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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/22/21 in Posts

  1. I guess we'll have to agree on disagreeing on this one. I can't see a point in wasting hours of training for situations that will not happen to the majority of controllers. Many places have enormously long training queues, are we going to delay everyone even more by spending hours teaching something that will not be needed? And let's just assume everything is being taught properly, and everyone worldwide learns how to do all types of parallel runway operations during their S3 training. If someone then stays for 3 years in their sub-division which has not a single airport with parallel runway, are we going to say "Oh, yes. He must still knows what he learnt 3 years ago during a single sweatbox session, and which he hasn't used since. Let's put him on Heathrow Director during Midweek Madness!"
    5 points
  2. Having given this a bit of thought, I believe the 50% rule must return, in a clear and direct way, unless the sub-divisions get the power to remove someone from being a home controller. As it stands right now, what is stopping someone from doing all their training in sub-division A, but doing all their controlling in sub-division B? Imagine sub-division B is the place at which someone really wants to control. But their training queues are long, extending into many months. A person would be visiting country A, doing all their training there, as it is really fast with virtually no queue, quickly getting their S3, and applying for a visitor endorsement at sub-division B. Once they eventually begin doing their C1 training, what is prohibiting them from only controlling at sub-division A for the training sessions, not controlling there at all with the S3 rating, whilst putting in countless hours in sub-division B, the place they wanted to control at in the first place? Sub-division A, as it is spending their resources training this person, should be entitled to having at least half their controlling time be with them. If not we'll see even more rating tourism then we are seeing today, with sub-divisions training people who will never control.
    5 points
  3. I don't particularly have an issue with standards varying across the world - it doesn't make much sense training someone for extreme traffic levels if they're in a division/sub-division which gets very little traffic. In an ideal world everyone would be trained to the same high standards, but I think it's more worthwhile to train 3 students to the required standard in that area than 1 student to real world standards. It's also worth noting that a lot of people struggle to learn the practical aspects of controlling, in the real world very few people make it through the selection processes and to the end of training. Having quieter areas allows members who struggle in high workloads to have a chance at getting a C1 rating and makes the network as accessible as possible. The vast majority of controllers will happily train and control in their home division - I wouldn't want to visit Portugal and control Lisbon badly in the same way Andre doesn't want to come to the UK, the issue is with a small minority of people who have no qualms about transferring everywhere to avoid training queues and visiting multiple division/sub-divisions without any intention of learning the local procedures. There should really be some way to safeguard against this and only allow in people who have put in a genuine effort.
    4 points
  4. Hi All, Firstly I'd like to say that GCAP is a big step forward from GRP and brings some exciting new possibilities. I know a policy like this takes a lot of time to create and you will never be able to please anyone - my thanks/thoughts go out to those involved with this project, however I'd like to throw my two cents in regardless. Most of GCAP seems to remove a lot of red tape from GRP which is naturally a good thing since the VATSIM world is extremely varied and a one size fits all approach will never work, however the visiting controllers endorsement does seem a little bit too prescriptive in my opinion. In the vast majority of cases, visiting controllers do not take the time to learn local procedures and I don't believe GCAP does enough to remedy this. Members from divisions with high standards of training generally see visiting other places as a bit of a joke and a chance to have a mess about, whilst members from divisions with lower training standards see visiting as a way to traffic chase and control busier positions. Allowing visiting controllers to control any minor airport will mean divisions and sub-divisions will respond by making as many airports and as much airspace restricted/major as possible which goes against the general theme of GCAP making controlling on VATSIM more accessible. It makes sense for divisions and sub-divisions to be able to choose which airports are available for visiting controllers, thus preventing traffic chasing, and allowing visiting controllers to learn the local procedures on a smaller airport/position without affecting the experience of other pilots/controllers. Alternatively, allowing divisions to implement competency checks for visiting controllers would make sure effort has been put in to learn local procedures. I'm also curious as to where visiting controllers will sit in the waiting lists for training. Generally speaking, the areas on VATSIM with the most traffic have higher controller standards which means longer training times and higher demand for training. This seems fair, in that if you want to control the busy positions then you accept you will need to wait longer to get through your training. The issue with visiting controllers being able to control any minor position, and then request training on major/restricted airspace is that certain members will exploit this system to get from OBS to C1 as fast as possible in a small sub-division, and then (for example) visit the Netherlands, UK, and Ireland to request training on the 3 busiest airports in Europe. I don't think it's fair that the training of home controllers should be slowed to accommodate visiting controllers, however if visiting controllers are placed at the bottom of the list for training then in many cases none will ever receive training due to the length of the waiting lists. The simplest solution would be to allow divisions and sub-divisions to choose whether or not visiting controllers are able to control major/restricted positions. I know I'm a Brit so I'm somewhat biased as we love our queues, but having visiting controllers 'push in' to the list of home controllers waiting for training will only lead to friction between these two groups. With GCAP, there is no longer an incentive to train at the division/sub-division you want to control in as members are better off finding somewhere with the shortest training times and then visiting their desired region afterwards. I'd be interested to know what other people think below, I know visiting and transferring controllers can be quite divisive so please try and keep it civil!
