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  1. When I say this I believe that I speak on behalf of the majority of VATSIM users (both ATC and pilots) but the whole ideal of Eurocontrol is flawed from the outset. Correct me if I'm wrong but the whole idea of these quite frankly mega unrealistic positions (on what is supposed to be a realistic simulation network) was to improve ATC coverage in Europe in the days where traffic was much quieter and ATC much more uncommon. These days the majority of divisions/vacc's are much more active which makes Eurocontrol in a sense redundant. From the ATC perspective controlling adjacent to Eurocontrol there comes many issues: Handoff order: Often very late, way past the sector boundary making descents/arrival clearances in time near impossible. Compliance with LoA's: Non existent, from listening to people that have been trained on these positions agreements with adjacent sectors are not taught in training which causes all sorts of problems in busy airspace's such as London. Separation: Very rare that this is done correctly, normally level separated only not considering the consequences of two aircraft on the same airway going to the same airport with 0 lateral separation. Coordination: Private messages can go unanswered for ages because they are too busy managing the workload of what would normally be controlled by 5 different countries and 20 different FIR's (Especially bad during mentoring sessions) Use of Identification in none mode S airspace: Always seem to be giving squawk 1000 to us in the UK which is completely inappropriate and causes us yet more work to re-identify that aircraft! From the pilot perspective: Frequencies with over 40 aircraft on (completely unrealistic in the real world for a controller to be maintaining the safety of that many planes in the air) make it impossible to call up for ages. Always having to call up for descents because the controller isn't actually controlling the frequency more reacting -> leads to being too high by the time the descent has been given. Being given a direct varying between 500 to 1500 miles - even in free-route airspace this is completely stupid at times, pilots may as well file GPS direct if EURW is online! Loud overcrowded frequency 9 times out of 10 for the entire duration of your flight - not good for the ears! Eurocontrol had its place but considering the above and recent traffic levels I and many others would like to (at a minimum) see restrictions of when it can be opened and have a major improvement in the training for these huge positions.
    40 points
  2. Dear All, As my second 2-year term serving as VATSIM’s President ends, I am writing to inform you that I will not be seeking a third term as VATSIM’s President. After four years of serving in in this role, I have decided to allow another member of the Board of Governors to take the reins and keep VATSIM moving forward. I joined this great community 15 years ago and it has been a massive part of my life ever since. I was honoured to be able to serve on the Board of Governors since 2014 and have enjoyed being a small part of bringing positive changes to VATSIM. Thousands of our volunteer members, driven by the same desire to make VATSIM a better place have brought us long needed changes such as Audio for VATSIM, the New Member Orientation course and knowledge check, a modern Code of Conduct, backend technology changes, and many other positive improvements to VATSIM. I want to thank all our volunteer members who dedicate their time developing, controlling, training, supervising, flying, or otherwise supporting VATSIM. We are still within one of the most challenging transition periods we have seen in VATSIM’s history with a 40% increase in membership over the last few years to the pandemic as well as release of a new simulation platform that brought flight simulation to a whole new market. You have risen to the challenge even when faced with the enormous real-world pressures that our current reality has put on our daily lives. As I step back from the role of VATSIM’s President, I have two reflections from my time in the position. Firstly, VATSIM is unique as it is a community that is large enough to be seen by many as a place that should be hugely efficient in delivering new features. The reality is that we are a volunteer organization which will always be driven by the productive output of our volunteers. We must drive better development by engaging with our members to contribute instead of being a closed shop. In the past few years, we have made great strides here by encouraging our volunteer developers by opening our traditionally closed development process and actively inviting people to help improve VATSIM. We have further to go, and I urge us all to continue to embrace the idea of member-driven input whist appreciating that because we are so big, we must set a clear direction of how we as members can contribute. Secondly, we must all remember that we are on the same team and truly have the same end goal. We all want VATSIM to succeed and be the best online aviation community in the world. We may have differed and passionate opinions on how we get to that goal, but it is through open and honest communication that we reach this goal. Too many times, we have had disputes via email or discord text which have driven wedges into our communities, causing irreparable harm or destroying our communities, when a voice conversation where everyone can be heard has resolved the dispute. I have personally spent many hours resolving such disputes. The amount of time we spend on these disputes could be better used to bring positive changes to the community. So, I challenge all of us to channel our passions and instead of doing nothing, build constructive relationships, especially when disagreements arise! I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for VATSIM and excited to see Tim move into the role of President. He has served in his various positions on the Board of Governors fabulously and is a huge advocate for building on the success of this great community. Finally, I would like to again thank everyone who has supported VATSIM and myself over the years, especially my colleagues on the BoG and Founders who have been a source of guidance and support during my tenure as VATSIM’s President. My greatest thanks of all are to the behind-the-scenes volunteers performing the thankless jobs which keep VATSIM running; our division staff and their local volunteers, as well as our membership managers, supervisors, and technical teams who respond around the clock to technical hiccoughs and relentlessly pursue improvements to our infrastructure. We truly could not do it without all of you. I look forward to seeing you on the network.
