the labels can be adjusted.
- Radar range rings can be set at 2, 5 or 10 NM.
- Sound can be set at mode 1 for alerts only, 2 to add speech, or 3 for speech with readbacks (using US and UK languages for text-to-speech; see your device settings to configure the voices).
- Adaptive or custom traffic rate.
- The full version also has multiple airports to choose from, with altitude restrictions, and optional weather (wind and clouds) and radar delay settings. You can even add your own airport files.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Runways 18C and 18R are too close to each other. How do I make good use of them without getting incidents?
A: The approaches can be done completely independent; the trick is to intercept the localizers at different altitudes and at a large distance from the field. Read instructions above for more detail.
Q: It gets way too busy, what can I do?
A: Enable 'custom' mode in the traffic menu. You can cap (limit) the amount of planes you have to control to a certain amount, or set the number of planes per hour you want to handle.
Q: Could you add my favourite airport?
A: Perhaps more airports will be added in the future. But in the full version, it's now possible to create an airport yourself, if you don't mind editing a text file precisely. More info here.
Apart from clicking planes and buttons on the sidebar, the game has mouse and keyboard controls/shortcuts as well.
- Press left and right button at the same time to enable ILS mode
- Scroll the wheel to change altitude, press right button and scroll to change airspeed
- Click on the scrollweel to press OK or handover.
- Type a callsign to select a plane (space to autocomplete), then type commands, separated by spaces, for example:
- A30 (to set altitude 3000')
- S170 (speed 170 knots)
- DPAM (direct to the point 'pam')
- T360 (after the point fly heading 360)
- I (cleared approach)
- HO (hold at current position)
- E (expedite climb/descend)
- F1-F4 changes simulation speed
- F5-F8 sets the heading line
- Tab selects a flashing plane
- PageUp/Down for altitude, Arrow Up/Down for speed, Arrow Left/Right for heading, Insert for ILS and Enter to confirm.
- Type 'NOBAR' if you want to try and play the game without the sidebar.
- If you experience bugs or crashes, please send a crash report and/or mail me to look for a solution.
Mail or leave a comment below.
This program contains free software licensed under a number of licenses, including the GNU Lesser General Public License. More info on this page.
v4.3 (rolling out...):
- Fix to make sure only English TTS voices are used if one of the US or UK languages are missing.
- Improved radar 'sweep' mode, to allow longer update intervals, and planes will now appear or disappear correctly during a radar sweep instead of any time.
- Fixes for the 'APP' mode as used in some custom airports: the approach routes will only be available when the corresponding runway is in use for landings. Planes will also start descending at the right distance from a fix, even if there are multiple other fixes without an altitude before.
- Fix to make the game keep loading custom text files on startup, even after one file fails to load (fails can happen due to incorrect formatting, like missing whitespaces at the beginning of lists).
- Added more keyboard commands for changing game settings, for example 'SWEEP000' to set the radar rotation speed in tenths of seconds precision, 'DELAY0' for the pilot delay in seconds, or 'SPEED00' to lock the game into a faster speed mode (just like when F11 is 'pressed and hold' to get 20x speed, but now you can precisely set the speed). Fun fact: even the command 'SPEED01' can be used to set the game at 1x speed. It will still be realtime, but the game updates at a higher frequency, making plane movements more smooth, or radar sweeps more detailed. This may look a bit nicer, but is otherwise a waste of CPU/battery usage. SPEED00 sets it to the default rate again, or alternatively press and hold the sweep button.
v4.2.8 (30 September 2020):
- When dragging a heading from a plane that is flying a holding, the plane will leave the holding via the fix, unless the HOLD button is pressed first to deactivate hold mode immediately.
- Various changes to the recently added custom airports feature, to make it a bit easier to create airspaces and to allow for adding some more detail:
- In addition to the optional 'transition' routes to the ILS, 'departure' routes can now be added to each runway to create more detailed SIDs. And for clarity, 'transitions' are renamed to 'approaches' (but old files will be compatible).
- The airspace boundary can now be defined as a polygon instead of a circle.
- Restricted areas will work properly for concave polygons. Before, polygons had to be convex in order to function properly, requiring manually splitting of complex polygons into smaller ones. Now this will be done automatically.
- All routes can be displayed at once for easier editing/verification of routes. Ctrl + click sets visual markers on the screen for easier positioning of multiple locations.
- Improved pronunciation of long VOR names.