    4 points
  5. And everything here seems to imply that sub-division staff just wants to remove people from their rosters. That they are waiting to a year and one day to finally remove someone. Obviously I can't speak to everyone, but it would be weird if that was the case somewhere. We put training resources in our students, we would want them to be active. The minimum activity requirement is a big stick we can use if someone really lacks the competence and isn't actively trying to get better. And barely getting online doesn't help that. Say there's a requirement of two hours a month. It's not like we immediately mark someone as inactive if they haven't met the minimum requirement. You're correct, life gets in the way and as we are all human, we understand that. I've said it before, it's a bit of a harsh opinion, but really straight to the point: if you're only for one hour in a year, you should really find a different hobby. Obviously no offense intended to anyone for that.
    4 points
  6. And how would I go about learning parallel runway operations in a country that doesn't have an airport with parallel runways? There are a few specific procedures that need to be taken into account when controlling parallel runways, it isn't just saying 03L and 03R instead of only saying 03. And then there are airports where you can have aircraft approaching in parallel without any sort of restriction, as the runways are far enough away from each other to allow it, whilst other airports have them too close to each other, so specific separation on final is needed. If a sub-division has none of these airports, why would they train their controllers on how to control them? It isn't something they're going to be needing. If I want to make pasta for dinner I don't also look for a steak recipe just because my neighbour is cooking a steak.
    4 points
  7. It can't really be the same though, can it? If I am training in a country that sees little to no traffic during any normal day, and that has no airport with parallel runways, I can't be prepared for Heathrow, or JFK. I could very well be the best Approach controller in my sub-division, but if I have never before controlled an airport with parallel runway operations then I need some training on how that works, on how to optimize my vectoring so I always get the 3 mile separation on final, and whatnot. I'm not the best controller in my vACC, but I consider myself to be a fairly good ATC. I think I could handle pretty much anything that could be thrown at me at any airport within the Lisbon FIR. But I am certain that if I were to control Heathrow, or Gatwick, during a busy evening, maybe even during an event, I would be causing mayhem. Not necessarily because the standards of training in vACC Portugal are poor, but rather because the standards of training in vACC Portugal are different from those in VATUK, as the airport and traffic situation in both countries is very different.
    4 points
  8. Change "live training resources" to "live training" everywhere and then define live training above it as: "Live training is defined as formal, live instruction from another person acting as a mentor or instructor for any length of time and in any setting. Live training does not include self-paced, computer-based training; written examinations; policy documentation; or other self-guided learning not requiring the live presence of a mentor or instructor."
    4 points
  9. Back on track: The intent of this policy isn't 100% bad, but it needs more flexibility in my opinion. I would word the policy thusly: "8.02(a)A controller is considered active provided they have completed the activity requirements of their sub-division. The sub-division policy must be no less strict than division policy. Division policy must require at least one ATC session within the rostered division or sub-division of at least 1 hour duration within the preceding 12 calendar months, an observer who is actively seeking training, or a VATSIM Staff Member at any level performing duties for the network. A sub-division or division may NOT require a controller to control more than 1 hour per calendar month to remain active. This requirement can be proportionally extended to allow controllers to accomplish currency in a greater timeframe as long as the total time does not exceed 1 hour for each additional calendar month included. However, the time between each controlling session cannot exceed 12 calendar months." "8.04(a)A Major Airspace Endorsement may be subject to an activity requirement per sub-division and division policy. Sub-division policy must be no less strict than division policy. Division policy can be no stricter than at least 1 controlling session of at least 1 hour duration within the endorsed airspace in the previous 1 calendar month. This requirement can be proportionally extended to allow controllers to accomplish currency in a greater timeframe as long as the total time does not exceed 1 hour for each additional calendar month included. However, the time between each controlling session cannot exceed 12 calendar months." This gives flexibility for Divisions/Sub-Divisions to choose any time between 1 hour per month and 1 hour per year as they see fit. Realistically 1 hour per month is still too low and flies in the face of all research on human cognition and memory, but I get the BoG stance on this and I don't really think we can/should impose a much stricter rule.
    4 points
  10. The alleged problem that the GCAP is addressing is the fact that "sub-divisions have too strict activity requirements, and this is causing the problem that if somebody suddenly has a life-or-death situation outside of VATSIM and is unable to dedicate any time to VATSIM for a period of a couple of months, that when they get back, they lose interest because they lost their validations and have to get re-familiarised with how to control." In my view, this is a very irrational point of view. Like I said, the likelihood of that happening to a member is very very low and it's very easy to just write a 2-minute email, or even a discord message, asking for an LoA. The alleged problem here, is also the fact that controllers lose interest once they come back from real-life dedications to find that their controller's access has been suspended due to inactivity which in my opinion is also an irrational point of view. I'll repeat myself and hundreds of others here - controllers lose skill if they don't practice their controlling skills and letting them off the hook with 1 hour a year, something which no one except for Matt has been supporting, is apparently the way to go for them to not lose interest. Then we're thinking about quality of control, etc.... this whole overall policy really has shifted its focus away from the realistic and the high-quality side of controlling, something which has made VATSIM stand out for years. Now, for some reason, we are basically loosening those restrictions? I don't see many problems at all and personally don't see the need for GCAP at all (at least not the global restrictions). We have very very high ATC training interest across the whole network and we have many controllers who are able to staff up the world every day and night... if one controller, in a very rare and specific situation isn't able to follow the herd and to maintain their controlling skills, I really don't see why we are making a policy to support those kinds of inactive controllers, instead of maintaining our professional high standards and competencies, which has worked out just fine and instead of supporting all of the countless number of controllers who dedicate hours per week to the network. Especially with the recent influx of members in the last year or so.