    31 points
  3. Dear Members, I would like to start by thanking everyone who took a few minutes to offer congratulations on my election to the position of President of the VATSIM Network. My colleagues on the Board of Governors have put their faith in me, and I look forward to working with them, and all of our volunteers in leading this network into the future. Under the leadership of Gunnar Lindahl, VATSIM has reached levels of membership and technology that previously were thought unattainable. Among the best tributes I have read described him as the most “stable, influential, and consequential President we ever had to date”, and this is especially true considering the challenges this world threw at us during the latter part of his four year tenure. This is certainly not to take away from the Presidents who came before him - Founders Harvey Stein and Richard Jenkins, followed by David Klain, Steven Cullen, and Kyle Ramsey...I truly walk in the footsteps of giants, and we all owe a lot to the six Presidents who preceded me. To them, I offer my heartfelt thanks for all you did, and continue to do to make VATSIM what it is today. During my time as a member of this network, I have always enjoyed hearing about the various “VATSIM histories” of our members. It is interesting to find out what brought someone to this network, and what keeps them involved. Many of the members I consider friends have taken their VATSIM experience and turned it into an aviation career, while others have started streaming content thus raising the visibility of our network. Some, like me, have brought their aviation careers to the network. This is my story - records show that I joined VATSIM in August of 2001, but my involvement in flight simulation dates back to 1983 when my father opened the first personal computer store in our town. It was at that store that an employee introduced me to Microsoft Flight Simulator v1.0, and I was hooked. By 1990 at the age of 18, I had my Private Pilots Licence, and in 1997 I graduated from an aviation college with a fresh CPL and a job towing advertising banners and flying traffic patrol over the cities of Toronto and Vancouver. In 1998 I returned home and over the next 9 years I earned my ATPL while flying a Cessna 421B on predominantly air ambulance missions across the Province of Ontario - with some charter work thrown in for good measure. I have some really good stories from my work as a pilot, so just ask if you are ever interested. When I retired from piloting in 2007, VATSIM took a more important place in my life by keeping me involved in, and feeding my passion in all things aviation. This, in turn, led me to roles within VATCAN, VATNA, and then the Board of Governors. VATSIM is a simulation network, not a game - there, I said it. This really should not be a polarizing statement because that was the intent of the Founders of this network when they created it a little over 20 years ago. For many it is a passionate hobby, for others a place to learn, and for still others, a place to teach. Above all however, VATSIM should and must be a safe place for all members, regardless of background or personal history, to feel safe, protected and welcome while celebrating all that virtual aviation has to offer. For me, there is simply no compromise on this. Membership in VATSIM is a privilege, not a right, and those people fundamentally incompatible with the network are simply not welcome. There are many exciting projects currently under development for our network, and I look forward to sharing more about them in due time. As a group, your leadership team is always looking for ways to enhance the experience for our members, and we are also always open to hearing your suggestions. If you have an idea we should consider, please email me at president(at)vatsim.net and I will make sure we have a look at it. Next week I will be in San Diego for FSExpo and I invite you to please come and introduce yourself if you see me wandering around. If you catch me at the right time, you may find me sharing a couple of bags of In and Out burgers with the other VATSIM members and volunteers in attendance. (IYKYK) Also, if you see me online controlling in my two current homes of ZYZ or ZMA, or flying in my favourite study level sim, please don’t hesitate to say hi. Again, thanks to all for the honour of leading this network. Let’s continue to enjoy it together.
    27 points
  4. Today we celebrate 20 years of VATSIM! An incredible feat, and one which would not have been possible without all our members, past and present. You have contributed to our community by flying, providing air traffic services, and serving as supervisors or in administrative positions to ensure that our network continues to grow and be successful. To celebrate, we are starting a month-long celebration with events on the network, interviews with some of our staff members, distributing over $2,500 of prizes, and some other surprises! During the next few weeks, we will be visiting all the regions, hosting special events nearly every day, ranging from VFR to IFR, First Wings to Oceanic, and simple to challenging approaches. There will be something for everyone! Within the coming days we will be opening a website for you to enter a raffle for multiple great prizes donated from the greater flight simulation community. Every member will receive 20 entries automatically plus one additional entry for each year they have been an active VATSIM member. Which they can use to enter for each prize as many times as they have entries. Want more entries? Participation in the anniversary events will yield one additional entry for each event you participate in from July 27 until August 22nd. Thank you to our friends at Orbx, PMDG, FlightBeam Studios, Navigraph, Simmarket, Skalarki Electronics, Flight Velocity, FS Reborn, FlightSim Expo, and VirtualFly for their generous donations to our celebrations. Stay tuned to our social media feeds, community discord server, myVATSIM, and the VATSIM forums for updates on the on and off network events. We encourage everyone to participate events, explore new countries, experience new ATC, and most of all, enjoy the anniversary celebrations! Thank you once more for being a part of VATSIM, and we look forward to many more years of great fun!
    21 points
  5. Happy 20th anniversary to VATSIM. I can vividly remember the moment that Roberto flipped the switch and we were live on our own network. Special mention to the Founders who helped build the finest online aviation simulation in the world. I know we are all proud of the staff and members who define who we are. Stay Safe, Stay Well and Blue Skies to all. Again, Happy Anniversary. Harv Stein VATSIM5
    17 points
  6. You may be increasing access to Air Traffic Control positions for VATSIM members, but this fails to fulfil the second part "whilst maintaining a standard of quality Air Traffic Control service that VATSIM has become known". If controllers are allowed to continue controlling after showing they do not want to maintain the "standard of quality Air Traffic Control service that VATSIM has become known." then we are not upholding the purpose of the document that lets them do that. This is truly all about quantity over quality.
    17 points
  7. VATSIM is happy to announce that Tim Barber has been selected to serve as Vice President – Operations following the retirement of Mark Richards. In his new role, Tim will play a crucial role by ensuring all departments are working together to bring positive changes to VATSIM. Tim hails from Canada and joined VATSIM in 2001. He has held several staff positions on VATSIM, most recently as Vice President – Supervisors, a position he has held since 2016. In addition to his time in various VATSIM staff positions, he also helped start one of VATSIM’s first Authorized Training Organizations to provide VATSIM pilot ratings. Sadly, VATSIM also announces that Ethan Hawes, Vice President – Pilot Training has decided to retire from his position on the Board of Governors, one he has held for the past two and a half years. Under his leadership, VATSIM has come a long way in providing resources for pilot training, and further advancing our key goal of educating members. Some of Ethan’s key accomplishments were: · A complete redesign and relaunch of the pilot ratings program. · The introduction of the New Member Orientation Program and P0 rating exam. · Replacement of the legacy PRC with the new Pilot Learning Center, with resources in multiple languages The Board of Governors thanks Ethan for his service to the network and wishes him well in his future endeavours. This movement means that there are now two opportunities for our members to join VATSIM’s Board of Governors at an exciting time of change for the network. As we have shared the plans to bring faster position updates to you with the Velocity project, continue to explore ways to increase pilot quality, and continue to work with other partners to bring even more immersion to your flight simulation experience. Members interested in joining the Board of Governors as either Vice President - Supervisors, or Vice President – Pilot Training should stay tuned for an announcement on how to apply. As always, thank you for your continued membership and participation in VATSIM!