- Several minor adjustments: reduced doubletap timing to avoid unwanted zooming, reduced warning messages from planes near the boundary, increased time before tower orders speed reduction after handoff, added more hints for beginners.
- Several hotfixes where released, mainly to fix various issues with the new custom airports feature:
- Hotfix v4.2.9 (22 October 2020): fixed bug that caused errors when adding multiple departure routes to a runway, fixed bug that made airplanes leave and re-enter multiple times when flying near the boundary, and approach beacons are now highlighted for better visibility to the user.
- Hotfix v4.2.10 (1 November 2020): show available route(s) if an APP beacon is selected, fix for decimal values for custom LOC and GS angles, removed limit for number of approaches/departures/areas, optional specific inbound beacons for secondary airports similar to the main airport, reduced number of departures at the start of a game when many runways are in use.
- Hotfix v4.2.11 (17 November 2020): fix for unneeded go-arounds when two localizers are crossing each other close to the touchdown zone, departures leaving the boundary below 15000 feet above ground level are not counted as 'diverted' anymore even if the 'ceiling' is defined higher than that level, fix for issue with case sensitivity for custom planetypes.
v4.2 (6 July 2020):
v4.1 (29 February 2020):
v4.0 (25 October 2019):
v3.9.8 (8 July 2019):
v3.9 (21 Dec 2018):
v3.8 (14 Nov 2018):
v3.7 (30 Aug 2018):
v3.6 (6 July 2018):
v3.5 (14 March 2018):
v3.4 (18 January 2018):
v3.3 (7 December 2017):
v3.2 (19 July 2017):
- Improved multitouch (android), to make panning possible after lifting one finger from the screen
- Adjusted localizer status LOC, which will only be active when the plane points towards the runway, not when overshooting the ILS.
- Improved help pages and hints.
- Added experimental feature in the full version: custom airports, by editing text files. See this page for more info.
- v4.2.3: hotfixes for several custom airport properties
- v4.2.5: increased range of several airspace properties, added separation item, improved fail messages on loading custom airport, more tolerant interpretation of incorrectly defined custom properties.
- v4.2.6 (22 July): more departures from runways intersecting landing runways, bug fix for multiple transitions per runway, less slow startup when using many custom files, wider range of allowed altitudes for various airspace properties, decreased chance of accidental doubleclick zoom or panning, in no departure mode the departure runways are greyed out.
- v4.2.7 (4 Aug): further adjustments for allowing more departures near intersecting runways at EDDF and RJTT, fixed transition option for custom secondary airports, fixed graphical glitch when zooming quickly, updated some SID points for EGLL. This hotfix was applied to the full version only, as the changes don't affect the free version.
v4.1 (29 February 2020):
- Elevation of secondary airports can be different from main airport (for example at Luton the elevation is a bit higher than at Heathrow)
- Fast forward 20x speed by pressing and holding the menu button (or press F11 key)
- Planes already in a turn won't leave and re-enter the airspace
- Improved framerate (PC) and touch detection (android)
- Planes in holding patterns correct for the wind
- Option to quit game by ctrl + Q command, or the quit button in the About menu.
- Option to disable panning/zooming by clicking the lock button in the display menu, per user requests. This may be useful to avoid unwanted zoom events when clicking on planes quickly, or for having a steady view during gameplay recordings/timelapses. However, each time when starting the game, you have to lock the screen manually, so you can adjust the view first.
- TTS improvements on android 9+ (using more English voices, if available on the device)
- Added some more hints to learn new users about several (less visible) features.
v4.0 (25 October 2019):
- Added 9th airport (Sydney YSSY, full version)
- Dark sidebar option
- Flow indicator in sidebar (shows amount of planes per hour, measured in a 20 minute window)
- EGLL: initial descend level increased to FL90, and increased the airspace radius to 37 NM.
- Pressing ESC does not close the game anymore (PC)
- Smoother scrolling and performance improvements (android)
- More reliable wake distance indicator (arc), and several other minor adjustments
- Yellow text line is displayed on two lines when it doesn't fit on screen
v3.9.8 (8 July 2019):
- Choose between label styles: there's now a 2-line and a 4-line option, in addition to the default 3-line plane label. In real life, radar displays differ per country/facility, but in the game you can choose between 3 styles in the display menu.