    4 points
  11. Writing policy by implication is the wrong idea. If you want something to be in policy, write it down. Gray area has no room here.
    4 points
  12. It matters because your home facility is not just where you live, but where you TRAIN. Your home facility invests dozens and dozens of man-hours in training you. You should be required to return that investment in kind. Yes, most people do treat it that way, but training is such a limited resource. If I spend my time teaching someone, I would like our subdivision to benefit. Yes, go visit elsewhere and learn, but don't forget who taught you most of what you learned about controlling. I always thought the 50/50 rule was perfectly fair and reasonable. If you want to spend more time controlling elsewhere, transfer there.
    3 points
  13. So what you're saying is all I have to do is not to inform the fourth place? 😉 IMO there should be a centralized database keeping track of all endorsements. That would absolve the Sub-Divisions and Divisions from each having to program a system to keep track of these things + rosters etc. Create a centralized system, give those with administrative functions within the Divisions/Sub-Divisions access, done.
    3 points
  14. Huh, cool! Give me a minute, and I'll connect as SY_APP or CTR, since no SUP will remove me, we'll see how that goes. As for the rest of the statement: I'm sorry, but I completely disagree and I base that opinion on my own experience not controlling for that amount of time then coming back, but also on being on senior staff for ZNY for 10 years in total, and seeing what happens when most people rejoin. It's not 2 out of 10 that are not proficient, it's 8/10. And those two? Yeah, sorry, they need to waste an hour to do a checkout, but we do that to ensure that we don't end up with a bunch of controllers who don't know what they are doing anymore.
    3 points
  15. According to my current vACC policies, visitors are required to know the standard phraseology in English and in the local language, however they don't need to be fluent in it. Due to this, most of the training can be done in English. For example: although German is a non-ICAO language, in Germany it's used for local VFR. If I wanted to visit this vACC, I'd try to learn as much as I can the standard german phraseology for that situation. At the end, I'd like to help and motivate new pilots and never create uncomfortable situations for them. But why could these happen? Due to my hypothetical ignorance and undesire to learn. This is the reason why I firmly believe that all visitor controllers must know the local phraseology. Let's limit until which point it gets real. Of course IRL, ATC must have proficiency in both languages, the local one and English. On VATSIM, this cannot be applied at all, even though learning the local phraseology is not as hard as learning a language for 10 years. You just have to memorise a bunch of phrases and try to understand the ones from the pilots. The same as everyone (except native English speakers) has done when starting ATC-ing. I don't see the point with mandating pilots to speak English where real communications can be made in other languages. I think the main point for every division is to reach the realism that VATSIM seeks, but obviously always looking after the issues of a simulated scenario. Nevertheless I do NOT think the language barrier is one of them.
    3 points
  16. This ^ ...and this ^ Unfortunately, the standard of Visiting Controllers in some areas has been pretty poor. I haven't put in hours of observing, training, learning documents (and subsequently helping to produce them) for someone to come charging in and make a mockery of this because they hold the same rating as me (or lower!). I've seen people transfer out to beat my Division's queues to immediately come back and control at their new rating as a visitor with no requirement to check their knowledge or skill in the very different airspace that my Division has to elsewhere. They may be good controllers where they got their rating but unless they put the work in where they're visiting... How does it feel for Jo Bloggs who's worked to get their S3, is doing lots of OBS time and speaking to C1s in order to prepare themselves for their CTR training to then see someone come in and have know concept of airspace/local procedure knowledge. Does that encourage them to work for their rating? Maybe in a "I'll show them how to do it right" manner - but equally they could turn round and say "why should I bother if they're allowed to control like that". If people have to work to get a pass in an exam, then others need to be seen to be able to control at that standard in that airspace also. Yes the queues are long, but there needs to be some mechanism in place to make sure that visitors are of a particular standard in order to control anywhere, regardless of the rating and airspace.
    3 points
  17. Let's start of by saying that I can understand that rating downgrades are not fun for anyone and I can agree that this should be avoided when possible. However, by suspending some or all controlling privileges just makes things immensely confusing. This is basically saying (as I interpret it, otherwise the paragraph is not written clear and concise) "Hey, you're an S3, but missing competences. We don't like downgrading you to S2, so we are removing privilage X, Y and Z that are part of the S3 rating. So technically you're an S2, but you're shown as an S3". See? This only increases confusion to other members. They see an S3, but he's not allowed to do certain things that are tied to the rating. We're making things more difficult than it needs to be. Yeah, a downgrade sucks, but if it's necessary because someone isn't capable of all of his/her current rating competencies and privileges, then maybe they need that downgrade, until they are competent. Don't be silly and remove a few privileges. It doesn't make sense.
