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Pilots flying to/from Jacksonville, Daytona or Orlando


Daniel Hawton
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At Jacksonville, we are trying to expand our coverage to provide you with service as you fly around Jacksonville, Daytona or Orlando. Previously, the FAA attempted to separate the Orlando TRACON from Orlando Tower and combine Orlando, Daytona, Tampa and Jacksonville TRACONs into one giant "Central Florida TRACON". This, however, was stopped by NATCA and resulted in only the TRACON and Tower separations and the southern shelf of Daytona Approach near Melbourne and Space Coast becoming part of Orlando.

 

At Jacksonville, we decided to create this dream.. with the exception of Tampa because that is Miami's airspace. So, if you are flying out of Jacksonville and do not see JAX_APP, JAX_N_APP or JAX_S_APP... look for F11_J_APP. F11_J_APP is the primary sector covering Jacksonville, Daytona and Orlando areas. If F11_J_APP and F11_O_APP are on, F11_O controls Ocala, Gainesville, Orlando area, and Melbourne airports while F11_J_APP controls Daytona, Craig, and Jacksonville area airports.

 

This new airspace spans approximately 190 nautical miles north to south, and 130 nautical miles east to west of freshly controlled airspace. The majority of the airspace is SFC to 10,000 feet, but areas over Orlando are up to 16,000 and over Jacksonville up to 15,000 feet.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to reply here!

 

The radio call sign is "Central Florida Approach" for arriving aircraft and "Central Florida Departure" for departures.

 

Airspace Map:

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I think this is a noble idea for your facility as it will open up more opportunities for your students to experience a greater amount of traffic, however I've got a couple of concerns.

 

Many pilots refer to servinfo, vatspy, vroute, etc network monitoring tools to find out where ATC is online. Have you considered the need for an update file to these programs in order to appropriately display the "F11" facility as it's not going to show up readily for pilots to notice that you guys are staffed at all... Especially considering such a vast amount of the network rarely accesses the VATSIM forums (or so I keep hearing) to even be aware of this position. This leads to another issue of mine with all of these network monitoring tools that are now available, someone should really take the time to get the airspace boundaries of the approach control sectors added in so pilots can see, specifically, which fields are worked by what positions (this is an issue for us at ZLA with SoCal at times, and was even an issue in Chicago occasionally while I was with ZAU)... However, that's another issue for another topic I suppose.

 

Additionally, how do you plan to address the issue that this is obviously not a realistic position in that it was just an attempted idea in the real world? I remember ZOA used to do something similar (obviously on a much smaller scale than this) by running something known as "Bay Tower" in which they provided local control services to SFO, OAK, and SJC airports. I don't believe this position is run anymore (not sure as to the reasoning behind why it was stopped, but I'd definitely be curious to know why and how this might affect you guys). You might meet some resistance from pilots on the lack of realism this position offers... By the same token it could be better for those simply looking for more regular service...

 

Thirdly, how will this affect training of your students? Will it take longer to certify on this position considering all of the airports involved or do you have a number of already certified approach controllers simply looking to work a larger amount of traffic? Just curious about this... Never really seen a facility attempt something like this before outside of what ZOA used to do, as mentioned above.

 

 

Best Regards,

 

AJ

Andrew James Doubleday | Twitch Stream: Ground_Point_Niner

University of North Dakota | FAA Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) GraduateGPN_Horizontal_-_Tertiary.thumb.png.9d7edc4d985ab7ed1dc60b92a5dfa85c.png

 

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I think this is a noble idea for your facility as it will open up more opportunities for your students to experience a greater amount of traffic, however I've got a couple of concerns.

 

Many pilots refer to servinfo, vatspy, vroute, etc network monitoring tools to find out where ATC is online. Have you considered the need for an update file to these programs in order to appropriately display the "F11" facility as it's not going to show up readily for pilots to notice that you guys are staffed at all... Especially considering such a vast amount of the network rarely accesses the VATSIM forums (or so I keep hearing) to even be aware of this position. This leads to another issue of mine with all of these network monitoring tools that are now available, someone should really take the time to get the airspace boundaries of the approach control sectors added in so pilots can see, specifically, which fields are worked by what positions (this is an issue for us at ZLA with SoCal at times, and was even an issue in Chicago occasionally while I was with ZAU)... However, that's another issue for another topic I suppose.