- The text at the bottom of the screen has a black background for better readability when planes overlap
- Handoffs for departures are now only allowed above 3000 feet from the ground, to avoid (accidental) early handoffs and encourage the player to handoff planes when they're high&safe in the airspace
- Lowered area restrictions at EDDF with 500 feet, to avoid issues with low GA traffic, and it's actually slightly more similar to the real life situation
- Ability to move the sidebar to the other side using a quick&easy swipe from menu button
- Improved holding entry (direct, parallel and teardrop), and corrected the Lambourne holding at EGLL into a left turn pattern, as it is in real life
- Help menu added for beginners
v3.9 (21 Dec 2018):
- Added more weight categories, totalling 6 (as in 'RECAT' used in some places in real life), for more efficient wake turbulence separation, both on the localizer and time between departures.
- Added occasional (rare) light traffic (labelled 'L') at several airports.
- Wake arc will adapt dynamically to the required distance between two plane categories (instead of always displaying two arcs for 'H' and 'M' categories).
- Planes inbound secondary airports will have a slightly different (mint) label color, so they're easier to distinguish from planes inbound to main airport.
- v3.9.3 (6 Feb 2019):
- Added low contrast option, to reduce display issues on certain monitors (VA, OLED) with slow black->grey transitions. When contrast setting is at '0', the black pixels will be actually dark grey pixels, improving display quality when panning/zooming.
- Enabled multiwindow support (android 7+) to allow for multitasking; could be useful on devices with large screens (tablets, chromebooks). App scales best in landscape dimensions, by design, because the options bar is on the side. Also added 64bit support on android, per new Google Play store requirements.
- Wake turbulence distance is added to text at the bottom when mouse cursor hovers above a near plane (and on android: when multitouch is used on two planes). When hovering over a near plane, the bearing towards the plane is displayed.
- v3.9.4 (9 March 2019):
- Wake turbulence distance is more clearly displayed to the user (birghter arcs, exact distance shown in infotext)
- Better mouse support on android; similar as the PC version
- v3.9.6 (25 May 2019):
- more light category aircraft, mainly at North American fields
- corrected Toronto departure headings to allow for parallel departures
- better explanation of the meaning of several buttons for beginners
v3.8 (14 Nov 2018):
- 2 new locations! CYYZ and RJTT were added.
- Customizable traffic rate
- Set traffic mode to custom to be able to set a skill value and skill cap yourself. The skill value will determine the amount of planes you have in your control at a time (and it opens more runways, and it determines the amount of traffic to secondary runways).
- Set traffic mode to 'flow' for a fixed flow of inbound and outbound traffic. For example, set it at 30 and you'll get 30 planes per hour departing, and 30 planes per hour arriving at the main airport.
- Added buttons for 'no departure' mode and 'no secondary traffic' mode.
- Customizable wind direction/speed/clouds.
- Better runway change implementation.
- More display settings: range rings, and XL font (android).
v3.7 (30 Aug 2018):
- Change runway configuration (by tapping the RWY CHG button, or F12) without risking missed approaches. Can be handy if there's weather near a runway, or the wind has changed. After a runway change request, it takes a few minutes before new approach clearances can be given.
- Inactive runways are visible (in grey).
- Removed doubletap ILS for LLZ mode, as it could be too easily selected by accident. LLZ mode is now hidden behind a longpress between the altitude buttons.
- Android app targets Oreo and has an updated icon and full keyboard support.
- Better departure capacity from parallel runways.
- When selected, handed over planes still have the yellow target heading line visible.
- Hold right mouse button to show estimated time for the plane to reach cursor position.
- Adjusted transition altitudes for EGLL and EDDF.
v3.6 (6 July 2018):
- long press and doubleclick functionality of the sidebar is now also usable for the mouse and keyboard commands
- planes can be cleared for the localizer only (LLZ mode) by typing LOC or LLZ, or longpress between the altitude buttons. This won't land the planes, it only avoids GS capture, so eventually full ILS mode needs to be activated as well.