    2 points
  18. Since the public review came out, we have had a lot of arguing between the BoG (or its representative on this thread), the community team, and so on. In my view, a lot of the restrictions fix problems/issues for a small number of people, but really affects a larger number and in my personal opinion, will do more harm than not. A lot of the arguments conclude that the regulations will be good for one side, but not so good for the other. So why not let the public decide on a vote, what they think is better? Because, a lot of the arguing, both here and on Discord, seems to be a majority vs. the minority, where most people see a lot of the GCAP policies as not sustainable and not appropriate for VATSIM. So let the numbers decide, what does the overall VATSIM public think is best? Are these good restrictions, or bad restrictions? Also, with this I think it is quite important to take the opinions of controllers and specifically mentors and instructors and/or similar controllers with similar experience into a greater account. If you would like me to, I will be more than happy developing questions and answers for such votes, based on the main arguments of the points that we have been seeing so far from within the public review. Or, I can make polls using the forums poll function for each point to see what people like.
    2 points
  19. I have always liked the idea of various checkpoints throughout a controller's journey in our division. Every training department is tasked with training to a minimum standard, and most, if not all, do, with most of their controllers. The problems occur with students who force their way through the content, slip through the cracks (not to anyone's or program's faults), or perform best when on task but after a short while of not actively training seem to forget the material. The division-wide safety net has always been a verification of knowledge check when controllers move about and beyond their home facility, wherein it is likely or conceivable they had become complacent and sedentary. The GRP offers us the ability to asses standardization in the moment, but what about over time? You'd have to be fortunate to accumulate data through feedback or random observation in order to verify proficiency (see my other discussion regarding currency rules for more information on this subject). Controllers are apt to visit and/or transfer elsewhere before they might get caught or, to put it more educationally, identified as underperforming on certain standards. I've even seen circumstances where controllers flee to other sub-divisions because they know they aren't able to keep up with the minimum/expected standards that are being enforced. A simple and reasonable checkpoint wherein only the baseline standards as identified by a network supported curriculum are assessed is a reasonable check and balance that ensures the division maintains equal compliance. I look at each sub-division working as members of the same team, each tasked with the responsibility to have each other's back. Every point at which a student learner (e.g., controller) is encouraged to make contact with an aspect of the division training department is another way in which they are setup for success instead of failure (whether it be as simple as a written assessment, group training lesson, or individualized instruction).
    2 points
  20. The current draft of the policy could use quite a bit of work from a technical perspective. There are numerous errors, formatting issues, layout issues, issues with structure, and other technical writing faux pas. I have extensive experience with technical and policy writing from both employment and volunteer organizations of which I have been a part. I'd like to offer my assistance in rewriting the policy to make it more clear, concise, and easily referenced. Frankly, I don't really have the time to waste if the assistance is not wanted or will be discarded, so rather that put in a dozen hours to fix the document only to have it moved to the digital trash bin I figured I would ask first. I'm more than happy to do this since it's clear this document is going to be a big change and affect many people. I'd like to help make sure it is written professionally. Feel free to reach out to me on Discord or in the thread here.
    2 points
  21. "Live training" needs to be properly defined because it is used in 7.07b and by context there it means the network but not sweatbox. But sweatboxes still require an instructor to operate, using up the person as a resource. So is sweatbox training "live"? The document needs to define it explicitly and not leave it up to assumptions and abuse.
    2 points
  22. I think Matt's concern is more one of frequency of controlling rather than quantity of controlling. So extend the period for which they're allowed to go AWOL, but not the amount of controlling they need to do to get caught back up... As many have said, even one hour a month is extremely lenient. Just about everywhere I've been in VATUSA requires 2 hours per month. My facility requires 3 hours per month (which I believe is a few-way tie for the highest in the division). I could have them pull the stats for me, but the number of controllers who work more than zero but less than three hours is... essentially zero. It never happens! What happens is that they forget to come do it. So Matt, you want a compromise, that's fair: here's one for consideration. Let's say my home facility can't require 3 hours any more, and has to take the 2 hours many others use. No problem. Let's further reduce it to not be a MONTHLY requirement, but a QUARTERLY requirement. That yields 6 hours in the last 90 days, compared to our original 3 hours per month-- a huge reduction in expectations. In the end, this policy should only act to provide divisions/subdivisions with a cap on their activity requirements which prevents "ridiculous" expectations. So let's quantify "ridiculous" better, by calling it "any more than 6 hours, measured quarterly". Because unlike a cap of 1hr/yr, a cap of 6hr/qtr is something 95% of facilities could actually work with.
    2 points
  23. Jup, exactly this, it's good to see there's extensive discussion on multiple topics. Will there be a reply from the folks that have written it on each point that has been raised?