    16 points
  8. VATSIM promised me they would not be removing the old data feeds whilst legacy clients are using them. An absolute disgrace, and exactly why I shall never be doing any more development for VATSIM. Too many people playing at their fake job titles, not listening to sense. This is what happens with change for the sake of change. Cheers Gary Ex-AFV Lead
    15 points
  9. This is the crux of the issue. An incompetent controller who refuses to improve will drive away competent controllers. @Matt In the examples you provided, two of them refused to comply with the standards or re-train themselves in order to comply with standards. In the follow-up, you asked "So you would prefer to fly on unicom than fly with a controller who's not perfect?" No one is demanding perfection here, what we want is competence that simulates reality which is vastly different from perfection. I would rather fly with no ATC than be vectored in circles by an incompetent controller 10 out of 10 times. As a controller, I would in fact not log on if I know I'm going to have to fix and undo the errors of another controller who refuses to follow procedures or make an effort to do things the right way. It is not worth the effort and frustration I would have to put in when the other person refuses to put in any effort of their own.
    14 points
  10. And you think this is a BAD THING??? If the controller doesn't care to keep up with changes, then why the heck would we keep him around? If you kept insisting that 2+2=5 after spending years doing my taxes, I sure as heck would not keep you as my accountant just to "connect an accountant to a tax payer"? If we're going to have this kind of standard, we're going to end up in IVAOs "no ARTCC" levels at some point - i.e. controllers who don't even know what a runway is and I for one, don't think I want to stand for - or be associated with that sinking ship. Matt - your comments come across like VATSIM 1. Has a severe lack of controllers online, and 2. Has no competition and won't in the future. It's becoming very clear that the BoG is interested in getting numbers, no matter if someone is an S1 forever, rather than keep their C1s around who is VATSIMs biggest issue - C1 retention.
    13 points
  11. Mark Richards retires from VATSIM Board of Governors It is with bittersweet feeling that the Board of Governors announces the retirement of Mark Richards from VATSIM’s Board of Governors after a long career serving VATSIM in various roles. Mark has spent the last 24 years as a member of VATSIM and previously SATCO staff with his most recent role as Vice President – Operations; one he has held since 2015. Prior to this appointment, he was the regional director for the former Oceania region and chair of the Executive Committee. Early in VATSIM’s history, Mark played a vital role in creating new divisions within the Oceania region. In 2001 he was a founding member of the VATPAC division, serving as their first division director. He founded another division six years later in his home country of New Zealand, again serving as the first division director. Since joining SATCO in 1996 and then VATSIM in 2001, Mark has accumulated over 8,000 hours as a pilot, 1,800 hours as a controller, and 1,600 hours as a supervisor. Over 11,000 hours in total connected to VATSIM! While Mark is retiring from a long career as a VATSIM staff member, he does not intend to part ways with the network entirely. He is excited to continue to fly and control on the network while remaining a mentor for new staff members in his home division of VATNZ as well as around the world. Please join us in congratulating Mark on his tremendous career serving VATSIM members and wish him well in his future endeavours on VATSIM! There will be further news regarding the appointment of a successor in the coming weeks. There is a thread available here for those who may wish to leave Mark a message. On behalf of the Board of Governors
    13 points
  12. VATSIM New Year Message As another year draws to a close, we reflect on what has been an extraordinary and unusual year for all of us, wherever in the world we reside. First and foremost, we hope you and your families are safe and well. For our community, 2020 was busy. We clocked over 6.2 million flying hours and 630,000 controlling hours in the last 12 months. And in the summer, VATSIM hit 100,000 active members. In August, we saw the launch of Microsoft Flight Simulator, with VATSIM compatibility from day one. We also re-launched the pilot rating system and introduced a knowledge check for all new members. Since launch, 16,000 people have passed the P0 knowledge check and become fellow VATSIM members. VATSIM’s logo was refreshed and we adopted our new slogan: Aviate, Educate, Communicate. Finally, we made a significant change to VATSIM’s governance structure to bring our divisions closer to the network’s leadership. As we look ahead to 2021, we are excited to press ahead with our plans to further grow and enhance this great hobby. Our technical development team recently published a blog post which gives an overview of the technical workstreams under way, and we look forward to sharing more detail over the coming weeks and months. We’re also pressing ahead with plans for more opportunities for community feedback and input, starting with the launch of community Town Hall meetings where our valued members will be able to ask questions and suggest ideas directly to the Board of Governors and division leadership - this hobby is community-driven, and it’s important that everyone who makes VATSIM what it is has a voice. You can find out more details about the work being done and future plans by following our news article on the VATSIM website or following us on social media. You can also read our Board quarterly minutes here. Thank you to all of you for being VATSIM members. We wish you a safe and happy New Year. With best wishes, The VATSIM Founders and Board of Governors
    13 points
  13. Hey Everyone. I have waited for a while in order to get a view of all the opinions on this. And so I want to add my own thoughts as a division director of a division that has one FIR that has a language requirement that is enforced. Specifically our Montreal FIR. As you all may know, Canada IRL has two official national languages. English and French. In Quebec French is the dominant language, so much so in order to preserve the Quebec culture there is varying laws dictating how and when English may be used. Now, back to VATSIM. I have a Division where there is 6 FIRs which are predominantly English speaking and 1 FIR where there is a requirement for the controller to speak French to a level of being able to control. The FIR can provide training in English and some if not all of the documentation is both in French and English. In other words, the FIR has gone to every length to accomodate the visiting controller short of one thing. They must be able to control in French as there is a large number of pilots that ONLY want to converse in french. Then fly within the Montreal Airspace and not outside it. And IRL this is also applicable. I have and will continue to support Montreals language requirement. While CoR dictates that all controllers must be capable of controlling in English (again which aligns with RW), I see no reason