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A traffic separation tool possible?


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Unlike many from this forum, I am more of a virtual spotter than a pilot. In fact, over the years I've created a vast fictional virtual airline flown by AI pilots. I've also created an increasingly growing fictional mega-hub of an airport. However, as the airport has grown, so too has the traffic amount. Competing with such airports as Denver or DFW. As a result, I have come to depend on Super Traffic Board to help with the inflow of landing traffic, as far as separation is concerned. But its my desire as a spotter to view 100% of the traffic that's scheduled to arrive actually land a taxi to their gates. When one AI aircraft comes to close to a preceding aircraft in the landing sequence, instead of allowing STB to delete the aircraft and recreate it at a gate, I simply slew the trailing aircraft, using STB's slew feature, until desired separation is obtained. With busier airports, this process can become quite the challenge. Therefore, it seems to me that this would be an excellent process the computer could do on it owns using features of Super Traffic Board, such as arrival information for each individual aircraft STB detects, in maintaining a desired separation of all aircraft arriving on a particular runway at a particular airport without an aircraft being deleted. I, being programming ignorant, wonder if this would even be possible? Please comment, thanks. :idea:

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This is a very interesting idea. The programming part all depends on the "rules" that are required to maintain separation. In other words:

  • What is the rule for an AI aircraft starting slew? What are the dependencies on other aircraft?
  • Does anything happen to the AI aircraft while it is under slew?
  • And what is the rule for when it is released?
  • What role does the user aircraft play (this idea has potential for spotters and pilots!)
  • What would be the visual effect of lots of aircraft hanging in mid air to resolve separation at busy airports?

My pipeline is rather full with getting STB V3.2 completed, but it would be interesting to have a look at it then. In the mean time, perhaps we can build on the idea?


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First of all, thank you for your replies. AI Smooth is a great tool and all but, at least for me, it struggles when handling a large amount of traffic, ultimately leading to some aircraft not arriving at all. Pilots may not realize or care for a few AI aircraft failing to arrive, but to a spotter its a big deal.

Thank you, Simon, for your interest. I hope the following may best answer your questions regarding this idea:

AI aircraft poised to arrive on a particular runway at a particular airport could be monitored by STB for a predetermined minimum separation distance from other nearby aircraft arriving at the same airport on the same runway. For example, FSX usually assigns runways based on direction of travel towards an airport. So, when two aircraft flying to LA International on a south west heading they will, without a doubt, be assigned to the airport's northern most landing runway. When these two aircraft landing on the same runway come within the predetermined separation minimums the trailing aircraft will be slewed, as well as any other following aircraft heading in the same general direction that come within the minimums of each other, until a predetermined desired separation is obtained as the non-slewed aircraft advances toward the runway. This process will continue for each aircraft in the sequence. However, it's important to distinguish between minimum separation and desired separation. Much like AI Smooth, the minimum separation would be the distance at which an AI aircraft would be slewed. The desired separation would be the distance the aircraft would be released. The rule can be applied to user aircraft also because after all STB monitors that aircraft as well. If a trailing AI aircraft comes within the minimum separation distance from the user aircraft the AI aircraft and any other following AI aircraft, if necessary, will be slewed until desired separation is obtained. Depending on the user settings applied, traffic could be separated far from the airport and far from sight. When I do this manually, it's quite a thrill to be able to see an airport, busy or not, at its full potential.

I hope this has better explained how this process could work, and I thank you again for your interest.

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Give AI Separation a trial it doesnt remove aircraft but slews them back 2nm on their flight path wnen say 6nm from aircraft heading for the same runway. It is a fs2004 file but compatible with fsx . Just type in the airport and it works in the background. It is available on AVSIM under its title or the file name fsaisv.1.1

hope that helps cheers


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  • 1 month later...

There is also a way to run AI Separation, AI Smooth and STB all together.

Which (it appears to me) significantly reduces go arrounds, overtakes, holding pattern issues, vanishing AI aircraft, etc.

Can't remember where I saw the original postings but I will have a look.



Edit - There is a file on Avsim by Dave Sheffield (Search the Avsim Library by Author's Name) that explains it all. Basically, I have followed Dave's advice and used STB to cover the final 3nm to airport. It reduced the number of times STB had to "intervene" at Heathrow to what I thought were negligable numbers.

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