    2 points
  24. I believe this is an even bigger problem in areas outside of NA. Most of continental Europe (+Ireland) is one Division, and so is half of Africa+the Middle East (except for Isreal). As you can imagine there are huge differences in procedures, traffic levels and training standards within those Divisions. Not allowing for a competency check is... problematic.
    2 points
  25. IMO relying on implications does absolutely nothing to enforce the “implication”. Should the 50% policy be officially abolished, there is absolutely nothing stopping me from spending all my time at another facility while technically being a home controller just to do a training session every three months. I.e., just because there is an implication, does not mean anyone has to follow it.
    2 points
  26. In general the GCAP contains too much subjective language. This is just one of many offenders. The policy should read: "8.06 VATSIM will never downgrade an ATS Rating earned by an Air Traffic Controller for nondisciplinary reasons but may suspend some or all controlling privileges allowed by each rating temporarily. This will only apply in cases of severe documented deficiencies which affect multiple pilots and controllers. Only a Division or Region may suspend controller privileges. The Division and/or Region will set written, public policies detailing the requirements for a suspension. Division policy can be no less strict than Region policy." Delete (a) and (b).
    2 points
  27. Easy fix to this: a controller can only visit 3 facilities UNLESS the facility is notified that the controller already has 3 visitor endorsements (and how many they have total) and approves the request to visit. This is the best of both worlds. Busy facilities with long training queues can turn away serial visitors, but small facilities who need visitors can "accept all comers".
    2 points
  28. My VATSIM credentials only show me as a VATUSA controller. I don't have a subdivision. You can see for yourself here: https://api.vatsim.net/api/ratings/999230/ So, by that data and your logic, I'm good to open NY_CTR.
    2 points
  29. CERT doesn't exist anymore (outside of the name of the database).
    2 points
  30. I'm sorry, what? A SUP will absolutely remove someone from a position if they are not on a facility's active roster. I know this, because I have had multiple people removed off ZAB positions for not being on our roster. Why even have a roster to begin with?
    2 points
  31. This thread may be repeating itself, but numbers are important here… if only a few people speak up about their distaste for this part of the new GCAP, then that isn’t much reason to listen, is it? Activity & Currency... These words seem to mean different things at different times. What is the “GOAL” of the activity requirement? Is it to make rosters/stats look better or is it to ensure someone stays proficient with their skills? If the former, then that is a waste of administrative processes. If the latter, then 1hr a year isn't enough time to maintain proficiency in ANYTHING, let alone a technical skill such as even PLAYING “ATC”. I believe the GOAL should be “PROFICIENCY” and HOW it is maintained should be the discussion here… I would argue that your Activity/Frequency of practice is one of the key methods for maintaining your proficiency. If you have an issue with a real world situation that keeps you from meeting the activity requirement, that is completely understandable... this hobby isn't for everyone and just because you had a real world situation happen, doesn't mean that you magically keep your proficiency up. The reason doesn't change the outcome. When you can, come back and get training to build your skills back up and jump back in. Heck, it is even a good idea to get a refresh on your skills and knowledge every now and then. I see some here are ok with things like 1hr every 3 months. No. Absolutely not. That does not cut it either. In Real World ZOB, (I know, we aren't RW controllers, im getting there)... 16hrs every month is what is required to be considered the BARE MINIMUM for proficiency, however you will see a very large majority of RW controllers disagree with that minimum, as it's nowhere close to what is actually needed. But hey... we aren't RW controllers, right? You know what... let's take it further and cut that in half, twice! If we are going to set a max activity requirement to maintain proficiency, 4Hrs a month should be the goal, not reducing it further. My current facility requires 2hrs a month, and you should come observe the ones that only do that amount; they forget how to do almost everything. These controllers tend to be difficult to work with and frankly deter me, at times, from even getting on and controlling. Not because they are bad people but, I would have to coordinate with them and are more likely to hand over a messed up aircraft/situation… again, because they aren’t proficient. Are you really ok with reducing that amount even further and calling it good enough to maintain proficiency? Yes, as Kirk has pointed out, just because you remain active does not mean you are exactly proficient but it is one of the main methods to keep your proficiency and helps prevent a majority of the loss of skill. I challenge anyone to find any task that is anywhere close to the complexity of this hobby… then show me how you can maintaining proficiency with only an hour every 3 months. Let alone a YEAR.
    2 points
  32. Matt, unless I'm misunderstanding you, the issue you/the BoG seem to have with the current method is that someone who is removed from a roster has too many hurdles to jump through before being able to control again. If the problem is with rejoining controllers, why does the go-to solution seem to be "make it so no one has to rejoin"? It seems to me like a more agreeable solution would be to mandate a sort of fast-track program for someone who was removed from a roster recently. That way, FIRs can still decide how often someone needs to control to be considered competent, but also minimize the friction of someone who wants to rejoin after a period of inactivity
    2 points
  33. I agree with everything Ben has said above. Another point is that if (I am going to use the UK as an example) we have visiting controllers always staffing positions such as Manchester and Gatwick it might not leave any room for our home members to control the positions. Also, having lots of visiting controllers may impact the training of the Divisions members as they will not be able to get onto the live network easily due to the amount of visitors constantly staffing up training aerodromes (The UK's visiting system currently does not allow the vast majority of visitors to control any training airports for this reason). The UK currently is able to accept visiting controllers due to the amount of smaller aerodromes we have, however, VACC's such as VATEIR and the Dutch VACC may really struggle as they have very few training aerodromes. If the UK gets an extra 50 visitors from they, they will likely be spread across a few airports, but if VATEIR gets 50 new visitors then they will likely all want to control Dublin, leaving very little room for the home members to control and train.
