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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/25/21 in all areas

  1. No disrespect to FH, as he was a valuable member of VATSIM and his name and legacy will live on forever, but you CANNOT keep referring to something that happened in 2005 as substantial evidence for 2021. The network is COMPLETELY different now than it was then. Seems your one crutch throughout this entire discussion is "once upon a time in 1878." Are we writing a policy for 10, 15 years ago? Or a policy for now?
    3 points
  2. Edit: I'll be honest, I wasn't going to bother responding to any of these threads because the attitude that VATGOV has given thus far has been "we're doing what we want, we'll act like we're listening, but then give you the same response and MAYBE compromise, but it's all a show". Please, by all means, prove me wrong. I left VATSIM for ~6 years. If there was a lower controlling requirement, would I have actually stayed on? No, no I wouldn't have. I just got bored/exhausted of the hobby, and my life focus changed to something else. ZSE's requirements back in 2014 was 3 hours a month. Did I think this was a lot then? Not when I actually cared about the hobby. Once I fell out of WANTING to control, the controlling requirement didn't matter. I would have been a zombie on the roster until eventually getting kicked off a year later if the proposed 1 hour was moved forward, or anything similar to a 12 month period of time. As a former DATM, I want to see my roster active. I want to know what the numbers actually represent. I want to be able to look at my website dashboard, and go "okay if I was to do an event, who would ACTUALLY be around?" If you add 200 people who control 1 hour in 12 months, or just stop controlling and don't say anything to anyone and they are wasting away for 12 months, how am I supposed to do this? How is a DATM supposed to effectively manage their roster, which is a large portion of their job description, if a 12 month timeframe is presented? I honestly think 6 is significantly too far as well, because now NOBODY has any idea what an active roster looks like. The names on your roster now mean exactly nothing, and we have to go through extra effort to split the "real" number from the padded number. No thanks. When I returned, it took me about a month (maybe a bit longer) to get fully certified up to Centre. In that timeframe, I gained certifications. I got Minor tower, then Major tower, then approach, then center. I sat down for a major tower checkout and thought I would do just fine. I remembered quite a lot, but I got absolutely DESTROYED. My phraseology was crap. I didn't remember instructions that are important to give to people. I couldn't do a clearance without stumbling over myself and sounding stupid. I ended up doing a handful of sessions to get back up to speed. Once I got back into the swing of things, I was doing well, but I still NEEDED those sessions to regain that knowledge. If I stopped controlling for 6 months to a year, or did the absolute bare minimum, I would not know what I need to in order to provide quality service. Further to that, there are already a LOT of people on rosters (ZSE has a handful of these people) that log in middle of the night or early morning hours at some random airport like MFR ground to get their minimum controller hours. What quality does that controller bring to being on my roster? Nothing. Half the time if I loaded up, the guy isn't even there because he knows he won't get traffic (and yes, I've reported them to supervisors when caught, but most of the time they go unchecked). What does a controller who controls at some small airport on delivery or ground, with nobody on above them, for that minimum X in X months do for the network? Wouldn't you find that it DEGRADES the network? The guy likely isn't even there, and if he IS there, he is providing sub-par service on a ground position when he is rated to work Approach or Center, and should be at a primary facility. I don't have access to staff chat to see the discussions there, but honestly as a regular VATSIM member the controller requirement discussion seems to just be one giant circlejerk of "we want to make VATSIM more marketable by saying we have larger numbers". Fake numbers mean nothing.
    3 points
  3. All members of the Board have been intimately involved in the preparation for this public review. Matt has done a great job in leading the charge. I think you will find the draft was only posted publicly a few days ago - I'm not sure what engagement we would expect from the rest of the group until the community has had a bit of time to offer their comments, given that we have already commented extensively prior to the public review. It's certainly my intention to return to this topic and engage in the conversation over the coming week.
    3 points
  4. Gosh, 6 pages already. It's great to hear people care! Someone asked why such a global safeguard needs to exist in the first place. I can answer that - it's because we want to pursue the principle of being an accessible network for people from all walks of life. Setting a monthly activity requirement, in my view, threatens to unnecessarily put off people who may serve overseas, or have seasonal work requirements, for example. I'm firmly of the belief myself that setting a quarterly requirement is an absolute minimum in terms of time frame to be fair to everyone. For the record, I'm pretty sure the original draft had a far more stringent "maximum requirement" than the 1 hour per year and I seem to remember it was me suggesting this lower threshold, so you may bite my head off about it instead of Matt's. Reading the comments here there is clearly some passionate opposition, which is the whole point of having a public review. So I put it to you: I will advocate passionately against monthly activity requirements because I genuinely believe that time period to be too short. If we had a quarterly or six monthly safeguard, what would be the right number? Bare in mind this is the most restrictive safeguard - facilities could choose to be less restrictive if they chose.
