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Evan Reiter

Important Reminders for Pilots Flying the HONK! FNO on Friday, April 17

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We look forward to staffing Boston (KBOS) and Bradley (KBDL) for HONK!, beginning at 7pm ET on Friday, April 17. In partnership with VATCAN, Toronto (CYYZ) will also be fully staffed.


As pilots who have flown in recent VATSIM events will know, traffic is very busy on the network these days! Recent FNO events have seen record levels of traffic that, in many cases, exceeds the real-world capacity of the airports.


We want to ensure everyone who flies in our HONK! FNO has a great experience. To do that, we are asking for the cooperation of VATSIM pilots to help spread out the traffic. By following some of the recommendations below, you’ll help ensure everyone gets the benefit of busy frequencies but smooth air traffic control experiences.


If you are planning to fly in and around our airspace on Friday, please consider the following:

  • Boston Center (ZBW) has planned staffing for pilots to fly:
    • Into KBOS
    • Into KBDL
    • Between CYYZ and KBOS, in relatively limited numbers
  • We encourage pilots to plan flights from other places and various directions into each of CYYZ, KBOS, and KBDL. This is not a crossfire! You don’t need to exclusively fly between these airports and if everyone tries to fly between the airports, there will be significant delays and airborne holding—all of which we want to avoid.
  • Please strongly consider flying into Hartford (KBDL) instead of Boston (KBOS)! This makes for more interesting traffic: you’ll be descended early to avoid other flows, but will still hear all the busy Boston arrival streams. We have a full staff of controllers at KBDL throughout the event and want them to be just as busy as the crews at CYYZ and KBOS.
  • If you are planning a virtual airline or group flight, don’t fly between the featured airports. You’ll be taking up slots from other pilots. Instead, split your group into 3 and plan arrivals from various airports into each of CYYZ, KBOS, and KBDL from different directions. Take on the challenging of timing your flights to arrive about 5-10 minutes apart so you land together but haven’t flown the whole way with each other. It makes for a much more interesting experience and helps balance traffic – plus it allows the other facilities who are providing supporting staffing to see some departures.
  • Please read our Letter to Airmen, which includes important reminders for flying on the network and links to scenery updates for our airports.

We will also be trying out some traffic management techniques we haven't used in the past, such as limiting departures from nearby airports, including Toronto. This means that if you start a flight of our New York, Washington, Toronto, or some other nearby airports, you might be asked to wait for a few minutes on the ground before being cleared for takeoff. This is all to help smooth the traffic flow and to try to give you an optimal arrival experience once you reach our airspace.


We appreciate your cooperation and look forward to hosting a great event! 



Evan Reiter

Community Director
Administration Team

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