 

A vast majority display controllers logged in as "Approach" with a generic ring around their primary visibility point. As far as VATSpy, I am not sure because I have never successfully been able to run VATSpy, however, ServInfo, vatview, vattastic and several others work around that other method.

 

Additionally, how do you plan to address the issue that this is obviously not a realistic position in that it was just an attempted idea in the real world? I remember ZOA used to do something similar (obviously on a much smaller scale than this) by running something known as "Bay Tower" in which they provided local control services to SFO, OAK, and SJC airports. I don't believe this position is run anymore (not sure as to the reasoning behind why it was stopped, but I'd definitely be curious to know why and how this might affect you guys). You might meet some resistance from pilots on the lack of realism this position offers... By the same token it could be better for those simply looking for more regular service...

 

This is a game, not the real world. Pilots who choose to resist this can fly offline or be reported for no cooperating with ATC instructions. Not that that will happen, but people who are ultra-realistic forget that the fact that VATSIM is a game, not the real world.

 

Thirdly, how will this affect training of your students? Will it take longer to certify on this position considering all of the airports involved or do you have a number of already certified approach controllers simply looking to work a larger amount of traffic? Just curious about this... Never really seen a facility attempt something like this before outside of what ZOA used to do, as mentioned above.

 

No additional training required. F11 focuses the major and the "big minor", once you have endorsements for MCO (ZJX's major), you can work F11 with no additional training. The F11 SOPs only define the airspace, and refer operations to the individual TRACON SOPs, which for some of them is pretty much non-existant. We have several active approach controllers that don't seem to be ready or wanting to do center, but were willing to staff more than just Orlando but unable to. This will allow them to do so. And even some people, like me, who would prefer to work TRACON versus center.

 

And for the ultra-realistic controllers, F11 is optional. They can still staff only MCO, DAB or JAX if they so choose under the other appropriate callsigns.

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This is a game, not the real world. Pilots who choose to resist this can fly offline or be reported for no cooperating with ATC instructions. Not that that will happen, but people who are ultra-realistic forget that the fact that VATSIM is a game, not the real world.

 

I'm so sick of this. it's VATSIM. Virtual Air TraficSimulation Network. I do not consider myself one of these Ultra-Realists, However I do appreciate being able to simulate airspace and procedures that are used by our real world counterparts. If I could join the ranks of Real World ATC, I would. Sadly VATSIM is the closest I'll be able to get. If this makes me one of the forbidden, then let it be so.

 

Lately it seems as us "ultra-realists" are burned at the stake merely for providing a service to the network. I am very accommodating to all types of pilots I encounter, but at the same time I bring a professional experience to those pilots, instead of flinging dots across the screen. We "ultra-realists" have provided sector files that are almost as close to the real thing as you can get, as well as made available procedures that are used by our counterparts. In every facility I've been a part of, there has never been an absolute requirement to use these tools. They have been available for those people that want to further their craft and take it to the next level.

 

It created a middle ground, the bare minimums got you your rating and certification. The extra information made you a better virtual controller. This way the student could choose what path they wished to follow. It works that way for the pilots, and I know the more realistic pilots sure appreciate a knowledgeable, professional sounding controller behind the scopes.

 

Instead of being thanked for our contributions to the network, We are ridiculed and demeaned even from the highest levels of VATSIM. There is an air of "How dare you provide service that is similar to the real world?" Yet rating mills are praised for putting out controllers that don't know North from South. That is not fair. I don't care about praise or recognition, but I think it should be my choice as to what controller I aspire to be. I want my facility to be able to publish real world procedures and I should be able to use those if I choose to. I should be able to do this without the facility or myself being pegged as "Ultra-Realistic" and burned at the stake for it. It seems the answer nowadays is, "If you don't like it, leave." Well burn me at the stake, but if you don't want to put a little of time into a hobby, then maybe it's not for you.

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Matt Bartels
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its "misguided realism" IMO.

 

if the real ARTCC you simulate online were to change its airspace structure, would that mean you would stop controlling online completely because now, even the real facility doesnt match your "realism"

 

airspace changes do happen in the real world. this is actually something that was proposed down here, it was rejected by NATCA, none of it was because it wasnt "realistic"

 

they simply decided to go the route that they didnt do in the real world. i do believe ARTCC's/FIR's are able to develop/change theyre airspace as needed online

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its "misguided realism" IMO.