why we need to inflict those same rules on Pilots. I would rather pilots focus their time on being able to fly and follow instructions properly than learning a new language! At the end of the day there is a WEALTH of places where a controller looking for a new challenge can go control, in a language they are comfortable with. There is no reason to inflict uncomfortable situations on pilots just to satisfy either a visiting controller or a "quantity first" style argument. When there really, to my view thus far, is no empiracle data that supports that this actually is a real issue. One thing that always sticks in my head about the Montreal FIR was a while back, they were in need of help from the training perspective. My Divisional Training Director took the time to learn French sufficiently to be able to adequately control in the language and thus, then be able to train controllers in that FIR. To me THAT was the right and most supportive thing to do. And kudos to him for doing so, for myself, I am lucky that all the staff in Montreal speak English so well and are willing to hold their meetings in English when I decide to turn up 😉 I'll admit, in the initial reviews of GCAP this one slipped past me as I was overly focused on other areas. However with the benefit of reading so many impassioned responses about this. I have to agree this is something that is important to many areas and I am unsure there is real tangiable benefit in dictating a path in a high level policy. Beyond, of course, it's up to the local division with RVP oversight. I think David has put this nicely. This is not something that should be dictated by GCAP. This should be left at the discretion of the RVP's. I think they are smart enough and know their respective area's well enough to make informed decisions with their divisions on what is best for each area. Phil
    12 points
  14. Hello All, This is an important discussion, however the posts here have reached the point of not being helpful to the process. To be clear, the VATSIM Board of Governors has not addressed this topic in a meeting, and no motions have been proposed or passed regarding this topic. If it is determined that a BoG discussion and vote is required, then it will be added to the agenda of our next meeting. In the meantime, I have emailed the parties and offered my assistance in resolving any outstanding issues. For now, I will lock this thread and would ask everyone to be patient while this is worked through. Many thanks,
    12 points
  15. Be honest, when was the last time someone tried to set an activity policy that had to be intervened by the BoG? Most ARTCC policies have to go through Division approval, and no Division would allow that through. We have a management structure in place for situations just like this, and they work 99% of the time. The 1% fringe case can be handled case-by-case by the BoG and doesn't need to be codified into policy. This is red tape for the sake of red tape. Not what VATSIM is about. VATSIM is about a mutual love of aviation, not LARPing the bureaucracy of the FAA.
    12 points
  16. In addition to the excellent advice above -- late runway and approach changes are something which happens, in real life perhaps even more so than on VATSIM, and they are part of the challenge of flying in to a busy, large international airport. With that in mind, if I were briefing for an approach in to somewhere like Frankfurt I would consider this a threat. Threat and error management (TEM) is a major part of flying a modern airliner - just as important, if not more, than the mechanics of actually flying and operating the aircraft itself. What is a threat? Basically, it is anything which might "catch us out" for want of a better word and cause us to have to deviate from the original plan. Most accidents come as a result of crews failing to anticipate or getting caught up in a course of action which they are not prepared for with the result that errors occur and the aircraft ends up somewhere it shouldn't be. There is, therefore, a lot of emphasis on identifying potential threats and, most importantly, how they should be mitigated, at the briefing stage. So in the brief, whilst we're comfortably in the cruise with our feet up, I will plan in the first instance for an approach to whichever runway I think is most likely based on the ATIS and experience (for instance, as Andreas says, if I am arriving from the north I might plan for 25R). However, having identfied the possibility of a late change as a threat, the question is then how can I best mitigate that threat and make sure that I am prepared to deal with it should it arise? Well, a few things I could do -- I could load the approach for 25L in to the secondary flight plan, get the charts up and have them prepared in the clip in case I need them. Are there any significant differences that I need to be aware of? Well, a few: 25R is much shorter at 2,800m - well, fine, if our landing performance allows us to land on 25R we'll be fine on 25L as well, so no need to redo that The missed approach routes are different as we would expect but they both climb to 5,000ft so that's the same either way There's a 10ft difference in the CAT I DA - i mean, probably going to be completely irrelevant but we'll just make a note of the DA for 25L The taxi routes are different - if we get 25L we need to vacate right instead of left and the big threat here is that we will have to cross 25C so we need to make sure we don't accidentally enter 25C after vacating! Otherwise - basically there's nothing major that leaps out, so if we get switched to 25L at a late stage I will: Activate the secondary flight plan Bring up the 25L chart and confirm that we have tuned and identified the correct ILS Bug the 25L DA Remind myself that I need to vacate right after landing and hold on M probably until I get further instructions. (and I would probably verbalise the above as part of the brief as well). Job done - and mostly all sorted out at a time of low workload in the cruise! Something else just to mention - listening to transmissions for other aircraft is also very important in terms of building and maintaining your situation awareness (SA) -- so if I'm coming down the arrival and I'm hearing other aircraft being cleared for the RNAV but I've briefed the ILS, I'd be thinking that now would be a good time to find the charts for the RNAV and perhaps get that ready in the secondary if need be. Again, it's about building that SA so as to get ahead of the game in terms of workload management. Ultimately, as Andreas says, the final level of mitigation is to make more time by asking for a hold/longer vectors/a longer final etc to allow us to get set up. Obviously from a commercial point of view we want to try and avoid taking more time and burning more fuel than we need to which is why there is so much emphasis on trying to get ahead of the game, anticipate any potential changes and get ahead of them so as to avoid this but ultimately from time to time even the best laid plans can be blown up by something totally unpredictable, and if I am presented with a genuine last-minute surprise that I don't feel I can adequately deal with in the available time/distance to go then that is always the preferable option to getting rushed in to something that I'm not ready for.