    2 points
  34. Hi all, after checking the new draft I've not found any specific rule about the language and like Lars and Todd say, I would like seriously to have an official answer / specific rule. Here at VATSIM Spain for the visitor controllers is a requirement to know basic spanish fraseology in order to give ATC service also in Spanish for local pilots. As far as I remember we have this rule since 2015 more or less. In the past we had a short period without it, and we had very very bad situations between ATCs and pilots. We have had during these years some meetings with VATSIM /VATEUD staff regarding this subject, and always the answer was the same: we will take a decission about the language requirement in the future. Until then, nobody have poined us oficially saying "You can't apply this". And if I receive it I will ask where is the point where it says English is mandatory (in VATSIM) for pilots (mandatory... must.. not should). I've discussed my opinion a few months ago in some staff channels in the VATEUD discord so for me this discussion is a dejavú. I'm not going to defend the spanish in our division because spanish ATCs in real life know Spanish and English nor because it is a ICAO language or any other reason. For me it's more simple: we have local pilots who don't speak english. This is hobby, this is a network for fun and if you can't speak english and you prefer to fly only in your country but you receive ATC only in english, you won't be able. I'm agree that with this decission there is a discrimination with the person who wants to be a visitor, but if you let to control without knowing the local language (again, basically for give ATC service; not to mantein a conversation with me) the discrimated will be the pilot. So, whom must to be discrimate, the pilot or the ATC? The ATC maybe can apply in other country but what are the options of the pilot? Again, whatever will be the decission, seriously I would like to have one finally.
    2 points
  35. This seems pretty outlandish. If a facility chooses not to use solo certs for whatever reason, that should be their prerogative. Especially for complex airspaces, I can understand the desire for a practical exam before granting solo controlling privileges. Every facility is different, and the obsession with trying to make GCAP "one size fits all" is pretty short sighted. Yes, you increase controllers on the network, but their quality suffers in the long-term.
    2 points
  36. Dear Members, We are lately experiencing various cases (positive and negative) with Eurocontrol, and are have now decided to start a "Potential Project" in order to determine the future of Eurocontrol. In order to do such we need your feedback! Please follow this survey link and fill it out (will take 5-10 minutes of your time): https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XD3NZJD NOTE: This survey will NOT determine the immediate future of Eurocontrol, it will give us an idea of which direction to point our work to. Many thanks for your cooperation and fairness! Regards
    1 point
  37. @Duarte Gomes: That is exactly right, after VFR you can write nothing at all, "dct", or as many points as you like (which can be freetext landmark names, VRP names, IFR points, or even coordinates). IRL this is mostly to aid Search and Rescue to pinpoint where to look for you should you be going missing, as in live operations we're far more interested in what you tell us on the radio than what is written on a strip. Should you want to start VFR then go IFR, you do the same thing in reverse, except the "IFR" comes after the point where IFR is planned to start, like this example route EGCB to EGKB: "Thelwall Viaduct DCT Windsford Flash DCT SANBA/N0180F090 IFR N859 HON". I don't know why Andreas wouldn't want to include any routing info after indicating "VFR", maybe he's hoping to make a Bear Grylls-style TV-show if he ever has to do a forced landing, and thus don't want to be found too quickly? 😉
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  38. Pre-GRP was a very long time ago. The subdivisions have created systems that are still very workable in most cases. Nepotism isn't dead, but it's been reduced by many more transparent subdivisions. The trouble with global policy, especially when it is very prescriptive and not just a framework, is that it doesn't fit every case. Giving some leeway to the subdivisions within set limits will make the GCAP much more practical and likely to be supported and followed, instead of searching for workarounds. I know I am definitely not looking for free reign. Just looking for ways to ensure the final policy is workable and pragmatic, so that I can follow it.
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  39. Just seems counter-intuitive. The test should be a chance to prove they can do it. Not to prove that you could do it in the sweatbox but in fact your S1 is worthless for another few weeks until you've trained online. If we take the rostering technique, this idea of 'not having them on the roster' is not very workable, as it makes it very hard to keep track of who you have. Unless we can use rosters that are allowed to specify what they are approved for or not. Most of the Canadian FIRs now have a system that blocks Red (not approved) Yellow (Training) or Green (Approved) for all the various positions. Can we continue to use this system? For example: Student applies. Studies and Passes S1 written. Sweatbox Training with instructor Sweatbox Practical Exam Passed. At this point, student is listed on roster as S1 but is marked as not approved for DEL or GND (Minor Airports). Training on the network (a few weeks, 3-6 sessions). Instructor approves student for DEL and GND (Minor Airports) on roster. This seems to be the only practical process to force this to work. Would denying the DEL/GND approval to an S1 be considered contravening the GCAP? Because I don't see too many other ways to make it work.