    2 points
  5. I'm not sure how Don comes into play. He had to be checked out to work SMO at all, and SMO is smack in the middle of really busy, fun, and complicated airspace. It took weeks to build to that, anyway, and the debate in general over how visitors and new transfers are restricted has to do with getting them to traffic sooner. It's going to take 4 weeks to build steady traffic if you control regularly (and are even good enough people want to come back) or less than a single week to check out for and run wild on more than a single airport, and in the process the educators have an opportunity to educate. That's a win for everyone, pilots, students, instructors, since you get someone who can work more areas with higher quality.
    2 points
  6. There will be a transition period when the final document becomes policy. 6 months does sound fair, but we’re not even close to that point yet. We’re still reviewing the initial comments and making tweaks there.
    2 points
  7. 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.
    2 points
  8. 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.
    2 points
  9. Nothing will be less engaged or productive than a controller going through the motions to fulfill minimum hours to transfer. The end goal of GCAP seems to just be force feeding controllers into position. Never mind how dead-end those ATC positions are or how badly those controllers do or do not want to be working them. A connection in the list is the important data point.
    1 point
  10. But in this scenario, it's BOTH FACILITIES who lose, because the controller probably was not trained to the full level of competency. Which is why the way to handle this is with GRP checks when they transfer back in. If they pass, then great, I just received a free controller that I didn't have to train! If they fail, I can create a training plan to address the specific things that weren't up to code. But the rating factory facilities will always have this problem. Forcing them to log 200 hours when all they want is to leave is WAY more likely to cause them to give up on controlling, and even if it doesn't, they will be annoyed about it. They'll sit on position for 8 hours at a time through the middle of the night, get annoyed by pilots disturbing them, chastise them on the frequency, garner bad feedback, etc. And most importantly, the subdivision they want to transfer to is hurt by them sitting on position for long hours, with poor technique, permanently engraining bad habits which will take forever for the receiving facility to fix. The way you fix the "leave to get the rating" issue is with these GRP checks you hate so much. That way they know that if they come back with a rating they don't deserve because they took a shortcut and don't have the competency, they'll have to earn it through remedial training anyway, so they might as well pick a place where they want to be. Then they can choose consciously between putting in the work for the subdivision they like, or choosing a less busy one for a slightly less demanding training process. But forcing an unhappy controller to log hundreds of hours is the most restrictive thing I've ever even heard discussed for this network, and it doesn't even have a net positive effect on even one party-- they all lose.
    1 point
  11. Meaning it's even less restrictive than my initial interpretation. Allright then - leaves even more flexibility to the divisions/sub-division.
    1 point
  12. In the latest draft it's no longer called restricted minor but restricted airspace / aerodrome. But the meaning is basically the same.
    1 point
  13. I think you misunderstood this. There cannot be a practical examination for a restricted minor - just a little bit of training (to be specified by the division as well). That is correct. But of course ATC training for a rating can be done at a major airfield. This is also somehow stated in 6.05(h)(iii). It will be subject to our VATEUD Training Policy. So what is possible: Introduction to TWR controlling --> introduction to controlling at e.g. EHAM --> training sessions --> solo phase EHAM plus more training sessions --> practical exam to achieve S2. What is not possible: Training up to CPT at minor airport --> practical exam to achieve S2 at minor airport --> training at restricted minor --> another practical exam for this restricted minor. PS: Of course there are other possible ways to structure the training. These are just two examples to make clear what to VATEUD's interpretation would be fine and especially what would not be possible. We think that's very reasonable.
    1 point
  14. Just because we didn’t respond to it doesn’t mean it wasn’t read. You are putting forth some valid thoughts that are being taken into account.
    1 point
  15. bUt WhAt AbOuT rOgUe DiViSiOnS - hint, they won't follow policy if they are ROGUE.