    12 points
  17. Mark Richards retires from VATSIM Board of Governors It is with bittersweet feeling that the Board of Governors announces the retirement of Mark Richards from VATSIM’s Board of Governors after a long career serving VATSIM in various roles. Mark has spent the last 24 years as a member of VATSIM and previously SATCO staff with his most recent role as Vice President – Operations; one he has held since 2015. Prior to this appointment, he was the regional director for the former Oceania region and chair of the Executive Committee. Early in VATSIM’s history, Mark played a vital role in creating new divisions within the Oceania region. In 2001 he was a founding member of the VATPAC division, serving as their first division director. He founded another division six years later in his home country of New Zealand, again serving as the first division director. Since joining SATCO in 1996 and then VATSIM in 2001, Mark has accumulated over 8,000 hours as a pilot, 1,800 hours as a controller, and 1,600 hours as a supervisor. Over 11,000 hours in total connected to VATSIM! While Mark is retiring from a long career as a VATSIM staff member, he does not intend to part ways with the network entirely. He is excited to continue to fly and control on the network while remaining a mentor for new staff members in his home division of VATNZ as well as around the world. Please join us in congratulating Mark on his tremendous career serving VATSIM members and wish him well in his future endeavours on VATSIM! There will be further news regarding the appointment of a successor in the coming weeks. On behalf of the Board of Governors
    12 points
  18. All rather a lot of wishy washy rubbish for what should be a really simple thing: being a staff member shouldn’t make you exempt from a requirement that applies to the rest of VATSIM, especially when it’s such a measly one! Controlling for an hour in a year to stay on a controller roster seems bloomin’ reasonable. Nothing in GCAP suggests you can’t be staff by not meeting this requirement, you just can’t be deemed an active controller. They’re completely different things. So get rid of the clause and shall we stop worrying about the hours in a day, month and year and commuting and contributing and what not… because we’re literally talking about an hour in a year to make sure that staff don’t think they’re above everybody else.
    11 points
  19. Hello everyone! This is my first post on these forums - and first post of, hopefully, more to come in 2021. As someone with over 1,700 hours on Vatsim, I figure I might as well throw a quick message up. First and foremost - I'd like to thank those involved in the upkeep and conduct of this network - you all are doing a fantastic job and, as someone who was absolutely terrified at the prospect of using it initially, I have had almost no issues with anyone here. As a blind pilot - someone who is unable to taxi to a runway - I'd also like to take this time to thank all of the controllers - hundreds, if not more, that I have dealt with during my time on this network. You are a huge part of what keeps me coming back - and you add such an amazing sense of realism and I have thoroughly enjoyed flying with you. I really can't put into words how much I for one appreciate the fact that you are willing to take this into consideration. As someone who has been into aviation my entire life, I truly hate not having the ability to taxi and add to the realism - but I'll take what I can get. Being able to follow all the procedures in the air is something I certainly don't take for granted, and there is only more to come in the future. There are too many places I need to leave positive feedback, at this point - and I honestly forget to when I have had a particularly positive experience. I'm still learning a lot each and every day - it's always a learning experience when I hop on. No flight is ever the same and that is yet one more reason I continue to thoroughly enjoy this hobby (more like an addiction now, with my hours). So, in closing, thank you for everything you have done and have planned for the future. I hope this is the correct place to send this. Take care and happy belated new year! PS: I must be missing something obvious, but how do I get my vatsim ID to show up as others have?
    11 points
  20. Hello everyone, Effective today, 7th March 2021 the position Eurocontrol Islands (EURI) will be closed. This heavy and difficult decision comes after some unprecedented times for VATSIM and the Europe region, through which we have seen an exponential increase in traffic numbers, numbers of sectors online at any given time and the complexity of both those two factors from an operations perspective with all the consequences from them. When combined, those factors make the position an extremely complicated one, as well as unneeded given the goal of the EuroCenter vACC of increasing ATC coverage across the Europe region. This is the result of long discussions between all involved parties and is a unanimous decision. I am pretty sure not everybody will be happy with this decision - and trust me this was not an easy decision. But I am convinced it is the right one. We had very good discussions with all involved parties and we all do believe this is the right step for the future. If you have any questions or feedback please feel free to get in touch with the staff via the EUCvACC discord or [email protected]
    11 points
  21. 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
    10 points
  22. Here's a crazy idea. Remove the policy from GCAP altogether and let each subdivision create their own activity policy as they see fit. If a controller is unhappy with an activity policy at a particular subdivision, they can move to a subdivision with a more lenient policy. One size fits all policies like this are not the solution with a global network like VATSIM.
    10 points
  23. Yea I have to agree with Andreas..when you try and look into things too deeply and read between the lines is where things get all messed up. VATSIM is a beautiful place, really. Just think about all the hatred in the real world day to day. This is a place where no matter your colour/gender/religion/sexuality etc. you are always welcome and everybody is a friend, and THAT is what matters. Don't unnecessarily disturb it.
    10 points
  24. I've been misgendered on VATSIM for nigh on 20 years. I tend to laugh. Agree with @James Horgan though.
    10 points
  25. Introducing VATSIM Velocity! VATSIM is proud to reveal our new position updating technology called Velocity. Velocity provides position updates more rapidly our current FSD solution. The position update frequency is what determines how other user’s aircraft move when you see them in your flight simulators. For most applications on VATSIM the once every 5 second reporting along with interpolation within the pilot clients provided a solution that worked well. Occasionally, users would see other aircraft make unrealistic jumps or stutters when a new position report was received. However, flying which required a large degree of precision, such as high-speed formation flying was impossible on our servers. Velocity changes that narrative forever. Our positions updates can now be measured in hertz (multiple times per second) instead of the once every five seconds of our current technology. Once fully released, VATSIM users will be able to see other user’s aircraft moving noticeably smoother and be able to achieve true formation flying while flying on VATSIM. Velocity is currently in a closed alpha state, but all users can sign up for a chance to participate in this alpha at https://velocity.vatsim.net We look forward to implementing Velocity on the main VATSIM servers soon! Watch the launch trailer here!
    10 points
  26. Andreas, Earlier in this post you pleaded for your opinion to be recognised before a decision on EURI was made although now you have made a sarcastic comment after Bill has stated his opinion? The service provided by EUR control on a busy day is abismal.. There is my opinion 😉 Ta
    10 points
  27. I flew in the VATeir 24 Hour event and I could not let it pass without a mention on this forum. This small vACC just amazes me. Their staff team are second to none and their organization of community events is superb. It was an absolute pleasure to depart out of Dublin today and such a busy event it was. The controllers produced a truly professional experience from the start to the end. Well done to all for providing a most enjoyable afternoon for me. Events like these really make it an absolute pleasure to be part of this worldwide organization. Massive pat on the back to Cathal and his team, and to top it off a good sum of donations for a very worthwhile cause.