- doubleclick SID autoselects highest altitude
- if player doesn't manually handoff planes, then pilots eventually won't notify user anymore when they switch frequency automatically, to reduce repetative messages
- hover mouse above plane to show type and distance from selected plane, on android use second finger to show distance from selected plane
- after a long delay planes will divert automatically
v3.5 (14 March 2018):
- planes can make turns greater than 180 degrees: instead of defaulting to the shortest turn to the selected heading, planes can now also turn 'the long way round' to a heading, making turns up to 360 degrees with one command
- doubletap between heading buttons to easily command a 360 turn over right or left
- separate savegames per airport: switch between airports without losing progress
- adjusted penalty for separation incidents: constant 0.5 point reduction per incident + small time component (results in less skill reduction for long duration separation incidents)
- smarter tower: it can reduce speed of planes (that are handed over) that are too close to a preceding plane (within 10 miles from touchdown); this could avoid missed approaches
- added L and R keyboard commands for left and right turns, H can still be used for shortest turn, and T is now used for headings after beacon.
- button added in menu to switch sidebar to the other side
- speed will not reduce automatically to 220KT anymore if user has set a speed
- faster speech rate when time multiplier is enabled
- game starts paused when skill is high (12+)
- for emergencies the vertical seperation is 500ft
v3.4 (18 January 2018):
- two finger pan/zoom (android)
- green text at the bottom now fits on screen (using two lines of text when needed)
- no automatic altitude change anymore when enabling SID mode (mainly affects KJFK area where SID is off by default; it should avoid unwanted climbs)
- added a warning message before cap mode is enabled for the first time, because goals won't trigger anymore when cap has been used
v3.3 (7 December 2017):
- LFPG and KJFK airports added to full version
- Paris (LFPG) has Orly (LFPO) as secondary airport, and flights over Paris city are only allowed at FL66 or higher.
- New York (KJFK) has Laguardia (KLGA) and Newark (KEWR) as 'secondary' airports (although they're quite busy), and all departures fly on a heading instead of the usual SID mode, so you'll need to enable SID manually at some point to clear them to their departure fix.
- reduced separation to 2.5NM for planes on the same ILS, closer than 10 miles from the runway; this avoids incidents due to compression when the preceding plane reduces speed
- category 'super' aircraft now have a J in the label instead of an S
- the skill value can be lowered (to reduce traffic), and decreasing it below 4.0 closes the airspace
- text at the bottom of the screen shows the distance d from plane to cursor (when mouse is used)
v3.2 (19 July 2017):
- more departures, by having occasional simultaneous takeoffs when it gets busy
- reduced separation requirement between two departures on divergent headings (15 degrees or more), to make simultaneous takeoffs possible
- reduced separation requirement for a short period of time after a plane is going around; this avoids double penalties
- Steam release (19 July 2017)
- TTS speech queue improvements; readbacks come before new calls, and pilots will less likely 'interrupt' you while giving commands
- easier expediting climb by doubletapping in the middle between the altitude buttons
- incident alarm sound is now silenced when selecting an involved plane, to avoid annoyance
v3.1 (2 June 2017):
v3.0 (7 February 2017):
- Wake turbulence behind heavies.
- additional android version released (see Play Store) with multiple airports and extra options
- custom zoom by doubletap + drag up/down
- optional high speed climb
- automatic repositioning of labels for parallel approaching planes, to avoid label overlap
- Pilot speech added.
- Manual handoff of planes (optional).
- Move sidebar to the other side by doubletapping the menu button.
- Plane types are now visible in the infotext at the bottom of the screen.
- Share your stats via the button in the goals screen.
- In the PC version (see here, released on itch.io on 11 Dec 2015), restricted areas and multiple airports were added (Atlanta, London and Frankfurt).
v2.9 Added expedite mode / alternate ILS* mode / HOLD at position mode
v2.8 Smaller font size / more help for beginners / several adjustments.
v2.7 Added RD airport / more realistic separation rules / delays.
v2.6 Changable font size / sound alerts.
v2.5 Departures can now be vectored / various improvements.
v2.4 Added pilot delay / various small tweaks.
v2.3 Changes in separation requirements.
v2.2 Added automatic save function.
v2.1 Goals added / points scored per plane now depends on current score.
v2.0 Skill cap function / new menu.
v1.9 Pan view / cancel button / graphical changes.
v1.8 Double tap to zoom / various small tweaks.
v1.7 Zoom toggle button added / various small tweaks.
v1.6 Label shows 3-letter code / bugfixes.
v1.5 Bugfixes / changes to departure and arrival rate.
v1.4 Fixed parallel ILS bug / departure rate now depends on skill value.
v1.3 Fixed crash high dpi devices / various small tweaks.
v1.2 Touch improvements.v1.1 Hints for beginners / bugfixes.
v1.0 Released on Play Store on November 2, 2013.