 

if the real ARTCC you simulate online were to change its airspace structure, would that mean you would stop controlling online completely because now, even the real facility doesnt match your "realism"

 

Nope, then I embrace the change with them. Same with taxi instructions and will be the same with line up and wait.

Matt Bartels
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Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

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I want my facility to be able to publish real world procedures and I should be able to use those if I choose to.
I am not sure if Daniel said all the APP controllers in his facility should control as F11, I am sure they have the option if they choose to, they wouldn't need to.

 

You already said you simulate the airspace used by the real world counter parts, which is as real as it gets. At the same time, you cannot refuse service to a pilot departing out of a cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B in the middle of the day just because you are logged in as CTR and there is no twr/app there, you have to provide top down service. What happens to realism then?

When is your next Flight||VATSIM HitSquad Member, ZOA/ZAK/GANDER/P1

 

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[You already said you simulate the airspace used by the real world counter parts, which is as real as it gets. At the same time, you cannot refuse service to a pilot departing out of a cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B in the middle of the day just because you are logged in as CTR and there is no twr/app there, you have to provide top down service. What happens to realism then?

 

It's one of those VATSIMisms, hence, simulation not hard core realistic, and I have no problems with those type of physical limitations of the network.

Matt Bartels
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Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

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[You already said you simulate the airspace used by the real world counter parts, which is as real as it gets. At the same time, you cannot refuse service to a pilot departing out of a cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B in the middle of the day just because you are logged in as CTR and there is no twr/app there, you have to provide top down service. What happens to realism then?

 

It's one of those VATSIMisms, hence, simulation not hard core realistic, and I have no problems with those type of physical limitations of the network.

 

F11 is something that IS going to happen.. regardless.. maybe not in the next year, but the FAA will overcome NATCA and finish it. Central Florida TRACON is going to happen, one way or another. Also, I wasn't bashing ultra-realists.. I am saying there is no point getting all hyped and against it simply because the real world does not yet have this implemented. This is a game, we are here to service the pilots and vica versa. F11 exists now as an option to have a slightly larger service area. ALL procedures are the same, except you cover a larger area with a different call sign... but the procedures are still the same. No extra training is required. What's the down side? You have to look for and remember another call sign. There is no other down side, no procedures are being removed... only expanded.

 

This is also a trial to see how it works... we aren't forcing our controllers to take F11, not even pushing it.. it's there if the controller wants it. Heck, you go to our roster page and you'll see Minor and major endorsements.. no mention of F11 because to control the F11 "Super TRACON", all you need is your major approach endorsement.

 

EDIT: And when I say the procedures are the same, I mean aircraft inside the lateral and vertical boundaries of Orlando approach airspace under F11 control will still be handled the same exact way as if the controller was MCO_E_APP. Same with Daytona, and Jacksonville. Procedures aren't going to change.

 

Edit2: So I guess you can say the procedures are realistic in that they're the same service we provide as MCO_E_APP, JAX_APP, DAB_APP.. just with a futuristic position.

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I'm so sick of this. it's VATSIM. Virtual Air TraficSimulation Network. I do not consider myself one of these Ultra-Realists, However I do appreciate being able to simulate airspace and procedures that are used by our real world counterparts. If I could join the ranks of Real World ATC, I would. Sadly VATSIM is the closest I'll be able to get. If this makes me one of the forbidden, then let it be so.

 

Right, we're SIMULATING air traffic... nothing says simulating real world air traffic procedures, we can try, but will NEVER be fully able to simulate real world. F11 is, as I have said, something that is going to happen real world at some point. I have yet to see any arguments against it other than "it doesn't exist real world". But that's okay, real world Orlando TRACON has 8+ Radar positions... right now, we have 2. Does that make us anti-realistic?

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This is a game, not the real world.
I'm so sick of this. it's VATSIM. Virtual Air TraficSimulation Network. I do not consider myself one of these Ultra-Realists, However I do appreciate being able to simulate airspace and procedures that are used by our real world counterparts.

Matt, you realize in the real world it's not at all realistic for a Center controller to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume duties of Approach, Tower, Ground, and Clearance -- yet you embrace these policies due to the limitations of the network, yes? How is this any different?