    10 points
  28. This is an example of parts of the BoG being completely out of touch with the sub-divisions. It is not reasonable to say to me, as a sub-division leader that when a visitor wants to branch out beyond the confines of their home facility that I need to tell my instructors to prioritize them over an OBS who hasn't even touched the scope. VATSIM is and always has been a hobby of specialization, from what I can tell the goal of this community is to have an accurate simulation of ATC around the world. When VATSIM comes to it's membership and says "We want to break down borders and let it all go" it's makes us think that VATSIM wants to be more like IVAO where there is significantly less oversight of controller training and standards. I am not gonna sit here and say there needs to be no restriction because some accountability is useful, but 14 days? From a network wide policy, this reaches too far. I personally thought 90 days was fine as a division wide policy, that prevents people from sitting too long and waiting and also gives the divisions the latitude to shorten that time for their sub-divisions. It makes no sense to me that a visitor from another region can come to my facility and demand a comp check within 14 days of joining, when I have OBS-S3s who have been waiting months to steal a precious second with my instructors because they are so off the wall busy. Yes I am going to stick by Comp checks need to happen, but this huge oversight from the BOG is absurd to me and needs to reevaluated. Even from not my perspective, if say I a VATUSA controller, visited VATUK and then demanded they evaluate me to the minimum standard within 14 days, are the 40 OBSes that have been waiting a year for a intro session going to be happy? Of course not. I'd be livid, and I'm sure they would be too. My official proposal is restore it back to 90 days and put language to allow divisions latitude to shorten. This document is trying to do the job of too many division staff members at once. Let your divisions make policies that are most beneficial to them. The bestest regards, Shane
    9 points
  29. Hello all, I'm posting to let everyone know with as much advanced notice as possible, that I have begun planning for the eventual retirement of VRC. I have not done any new feature development for VRC in many years, mainly because VRC was written in a programming language that I haven't used since 2004, and I simply don't consider myself fluent in that language. (I really never did ... VRC is the only application I ever wrote in C++.) As such, I have no desire nor motivation to work on it, and any development time that I have available gets put into vPilot, vERAM, and vSTARS. So, as of today, we can all consider VRC to be EOL. (End Of Life.) It will still continue to function for the foreseeable future, but given the significant amount of tech development progress within VATSIM recently, it is only a matter of time before a change comes along that renders VRC incompatible. That will be the time that VRC is officially retired and will no longer connect to the network. I will give as much notice as possible once I know when that time is coming. I would love to give a more concrete idea of when VRC will be retired, but I really can't because it totally depends on other development progress. I won't retire VRC until I have to ... not until something changes with VATSIM's network infrastructure that makes VRC no longer function properly. One thing I considered was to rewrite VRC in a language that I'm comfortable with, such as the language that I use for my other VATSIM software, which is C#. I decided against that option because I feel that we simply don't need VRC anymore. Since I released VRC, several far more realistic and full-featured clients have become available, including Euroscope, vERAM, vSTARS, and vatSys. I would rather put my time into further developing my other software, instead of rewriting VRC. On that subject, I know that vERAM and vSTARS are not currently a suitable replacement for VRC, since they are designed to be high-fidelity simulations of the real ERAM and STARS radar systems. As such, they are great for working Center and Approach positions, but it can be cumbersome to use them for top-down controlling, or especially controlling tower cab positions (DEL/GND/TWR.) Therefore, my plan is to enhance vERAM and vSTARS so that they are more suitable for these scenarios. I don't know yet exactly what this will entail, but it will likely be a matter of adding a "ground" mode that shows all targets regardless of radar coverage and without having to initiate track. Similar to the top-down mode that these clients have now, but with even more functionality to make the Cab controller's job as easy as it is in VRC. This ground mode would probably include an arrival list and a departure list, and some of the other VRC tools like the wake turbulence timers, the reminder list, etc. It will probably end up looking very similar to VRC, in fact. The big difference is that it won't use sector files. It'll likely use the video map format that is currently used by vSTARS. I would love to hear any suggestions that controllers may have for making vERAM and/or vSTARS more suitable for top-down controlling and controlling tower cab positions. Please post them right here in this thread.
    9 points
  30. I don't know about the other mods, but I'm not deleting it.... 😉
    8 points
  31. You get all of this for free, completely from dozens of hours of donated time from people who work full time jobs in IT. Could you not be grateful for that? You are one of hundreds of people every year who don't manage to get a slot, and it's attitudes like this that make it worse. You are not entitled to this network any more than anyone else.
    8 points
  32. 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.
    8 points
  33. Your entire statement just proves, that you prefer low quality, all-around-annoying incompetent ATC, rather than single departure of this kind of person, who is refusing to improve, lol. Because of the decisions as per above, you save a single, incompetent departure from the network, making tons of people dedicated to the network going off, because they are driven nuts by these kind of people.