    1 point
  16. I do not agree with it, but this is directly from the Scope and Purpose of the document
    1 point
  17. As has been discussed plenty of times, in most places it's incredibly easy to request an LOA for the time you're gone if you fall under this category. Even if you forget, you can almost always be reinstated with no questions asked within a few months, and within a year after a GRP check. As Jeremy said, 3 hours in 3 months seems to be generally accepted as a compromise. That being said, while you may advocate against it and I understand the viewpoint, it doesn't change the fact that many people are advocating for monthly requirements. Frankly, if you're controlling only one hour a month, you're almost guaranteed to experience atrophy in your controlling ability. The current system in place (let divisions/sub-divisions set their own requirement) doesn't seem to be causing any issues, so why change it? If a sub-division attempts to instate a ridiculous requirement (like the theoretical 2hrs/week that Matt mentioned earlier), then it's up to the division to rectify the situation. If the division won't fix it, then the Regional VP can take action to fix the situation. I'm a strong believer in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", and I simply don't see what is "broken" about the current situation. If you really want to set a maximum through this policy, make it one or two hours a month. If a facility wants to set a less stringent requirement, that's well within their right. While lowering the activity requirement will increase controller retention, at least slightly, that shouldn't be the number one concern. To be frank, the main thing that reducing activity requirements does is lower the overall standard of ATC. In this hobby, if you don't practice regularly, you're going to lose your ability to control. While few people only achieve the bare minimum, those that do are much harder to work with than the average controller who exceeds the minimum. The skill atrophy on people that only meet my facilities requirement of 2 hours a month is obvious. Cutting that down further will only reduce the standard, which should not be the goal of the network.
    1 point
  18. Gunnar, I understand your viewpoint about making it accessible to people, I do. However, as people have been stating for the past 5 pages: this hobby is something that is easy to forget how to do. I've been here a while; years longer than many of my members in my ARTCC have been alive in fact. I've been controlling for a significant amount of time, and would say that at this point, I'm fairly competent and experienced. However - I did not control for a year and a half, but kept flying on the network actively. When I came back, sure, I knew a lot of things still, but a lot of things had slipped, forgotten and techniques were gone, and this was after controlling center and approach for 6-7 years straight. If we end up with no restrictions or a 1 hour in 12 months period, I firmly believe we will end up in a place where we don't VATSIM to be. We will be where we see IVAO is now in certain places, controllers who have no idea what they are doing, and end up on "flightsim bests weekly" videos being laughed at, because they don't remember phraseology. An S1 or S2 who gets their rating, controls a minor field with minimal traffic to no traffic once a year will lose that experience. We've been discussing this topic to death* in the VATUSA discord, with Matt Bartels, and we (almost every single VATUSA staff member) agree that 3 hours in 3 months, or 6 in 6 months is a good middle ground. Personally, I would even say 3 hours in 6 months is OK. Going beyond 6 months though, I see as a significant problem for the network that I spend multiple hours a day helping to run. * = I'm not kidding here - there have been over 3500 messages in the USA Discord about the GCAP in 3 days.
    1 point
  19. Which happened an eon ago. “It happened this one time with this one guy, so that means it’s infinitely repeatable.” VATSIM loves its edge cases.
    1 point
  20. Hypothetically, by these policies: 9.01(d)A Transfer controller must control at their current ATS Rating for 100 hours prior to transferring to another Sub-Division or Division. 9.01(e)A Transfer Controller who has utilized live training resources shall be subject to the time frame in 9.01(d) of 200 hours. What would happen if a transfer controller did 2 training sessions, did not enjoy the program and wanted to go somewhere else? By 9.01e they would need to commit 200 hours prior to being able to transfer to another sub-division. 9.01f does state that the requirements can be waived in 'exceptional circumstances', but this happens often enough where I personally wouldn't consider it one. 9.01d seems a bit high for me, but I understand how other sub-divisions could benefit. 9.01e is the part that concerns me. Being in a 'smaller' FIR, we have had the issue of rating tourists in the past. Although, this has only happened once or twice in the two years I've been in Winnipeg. Most of our controllers come from different FIRs in Canada seeking shorter training queues, but end up staying with us and visiting other places instead of leaving immediately after finishing their C1. I think the 200 hour requirement will push away more controllers who are trying to legitimately transfer than the time saved with rating tourists.
    1 point
  21. If a candidate is blessed with more than just 2 brain cells, they will find the local AIP that offers some advice for phraseology. The rest will be done with Google Translator, YouTube videos and the local staff. I do, however, sympathize with the fact that it would be a huge task to learn Japanese phrases, for example. The takeaway from this discussion is, IMO, that this is not a black&white topic, but that it does contain a number of shades of grey.