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  40. Love it. I've added it verbatim to the definitions section.
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  41. We will take you up on that offer when the time comes. Thanks!
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  42. What? So in this case we're supposed to imply the definition, yet in the rest of the policy, there is little or absolutely no room for implication? You can't have it both ways.
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  43. THIS. RIGHT HERE. Matt, you spoke of guardrails. Here they are. Activity requirement of no less than 1 hr per year but no more than 12 per year. (Maybe the upper limit can be higher.) Each subdivision has an excellent understanding of how complex their space is and how often most controllers need to be online. Allow them the freedom to design a policy that works for them within these guardrails. And I also have to support the notion that the personal responsibility clause to be proficient in local information, while noble, has no practical value. I recognize that hours do not equal experience, but for the sake of easing the burden of administration, it is the only easily measurable tool we have.
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  44. What this policy fails to realize, is that many controllers transfer to avoid the strictures of the system. Many have failed to control enough to be proficient or have been improperly trained. It's not fair to a new sub-division to accept the sub-standard training, poor quality control, or low-effort controllers from their neighbors and lower the quality of a sub-division that may hold themselves to a higher training standard. Another issue is that some sub-divisions have less traffic than others. Thus, sub-division A might be train someone to work two aircraft at a time while sub-division B might train to work ten because they have different levels of average traffic. Now the transferring controller does not have the required competency to be successful in sub-division B despite theoretically holding the same rating. I can see limits on what the competency check can encompass, but removing it altogether is asking all sub-divisions to just accept whatever sub-standard performance comes their way and deal with it.
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  45. Still, you're splitting hairs, so I am too. If there are truly no rosters, I guess I'm gonna go hop on NY_CTR now. @Karl Mathias Moberg you cool with that? Oh wait, that's ridiculous. Subdivisions have been maintaining rosters since the beginning of VATSIM. I can literally go back to 2004 on the Wayback machine and see a roster on the ZAB website. Just stop.
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  46. Where is the requirement to maintain a roster? there isnt one, everything is on cert, your rating and division. The only requirement is for VACCS to list visitors and endorsements. Probabbly easier to have some one removed in VATUSA because of their fictional VACC that they move people to when they become inactive. Does your CERT show you as a VATPAC controller? A sup will check CERT, if you are listed as being a VATPAC controller with a S3 rating then they can't remove you, even if VATPAC had activity requirements, and you had not met them, as a division we know that activity requirements can't be enforced and thays why we don't have on. There has certainly been discussions about it between members and staff, but the staff step in and say it can't be done under the current vatsim structure, so they are either lying to us or other divisions are bending the rules to suit their own agendas. People seem to forget that CERT exists.... And you are welcome to disagree with my opinion, not dismiss it. These are my observations from reading this discussion. The whole point of a review and consultation is to openly discuss and share options regardless of weather other people agree with them or not.
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  47. Completely agree. We get MANY controllers with existing ratings who do not hold the competencies required of that rating. The process of getting them fixed up is usually pretty quick, and is something they appreciate. This performance verification is a necessary process, and as written, this policy would directly forbid it, thereby completely eliminating a subdivision's ability to maintain any level of quality control. This would be a severe mistake with lasting consequences... The subdivisions need to have the right to put controllers through these competency checks if quality of service is to be maintained-- anything else and it will rapidly plummet.
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  48. The policy as it stands does two things 1) Inflates numbers only the bog cares about 2) adds SIGNIFICANT strain to senior staff and training staff and division staff to enforce currency and revoke certification. You'll have a ton more remedial training requests, and it will be a huge pain to get approval to do it. So you burn staff out faster and/or they give up Creating red tape and causing MORE senior staff burnout should be a non starter. Sure, great, you've added a ton of s1s and s2s. Now where is that senior staff to support it? Oh they quit because of burnout you caused in policy. Now there's nobody to train those shiny new obs and s1s that pad your controller count. Then what?
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  49. "Individual training by a mentor/coach". Too long?