    8 points
  34. GCAP is the perfect opportunity as far as I'm concerned to "reclaim" what a C3 should signify and to set some baseline standards for attaining the rating. The problem that it needs to fix is that the C3 rating is so inconsistent across the network in what it signifies and represents. Anecdotally speaking, there are places on the network where they are given out with almost no requirements, and others where there are multiple stringent measures in place to ensure that the rating is seen as a proper achievement. The policy does a good job in places of trying to set some sort of a standard, but as it stands, the C3 requirements couldn't be further from that. I've already stated that I don't agree that a course like this is needed, let alone mandatory. My reasoning for this is that leadership is not shown or learnt by completing an eLearning course, it's shown by committing to your vACC, putting in countless hours working more than the average member and helping everybody out. @Matthew BartelsI really like the idea of wanting to promote leadership qualities for the C3s, but I'm not convinced an online course is the way to go. In VATEUD, there are requirements that have to be fulfilled before you can be put forward for the CPT. The thing that EUD does well here is that there are various avenues which people can go down in order to be put forward. However, my main point is not the fact that I disagree with the idea of the course, it's that the eligibility criteria need to be standardised to some extent. Otherwise, the rating continues to lack substance across VATSIM. In VATEUD, C3 candidates can use ATC experience coupled with mentoring sessions, staff time or other factors to become eligible and receive a recommendation. In this sense, it is accessible to almost everybody who deserves it and doesn't exclude anybody as there are multiple streams you can go down to qualify. If people do feel that if the course will be mandatory regardless, a compromise with some other standardisation would be appreciated. I would propose the network adopts a policy whereby controllers can get their C3 through multiple avenues. This would include (at minimum): Documented time spent mentoring or Time spent fulfilling staff duties or Time spent contributing to your vACC in other ways (documentation etc.) and A minimum amount of controlling time. Why does C3 need to have these criteria when other ratings don't? The other ratings are all defined by examinable criteria, the C3 is not. In the same way that GCAP defines (in detail) criteria for the other ratings, this advanced rating needs to have some criteria set out in my opinion so that over time, the C3 rating can become a solid, well-recognised and respected rating. Some things are best left up to Divisions to regulate, but for a recognised rating on the network, I do feel that a standard network-wide approach is the best option.
    8 points
  35. 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!
    8 points
  36. 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.
    8 points
  37. 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.
    8 points
  38. Hi Matt, My question is, why are the BoG are taking a hard line stance at this while the majority of people who control on the network are against it? Would you be able to give us some insight on: What actual number of active membership does this actually affect? At the core of this policy, why are we lowering the standards for controlling hours? I understand this has been addressed on another section but my guess is that it only affects a small subset of membership, and that it is scattered throughout the network. This seems like a "micro management" policy. Each division and subdivision on VATSIM has unique characteristics that are specific to each area. Throwing in a blanket requirement that will handcuff day to day management of divisions will only increase workload on the staff. Wouldn't this be contrary to your point that people have real world obligations and those who make the time and commitment to the network would be loaded with more administrative duties when these issues arise. In real world interactions, the board of directors of a company sets a vision for the company and guides the executives in their vision, they don't get into the granular details that the lower level managers deal with on a day to day basis. Successful companies TRUST in their people to follow that. They have controls in place that would prevent mistreatment or abuse to the employees. You have the pulse of the controllers right now and right here, we're giving you the feedback that we believe would be the most beneficial for all. No one here is saying that they will just cut people from the roster without throught to the indivudual, and evidenced by senior staff that posted here, they take every available measure to ensure someone stays current. This policy, as it stands, will not only create more work for the all volunteer staff and quite frankly to put it bluntly, its a slap in the face to the people who put the time and effort in make this network what it really is when the overall tone has been pretty dismissive about the suggestions. It seems like this policy will cause more issues and dissent among the people who put in the time and effort, who are probably your most active controllers on the network. I've been around long enough to see good management and bad management policies. If you're seeing this much pushback on this from respected members of this community, then holding onto something so unpopular will only create more problems than it aims to solve. 12-24 hours in one year as a minimum is a good starting point, your middle ground can be every 6 months as most policies are geared towards that anyway. Let your local administrative teams determine their own policies. No one here wants to gut their entire roster and have minimal ATC coverage which in effect will attract less pilots. We just want quality controllers who still have the desire to do this. In my short time on the network, I've seen controllers come back from hiatus and NONE of them balked at the prospects of getting remedial training, the majority have even welcomed it. Don't we want controllers who are proactive in providing good service to pilots? In today's age, bad controllers get highlighted on social media and repairing that takes time. I'm not saying that it won't happen with current and active controllers but you're opening up the door for more mistakes and bad publicity for the network. Listen to the people who are on the ground who do this on a day to day basis, I'm not discounting the work that you all do in the administration of this, but you yourself have said that you've been busy with life and free time has been taken up with administrative duties and you've controlled for 20 or so hours for the year. I just can't see the justification with 1 hour per year when someone who's self admitted that you're busy have controlled 20x more than that. Your actual return on this policy, as far as I can tell, is just inflated numbers. Unfortunately, and we can all see this, will cause more issues with your controllers than any benefit. VATSIM is about aviate, educate, and communicate. We're communicating to you that this is a flawed policy. This isn't a hill to die on, give a 12-24 hour yearly requirement, and let the divisions manage how it's split and let them do what they do best and manage their people the best way they know how, and have been doing for years now. This is your actual middle ground between what current policies are versus your proposed policies. I urge you not to cause more issues than this policy aims to solve.
    8 points
  39. 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.
    8 points
  40. 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.
    8 points
  41. I thought this was a public review/input period. Apparently my legitimate suggestion is being dismissed by the Marketing and Communications VP. What amazing communication skills. My suggestion nowhere said "if you don't like it, leave". It suggested allowing subdivisions the latitude to determine their own activity requirements, and allows all controllers the freedom of choice.
    8 points
  42. VATSIM Stats website is now live ( www.vatsimstats.net ) . After many months of late nights and a lot of head scratching my website is finally finished. I had always wanted to see a website that shows the top airport, airlines and aircraft types used on VATSIM. The Germany VATSIM website used to have a very basic updated weekly table of top airports but this unfortunately disappeared a couple of years ago. I decided last year that I want to create something similar but a lot better, not only having airport, but also airlines and aircraft types, with a searchable function. I had no previous programming experience so I had to learn programming language Python, CSS, PHP and Javascript from scratch to create and build the website, hence the reason it took so long to put together. A lot of it was learning as I want along. But I am so happy that the website is finally created and available for everyone to enjoy. In a nutshell the website shows the top 100 most popular airports, top 75 most popular airlines and top 25 aircraft types used on VATSIM, the data was first gathered at the start of the year – 3rd Jan 2021, and the site updates every 24hrs. There is also a search function on the website, so if you do not see your favourite airport or airline on the website tables you can just search for it to see what position they are in whole grand scheme of things. There are still some small issues with website responsiveness on some screen sizes, I will be working on that over the next few months. The site is ideally viewed on a desktop monitor, but works fine on most mobiles and tablets. I have always wanted to see a website like this for VATSIM, and I am sure there are many other that felt the same, so please go over to my website, and I hope you like it and of course enjoy using it too. VATSIM Stats - http://www.vatsimstats.net
    8 points
  43. I am delighted to announce that Dave Woodward is the new Sub Sahara Africa Division Director. Dave brings a wealth of experience to the role both from his real world aviation experience and also his time in various staff positions on the network. Dave will spend the coming weeks getting to know the Division members and has some fantastic ideas on how we can grow the potential of the Division. I would like to thank everyone to applied for this role. We had some really great candidates who I know will help Dave in the coming weeks and months.