Cheers,

-R.

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I'm not bashing your F11 idea. If that is the direction you wish to go with your facility, that is your perrogative. I agree, it's not realistic to provide top down service, but there are limitations we must accept in order for the network to work period. As I said, these are comprimise I make, and it dosen't kill the simulation for me. Of course we can't staff all sectors at all times. We can however, provide a realistic simulation of procedures followed

by pilots and air traffic controllers everyday around the world, as stated in the mission statement of VATSIM. I accomplish this goal by controlling traffic in every position according to how it's done in the real world. My problem is that the realism line is being pushed so far towards the gaming end that we are in danger of losing the hobbist aspect. May VATGAME live on.

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Vatsim isn't really a game. I've been controlling here for a while and I can tell you there's no way to win.

 

On the face of it I'm not against F11, though you are better off picking a better name F11 won't show up anywhere on servinfo until the next update. As far as realism it's not really here nor there but it seems somewhat imaginative, but we've crossed that bridge before with no problems (AFR_N_FSS, EURW_FSS anyone). As far as eventualities eventually in the FAA usually means 10-20 years. Here are a few that have been pushed for, seemed to be happening but never do:

 

PHX tracon providing service to PRC, SBA Tracon and NTD being combined with SCT, ZDV/ZLA/ZFW dividing up ZAB, PHX Tracon taking satellite control of L30 tracon in LAS, MIA ATCT/Tracon being split (which AFAIK happened then unhappened), A90 taking over K90 and most other New England approach controls, St Louis approach taking over nearby approach facilities (gotta do something with that large Tracon since TWA folded).

 

I'm move of an I'll believe it when I see it person. That said my only concern is quality of service (I'll be contacting the controller even if they suck ) as they are essentially running a low enroute position to a degree if TEC flights pick up. SCT runs combined from LAX_APP and many people struggle with having to manage several large airports (though our facility is a little larger and we train to a high proficiency).

 

The real problem I see is getting the message out (probably a fly in to Christen the new facility would be a good idea...hint hint). Forums don't really work as Andrew pointed out a lot of the community doesn't access the forum regularly and putting it in the controller info is small scale and not very effective; heck I have people call me from at KSAN all the time asking if I serve there (even though my controller info says so). It's also a blow to CTR controllers as all of the action will be taken by one S3 would probably limit the amount of people in a hurry to train to the top.

 

 

That all said I wanted to address something else. It seems that when anyone has an issue with something and it even vaguely involves realism the general response that I've seen is 'if you don't like it lump it.' Which is at great odds with the idea of VATSIM being an inclusive learning environment. But certainly if it were the other way around and someone was taking the realism up and it seemed to make someone less realistic uncomfortable we wouldn't agree with them being told to disconnect would we.

 

It's a cop out when we don't address concerns but simply turn our backs, even if those concerns are minor and it subverts the notion of VATSIM being a community rather than an unresponsive system.

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Nice idea, at first the non-realism bugged me, but then it occurred to me that it's simply innovation, which is a GOOD thing.

 

But isn't Central Florida Approach a bit of a mouthful?

 

Nah.. should be okay.

 

We at ZLA followed the FAA and NATCA's lead and combined everything from KSBA up the California Coast to KSBP into its own TRACON. Callsign for that is "Santa Barbara Approach".

 

They should be okay as far as pronunciation goes.

 

BL.

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

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This is awesome, wish I had thought of during my time as ATM at ZJX. I will not take away from anyone's realism since the same procedures, STARS and SIDS will be utilized, just now you will have better coverage. As Matthew stated, VATSIM makes us have to make concessions like CTR controlling APP on down when they are not on. This is the exact same situation. Since we all have a manpower shortage, the situation dictates that this is a great solution to the age old problem of spot coverage. Daniel is a real world controller and I have the highest respect for his ideas and knowledge of the hobby that we all love so much. Great job buddy. Look forward to flying with you soon.