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  50. Thank you Matt for all of your explanations and I truly appreciate you taking the time to answer several questions for VATUSA staff last evening. Many of my thoughts have been echoed by previous posts, so I will aim to keep this direct and to the point. Also, please note that any disgust or disapproval is aimed at this policy, not at anyone in particular. Playing to the lowest common denominator doesn't work. While some people, like Matt himself had referenced, might be able to get on the bike after not riding after a long while and with little failure, the fact is that this skill set is cumulative and requires consistent practice across the board. The vast majority of people with whom I work (especially and in particular nowadays) have no concept for how much time and effort it takes to become a believable controller (notice I said believable, not real world). Through a series of frequent interactions with aircraft and teachers, students of all levels and experiences eventually gain enough momentum to relax some amount of their frequent input, but still require consistency and frequency in order to maintain a level of proficiency that does not detract from the experience of the other people playing with them on the network. While this is a game, or a hobby, it is one built around a skill that requires some more attention than GTA or Call of Duty. Bottom line is that some people are cut out for being ATC, albeit virtual, while others are not - and that's OK! The world goes round with people engaging in different activities that suit their level, ability, and commitment to the hobby, activity, job, or relationship of which they find themselves a part. (As an aside, and to be taken with a grain of salt, having spent an entire week working with several IRL Oshkosh ATC, without having had the practice we afforded them these past two years, it would've made it slightly more challenging to be as comfortable with the lingo this upcoming week considering their training is traditionally in the form of a rather boring PowerPoint presentation. These are RW controllers who spend the rest of the year working and they acknowledge the importance of some sort of contact time on a regular basis. I know we aren't RW and dealing with RW controllers, but for them to throw a nod at consistency, I think it's pretty telling or at least indicative of the possibility that lesser herculean individuals such as us might indeed require more than 1 hour a year to provide some level of believable service.) To address an argument that we should be a place for everyone at any level, I answer with a direct example from my full-time profession. I am a secondary music teacher. I believe the opportunity to play music in a performing ensemble should be for everyone. That is exactly the way I run my program, and I am proud to say that I have had many great success stories over the many years that I have been teaching. Alternatively, several times over the years I have actively conferenced with students that they should find an alternative elective. In these circumstances, it was because the students did not follow the very reasonable and fair performance and participation guidelines of the class and expressed zero effort to improve. Any day of the week I would rather have a fairly poor sounding instrumentalist in my band who has a great attitude, gives me all their effort, and appreciates and follows the class guidelines, versus someone who may sound great but does nothing. (To expand, I very rarely have a circumstance where the student who does nothing sounds great. Often, they too are incapable of meeting the minimum performance requirements of characteristic sound and technical ability.) I reward and acknowledge demonstrated effort and commitment. I hang around our Discord often. The emotional maturity and overall disposition of many of our newer members is a lot more inexperienced and of a lower level than I had remembered it being the case when I started on VATSIM nearly 20 years ago. So true is this description of my student encounters on a regular basis on my job. We are continuing to embark in an educational environment that is striving for minimal input for maximum output. It's particularly difficult for teachers of courses that are fundamentally designed around the development of skills that require continued persistence and effort. Trust me, if I could play my primary instrument to even an acceptable standard without having to practice weekly or daily, I would choose that option without hesitation. But, the fact is that my instrument requires, at a minimum, some form of maintenance to be performed. With reference to the aforementioned state of emotional maturity, I fear that a system that willingly solicits the minimum amount of input will enable enough of our current and perspective users to abuse this network as a mere playground of sorts and not contribute enough to the spirit of why many of us (especially the older, more RW experienced of us) have stuck around in the first place. Unlike Matt's example above, I fear that they'll accept the guidance right out of the gate (pre-S3 or C1) and find some random airport at some random time that has no traffic that will fulfill their one hour in twelve months just so that they can remain on the roster and hang with their friends on Discord and TeamSpeak. Lastly, and from the standpoint of my role as the division training manager, I wholeheartedly believe that the severity of this currency rule will result in a significant decrease in our teacher's return on investment (ROI). Our teachers work hard to address the GRP standards let alone our division specific curriculum. Not that the GRP standards are overwhelming in and of themselves, but the fact is that some (or most, recently) of the students with whom we have had contact have had little to no background in aviation, let alone air traffic control. Starting from nothing, there's a vast amount of information to address without leaving so many holes in the foundation that make building their contributions to the next level an almost impossibility. One example comes from a student with whom I most recently helped who failed our OBS/S1 exam several times. I specifically addressed this student and offered my help to try and find out why they were so challenged in passing the exam. I came to find out that their study skills, testing and study behaviors, and prior knowledge were all factors that contributed to the chain of causation for them failing the test numerous times. They had expectation bias about certain topics because of information gleaned from fellow Twitch streamers and used their assumed knowledge to answer questions instead of carefully reading our study material. Needless to say, after our training session and putting to play several suggested study and testing habits, they went on to pass the test with flying colors (100%). My ROI was tremendous. I, just like the real world, felt like I made a difference in this student and had an optimistic outlook for the continuation of their training. Our (VATUSA's) teachers experience this on a daily basis with students who continue to show up, practice, and engage. I fear that opening the door to a policy that permits, and thereby encourages, passive versus active engagement will lead to an increase in teacher burnout due to the decreased ROI. Finally, I want to emphasize that my thoughts on currency pertain to proficiency, not necessarily rostering. In the examples listed above this post about people who have complex or complicated lives, I accept that their not being around for a period of time does not mean that they do not ever want to contribute. But, their return to service, if you will, should be with a 1:1 orientation session with a teacher prior to plugging in just like I'd never lose my PPL but at some point need to fly with an instructor in order to regain currency (notwithstanding all the other nuances, I'm just stating it as simply as possible). To avoid the 1:1 session, the currency/competency/proficiency rule must be stricter than one hour every twelve months. Thank you very much for everyone's time and careful consideration. I wish to especially thank the members of the BoG and many consultants who spent hours in creating this document. Please feel free to contact me for further discussion as I would be most happy to continue this conversation with you. Sincerely, Anthony
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