    8 points
  44. Over the past little while I have realized there has been a problem in terms of inclusivity at VATSIM. While it's an amazing community and there are many nice folks, I have had to struggle with things like constantly being misgendered and having to use my dead name due to VATSIM's policy of using legal names. I'm not writing this post to start a fight or for it to be controversial, but just to start a discussion about the long road we have to make changes and promote inclusivity. While VATSIM allows you to use a shortened version of your legal name for some things, you still have to register with websites, join various VATSIM community discords (including FIRs), and so much more using your legal name. Our legal name often is a reminder to us to the harassment and hate we have faced through queerphobia. Aviation enthusiasts and aviators come in all forms, and there are going members of the LGBTQ+ community as well. It's about finding a way to provide an inclusive environment so that everyone feels comfortable and has fun up in the air or down in ATC! I know many will say that's how it has been done in terms of using names, and referring to people as sir/ma'am is just basic aviation nomenclature, but why not be the change we want to see and make it a more inclusive and welcoming environment while promoting aviation among people? I'm sure it will take time and effort, and people will still make mistakes, but this will help us make VATSIM more inclusive for many of us! For anyone reading this post, until VATSIM makes changes, here are a few ways I think we can promote inclusivity (not all of these can happen over frequency so I'll mark f for things I think can be done over frequency along with in community groups): Ask people what they'd like to be called Ask for pronouns Mention your own pronouns Instead of he/him or she/her, use they/them when uncertain of someone's pronouns (f) Use gender neutral terms like folks (f) Make this post and your voices heard! Again, this is not to bring about hate, just love! Love you all! Adi (they/them)
    8 points
  45. I appreciate the opportunity that /t afforded to those with limited means over the past 20+ years, but with the recent increase in traffic and major technical advances, there's really no reason to keep /t (and some compelling reasons to abandon it). It's time that we abandon /t as an option for pilots, with the rare exception of the hearing disabled (for whom I would be more than pleased to continue /t service). Please note, I am not proposing an abandonment of /r. That mode offers some distinct benefits such as keeping the peace for sleeping family members, voice disabilities, and other various use cases. Some thoughts: it's nearly impossible to buy a computer without a sound card, headphones are a commodity, and bandwidth has greatly improved since the SATCO days /t disrupts immersion for controllers and other pilots; other successful networks (some paid) promote voice-only as a realism bonus /t increases controller workload in ways that /r does not, fumbling with not-often-used aliases, and degrades the timeliness of service to all pilots including /t pilots themselves
    8 points
  46. 04 December 2020 The Founders and Board of Governors would like to take a few moments to thank our controllers and controller staff members for their hard work thus far in 2020 and their continued selfless contributions to our network. VATSIM would not be the best online aviation network in the world if it were not for the contributions and sacrifices our members who pursue air traffic control ratings make daily. The countless hours one puts into training for a new rating, providing air traffic services on the network for the pilots, and going even further above and beyond by training and mentoring our new controllers do not go unnoticed by the network’s senior leadership. We owe the continued success of VATSIM to each one of you. Your contribution, passion, and professionalism for providing air traffic control on VATSIM is a huge reason why so many pilots come back to our network! We understand that 2020 has brought its challenges to controlling for VATSIM with increased traffic, busier than normal events, and varying experience levels due to a renewed interest in flight simulation from the general public. You have handled these challenges with grace and professionalism, which is necessary as you are the face of VATSIM to a new member and key to the transition of a new member into a seasoned VATSIM veteran! Whilst we can never require a general pilot to go through nearly the same amount of training to fly on VATSIM as you did to control, we are looking at ways to increase both the mandatory and recommended training footprint for pilots on VATSIM. We started this process in August with the rollout of the “P0” rating and new member orientation course which all new members have been required to complete before connecting to VATSIM. This module provides the new member with the basic knowledge needed to complete a flight on VATSIM and it is now expected that all members should know this material. We have revised and updated the materials in the Pilot Learning Center on myVATSIM which provides information on many basic and advanced topics regarding flying on VATSIM. This is a great resource to point pilots when they need some help. We also have a direct link to the PLC which is https://vats.im/plc. Our newer members want to learn how to fly correctly on VATSIM and in various mediums they have stated their fears such as mic fright and not wanting to make a mistake which would detract from everyone else’s experience. It is on all of us to help ease those fears, educate, and get them flying. We thank our pilot mentors, ATO staff, and senior pilots who already have taken newer members under their wings and given help and advice. At the global level, we are working on ways to make training resources easily accessible. Some of these are short training videos on key topics, connecting people with training opportunities via the community discord server, social media discussions on scenarios, and masterclasses from real-world professionals on various best practices, and exploring ways to provide constructive controller feedback to individual pilots in a non-intimidating manner. We understand that it can be frustrating for a controller to experience pilot deviations. We hope that new pilots will take advantage of our revised training materials and pursue further pilot ratings. You can point a pilot towards the Pilot Learning Center found on myVATSIM if you feel it would help. We just ask that you do so in a respectful and discrete manner, such as in a private message. Remember that you are the first contact many users have with VATSIM and it is an immense responsibility! You hold the future of VATSIM in your hands every time you control! Again, we thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to support VATSIM. Best Regards, VATSIM’s Founders and Board of Governors
    8 points
  47. 7 points
  48. What a shame for ATC staffing in the UK, Ireland and Iceland. Agreed levels and flight planned routes will survive once more!
    7 points
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