    1 point
  22. Great, so I check someone out to S1/2/3 on Fargo, they never see a single airplane in the wild for 3 weeks, and they leave. Or we use those 3 weeks to finish their major cert on MSP. Which is a better use of my students’/instructors’ time? The powers that be really need to stop counting meaningless hours spent staring at nothing as “productive”. Empty stats are just that - empty. You’re creating the illusion of access when it’s not actually propped up by meaningful pilot/controller interaction.
    1 point
  23. Then, that's: - Not a restriction, but actually something less restricting - A problem with the global policy A global policy should allow for divisional variations, because not every region is the same. Allowing local regions (America) to implement this, should be fine and this should definitely not be in a global policy.
    1 point
  24. Interesting... This is a very outcome oriented goal as opposed to process oriented...just an observation. There's a role of course for both types of goal setting, however this metric of "success" you are measuring this is not entirely in the control of the instructor/sub-division. The students' personal motivation to progress or control in a certain subdivision plays a larger role. Their desire to "contribute back to the community they trained in" is a result of the culture of the sub-division that allows this to happen. Of course instructing is not enjoyable if you pin your success on the voluntary participation of hobbyists who can stop at any time. It's not a job for the instructors/mentors, but nor is it for the students and controllers at large. Mandatory hours doesn't guarantee a contribution to the community, instead, a community that fosters the satisfaction of the controllers and students at large plays a bigger role in this. To quote Kolby again: "I think that forcing a student to control a fairly significant amount of time somewhere where they don’t want to control anymore will burn them out and turn them off from controlling in general." I think a question should also be: "What things can be done to encourage controller retention?" or "how can we convince this 'rating tourist' that it's better to stick around and control here?". Seems this policy is a starting point, but IMO it will fall short if that's where it ends.
    1 point
  25. Absolutely... If you are restricting an airfield, you're doing so because "it's more complex than the rest of the minors". So you should always be doing the CPT on minor airports when it comes to rating promotions. After that promotion is when training on the restricted/major endorsements should be started.
    1 point
  26. With a high number of members not staying, it is becoming increasingly difficult to motivate existing and potential mentors. At least that's the situation here. Why should I donate an entire evening (after a busy day at work) for someone who will probably not stay for long?
    1 point
  27. Speaking from a division where we were known in the past for "rating tourism" I can tell you that this 100 hour requirement before transferring will make an effect. We had several members from multiple divisions notably from VATEUD and VATUK in the past come here get training in the small quiet places and then transfer out after 50 hours and 90 days have passed. Some quiet vACCs would love to train more people so they get activity I think these quiet vACCs need to be recognized. Not everyone is VATEUD or VATUK in terms of activity, if a vACC wants to retain it's member then this is one way to do it in my opinion. Controllers need to think thoroughly before pressing the "transfer" button. Am I going to stay here for a prolonged period of time? Am I going to contribute significantly to this vACC? Am I just here for the rating? There are several factors in the back as well. I think everyone would agree here that wasting people's time especially during mentoring someone whether it is a new controller that will then leave or a controller that just transferred in for a specific rating and then leave. We had an issue as well where in the past during this period people were not trained to the standard that was required this has been changed since I've come in. But that is another story for another day. We recently combated the "rating tourism" issue since I've come on board and things have gone down a bit with these sort of members. This will make the member think twice before transferring. Like Collin mentioned above my mentors and instructors are proud of the students that they train and see them progress throughout their division/sub-divisions ranks. I'd rather see this then a student I've trained pretend to contribute to our little community and then transfer out after 50 hours and 90 days have passed. If we take into account the C1-rated members in the Emirates vACC I think you'd be all shocked. The only C1-rated members that we have within the vACC are the staff members themselves and part of the divisional staff including myself. We had lot's of C1s back in the day but those were people that would come in specifically for the rating only and then leave after 50 hours and 90 days. I'd rather want member retention then someone that leaves especially in a vACC in the Emirates vACC where we really need C1 rated controllers for events that require the capacity such as Cross the Land etc... At the moment we have lot's of committed S1, S2 and S3 controllers in the ranks that have contributed their time to the community, division and sub-divisions. We value these members truly and thank them for their participation in staff-up, events and so forth.