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I'm not bashing your F11 idea. If that is the direction you wish to go with your facility, that is your perrogative. I agree, it's not realistic to provide top down service, but there are limitations we must accept in order for the network to work period. As I said, these are comprimise I make, and it dosen't kill the simulation for me. Of course we can't staff all sectors at all times. We can however, provide a realistic simulation of procedures followed

by pilots and air traffic controllers everyday around the world, as stated in the mission statement of VATSIM. I accomplish this goal by controlling traffic in every position according to how it's done in the real world. My problem is that the realism line is being pushed so far towards the gaming end that we are in danger of losing the hobbist aspect. May VATGAME live on.

 

Tell me, Matthew, how making F11 is any less realistic then having Center do the same thing? Except for the fact that it actually provides coverage, as approaches are staffed more frequently within ZJX than otherwise. F11 is nothing more than a small center sector with low ceilings and a different call sign with the way center sectors work on VATSIM. Very rarely do centers actually do only solely what they do real world, so centers are unrealistic. Out of all my time controlling, it has been once. Yes, the only down side is this single TRACON doesn't exist real world.. however.. so what? The procedures don't change if the same S3 works JAX_APP versus F11_J_APP. Flying into JAX you get the same handling.

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My issue dosen't lie with F11. While I do disagree with it's creation as whether or not it IS going to happen, it dosen't exist today. That is just my opinion. However if you believe that this is good for your facility and will be a benefit to the pilots flying within your airspace, then more power to you.

 

My issue deals with your calling VATSIM merely a game and telling all of us "ultra-realists" to shove it and that we will be reported and delt with should we not abide with it. You must have missed my 3 other posts in this thread where I state that we must make sacrifices to realism in order for the network to physically function. That's why it's a simulation and not an emulation. This however dosen't mean that we can't apply realistic phraseology, policies and procedures to the extent that VATSIM can physically allow if we want to. The problem is, by providing these docomeents, or training ourselves to a high level. We are constantly berated for being too realistic, even from the higest levels of VATSIM.

 

Just as you want people to accept F11 and not have problems with it, we want to be able to train oursleves to a higher standard than the rating guidelines dictate. All without being burned at the stake as ultra-realists. There is nothing wrong with taking initiative to provide a more immersive experience for your pilots and yourself as long as you are willing accomodate those who can or wish not to perform to the same standard. Instead we are allways shown the door.

Matt Bartels
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Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

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I'm not saying to shove it. The ultra-realists that dislike it solely because it's not "realistic" have the option of not staffing it, but staffing the individual TRACONs like before. It's there for the approach controllers that want it, and traffic dictating, the challenge of it. It could also help them get used to a larger area dealing with several approaches at once in preparation for working center.

 

Also, about the reporting thing, I may have worded it wrong but I meant if you decide to just depart from a Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] C or B airport with F11 online without contacting them under the premise that "I don't like that position, so I'm not going to talk to them" then expect to have a sup called just like if you departed with CTR or other APP on. If someone starts taxiing, I'll send a contact me. I don't expect people to know that F11 covers it.. so I'll send a contact me to them so that they know that there is some coverage there. I've had people at MCO decide to start taxiing because there was no MCO TWR or GND, but I was sitting up on MCO APP thinking they were supposed to only call me in the air. Doesn't phase me one bit.. that's the joys of VATSIM, we are supposed to provide bottom up service but we also have the contact me feature to make it possible. Real world, an aircraft approaching our Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] C without talking to Approach or Tower gets called over Guard. But if they're squawking 1200 it's something along the lines of "Sherman Tower on Guard, Sherman Tower on Guard, Aircraft squawking 1200 at 1,000 approaching Sherman Field's runways over Pensacola Bay, contact us on 120.7".

 

There is nothing stopping training with this implementation. This is an OPTION for controllers that want it to push themselves. There is no door being shown here. It's great you want realism, however, in the end it's still a game.. a game with a dash of realism added to it. And trust me, I am for a touch of realism. I am in the process of rebuilding Orlando TRACON to properly simulate departure transition areas to separate them from arrival streams. Imagine during events, STARS coming off Seminole and Cross City VORs with departures going to those same VORs. Real world they file "CAMDT CTY" or the like.. before they used to be sent direct CTY and let center fix it, but the real world DTA/climb corridor is being implemented. I'm adding realism, but keeping it simplified because if you implement too many features no one will be able to do it with out extensive training. It's one thing to take 7 training sessions to get handling departure and approach down.. it's another to take a month just to get the procedures down. It'd be fine if we worked the position 40 hours a week, but we don't.

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