    1 point
  28. The GCAP committee is not consisting of only one person. There are several people behind the scenes that are discussing points from everything that has been discussed on the forums here. Mentioning that every point get's "dismissed" is not the way to go just because someone is debating points being made on the forum. Remember that everyone has their own opinion and that a middle ground needs to be found in order to settle on the final decision on XYZ clause of the new policy. You've seen so far only one person respond to all of the members questions/complains/suggestions from the Board of Governors during this public discussion. Doesn't mean that thing's get "dismissed" from your end that we aren't discussing it behind the scenes. I understand that this whole completely new policy is the hot topic right now which will affect different aspects of the network in terms of air traffic controllers training and so forth. But do we really need to say that things are getting dismissed? Just because it is primarily one person responding to multiple hundreds of posts? I think that words can also be easily manipulated when things are written on text. Perhaps potentially a town-hall meeting would be beneficial with this sort of public discussion as it would potentially be easier understood verbally?
    1 point
  29. Just call it aircraft data tags.
    1 point
  30. Hi Kolby, how often do you or your instructors invest several hours into a single candidate, just to see him become inactive after a few weeks or months? At least overhere in our region this happens a lot and probably only one out of ten ATCO-trainees stay for more than 6 to 12 months, before disappearing, making all the training become lost time. Let's say, one instructor needs to spend 6 hours of practical training for one student advancing from zero to DEL/GND/TWR. With the above statistics in mind, 9 times 6 hours (=36 hours) could be lost, maybe even more! Looking at the bigger picture, if someone just wants to come to a place to get a rating and then go to a place that they originally wanted to control at (but there may be a backlog of training, increased training demands etc.), then you also lose your invested time and effort. At least have them control for a couple of months to donate time as well to promote your own facility/VACC. That's just fair, because your team has donated dozens of hours to train new arrivals. The biggest issue of VATSIM is the scarcity of human resources (because we are a volunteer organization in a very specialized niche) and also the fact that we are not very good at efficiently managing them. That's something where we need to improve.
    1 point
  31. In the case of EURM ("Maastricht" control position) I have to say that I have my reservations that it cannot be restricted anymore. It's a very intense piece of airspace with at least 8 busy or even very busy airports within or adjacent to its borders that make it quite a bit special and demanding. If we allow someone new to control it with the expectation that the candidate will do so with at least good quality, then more training will be required and we simply do not have the resources for that at VACC EUC. The other sectors are also demanding, but in a different way and are more compatible with coaches being able to release new joiners after one or two training sessions. Summary: within VACC EUC, the EURM-sector is a special sector itself and controlling it well, builds on the experience that one gains by controlling one or more of the other EURx stations for a while. That's what we owe to the fact that we do not have the manpower to provide enough training for EURM only, if it is the first sector of someone.
    1 point
  32. Me neither. Especially after some of the conversations we've seen in this thread.
    1 point
  33. How will this be guaranteed? Put it in the policy, make the policy up for review every x time. I cannot take your word for it.
    1 point
  34. This is what we were trying to get at with FSS but a technical limitation forbids it for ratings less than S3. An S2 can open only as high as approach or departure. Now if you're going to use the XXX_I_TWR logic there it does work as an S1 can open a tower position and an S3 can open a Center and there can be tweaks to the FSS definition and policy to get it done. I think it's a wonderful idea and a great way to get people working on the network.
    1 point
  35. But there are things you can't simulate and test on a sweatbox. You can't test how a shy controller will react once they control a frequency on which more then their mentor is listening in. There's a difference between speaking on TeamSpeak with your mentor only, and speaking on a frequency with 5 or 10 aircraft. It might also be difficult to simulate how a controller would react to a very stubborn, and wrong, pilot. I've seen controllers forget their manners, and start arguing with the pilot on frequency, and being all but educated. If a mentor is around when that happens it can very quickly be shutdown and corrected. If not, then the issue will continue. Obviously a situation to check this one might not arise during sessions on the network, but sometimes they do. In my opinion it's not only about knowing the correct phraseology for a clearance.
    1 point
  36. What about going the other way? I've seen controllers who transfer OUT of a facility, get their visiting status at the facility they just left, then still spend a majority of time controlling there instead of where they transferred to. I don't know why you would want to spend all your time in a facility you don't want to be part of but, I have seen this case, on more than one occasion.
    1 point
  37. Hello, my name is Alex, I am a former Cabin Crew, Flight Technical Instructor on Airbus 320 and Ground Coordinator. I have very used to SOPs and Flow on the Airbus, Boeing 737 and Dash. If you are still looking for a crew member, I will be interested. I am also a YouTuber, and I do look for realism when I fly (checklist, flow, sops, charts, loadsheet, ofp, MEL, briefings...). If you are not that advanced, it is okay for me to give you some "training" while we are flying together... as you want! Cheers!
    1 point
  38. Just as most of us have been saying about pretty much everything that GCAP enforces.
    0 points
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