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ARTCC Consolidation


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You just happened to pick a slow night. I could just happen to pick a day when there was no ATC online and say, "Look, VATUSA never has any staffing!" Start looking every night and taking the averages.

 

From what I have seen, the average around midnight and later is anywhere from 20-30 aircraft, with 3 ARTCCs online. In the daytime hours prior to any real staffing (off-peak), the average is around 60-70 aircraft, with 5 towers, 1 approach, and 2 grounds online. That's from a little over a week of looking at random off-peak times. That's a lot of pilots who could potentially be receiving some form of ATC.

 

Online now are well over 120 aircraft, with 3 ARTCCs staffed. While 11:45 on a Saturday morning isn't exactly off-peak, that's a heck of a lot of aircraft that could potentially benefit from such staffing, is it not?

 

With so few controllers online, would it not be better for a center controller to sign on and control his own ARTCC from the ground all the way up then to just control FL240 and above over 4-5 ARTCC's? The pilots will be getting a lot more services provided and a much better experience with full coverage all the way to the ground rather than just having a high enroute controller along the way. Now if you have 2 center certified controllers online at the same time for the same ARTCC, I could definitely see one of them then covering the other ARTCCs while the other covers all of their home ARTCC. Other than that though, I imagine only a select few people would prefer working these new positions over their own ARTCC. I can tell you that I personally would much rather just sign on and control all of ZLA all the way to the ground than to cover just the high airspace over the entire west coast.

There is an art . . . to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

 

Benton Wilmes

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I never said a division. In the UK, RTS' don't do pilot training. In Germany, Berlin's RTG doesn't do training. In the US, Zxx shouldn't do training. The division as a whole should do it, or even the region. VATEUD, for instance, does it. Why can't VATNA do it? Why can't VATUSA do it? There is no reason it cannot be done as a whole.

 

VATCAN runs its own ATO, and quite well, I might add. There's absolutely nothing stopping VATUSA from doing it too. Perhaps you would like to be in charge of starting something similar in the US?

 

You complain because it takes "so long" for us to make C1s (even though they never request training as I indicated before), but then you right now are telling us to add to our load and make our instructors also train pilots. Fewer C1s, aye.

 

Not telling you that at all. I guess you must have misread something again. I'm not telling the ARTCCs to run training programs, but if you want a Division-lead pilot training program, who do you think is going to be involved? We already have the VAs getting involved with their own ATOs. Finding an independent group of pilots to run such a program might prove to be difficult. All really doesn't matter anyway. Optional pilot training isn't going to fix the problem pilots in the first place.

Bryan Wollenberg

ZLA!

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Not telling you that at all. I guess you must have misread something again. I'm not telling the ARTCCs to run training programs, but if you want a Division-lead pilot training program, who do you think is going to be involved? We already have the VAs getting involved with their own ATOs. Finding an independent group of pilots to run such a program might prove to be difficult. All really doesn't matter anyway. Optional pilot training isn't going to fix the problem pilots in the first place.

 

You did when you insisted the ARTCC's (throwing ZJX out there yet again) do the pilot training when I insisted it be done on the divisional or regional level to not directly impact controller training (since you threw out there that ZJX is slow at promoting their S3s to C1s).

 

It's the same thing that is happening with software development on this network.. it's the lack of even trying to fix a known problem that is completely aggravating. A founder even posted it's a known problem, but look around and tell me where anyone is even attempting to fix this known problem that has been known for years. You'll see nothing but us outside the BoG complain that the problem needs resolving. Y'all expect people to come to you and volunteer for something no one except you knows you want done. Push to start a divisional or regional pilot training program, it doesn't have to be lead by ATC in any form. You're VATNA1 and VATUSA2 and a member of the EC, you have the power to push for change much more than most people who have posted in this thread about the lack of pilot initiative. First step would be: recruit someone to lead it. Sitting back and waiting for a volunteer for something not even announced is like expecting a pig to fly.

 

Look into what VATUK did, they recruited someone to form a new RTS that is specifically made for pilot training. It doesn't affect the controllers.

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Look into what VATUK did, they recruited someone to form a new RTS that is specifically made for pilot training. It doesn't affect the controllers.

 

Not exactly. A member brought them a proposal and they hired him to implement it. And it doesn't affect controller training at all as they use other pilot resources for instructors and mentors.

Kyle Ramsey

 

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This has drifted way off topic. Combining ARTCC's (opening mega centers) to who should train pilots.

 

So, 1000 apologies if this has been mentioned before, but I really don't have the patience to read through 16 pages of people complaining about other people.

 

My 2 cents: To NOT do something on VATSIM or more specifically VATUSA because the r/w FAA doesn't do it, is an invalid argument. Because, we do many things on VATSIM and VATUSA that our real world counterparts DON'T do, because we are NOT the real world, there are NO lives at stake, or real property to be destroyed. Sure, this is a Simulation, but I don't see the r/w TRACON's shuting down, because their mothers telll them it's time to go to bed. I think you get my point.

 

 

Scott DeWoody

CEO - American Virtual Airlines

joinava dot org

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This has drifted way off topic. Combining ARTCC's (opening mega centers) to who should train pilots.

 

So, 1000 apologies if this has been mentioned before, but I really don't have the patience to read through 16 pages of people complaining about other people.

 

My 2 cents: To NOT do something on VATSIM or more specifically VATUSA because the r/w FAA doesn't do it, is an invalid argument. Because, we do many things on VATSIM and VATUSA that our real world counterparts DON'T do, because we are NOT the real world, there are NO lives at stake, or real property to be destroyed. Sure, this is a Simulation, but I don't see the r/w TRACON's shuting down, because their mothers telll them it's time to go to bed. I think you get my point.

 

First, I think you would benefit greatly from reading through this thread. It's been fairly civil compared to many in the past, as evidenced by it not being locked by this point.

 

Personally, I think I see your point, but I think it's poorly made. The proposed VATUSA high altitude airspace construct is a fabrication with little to no basis in reality. TRACONs (and all airspace sectors) shutting down due to time constraints, however, are consequences of inherent volunteerism for the network at large. I would argue that part time TRACONs and towers are fundamentally more realistic and beneficial to the network than high altitude only mega centers.

 

As I see it, you are effectively arguing for this change, which is your opinion and right. With that said, the raw "no real lives" argument is no more effective in advancing a position than the "we should match reality" counter. In and of itself, these positions do not have substance, rather they are simply entrenched positions and opinions. This is reinforced when presented with broad and generalizing statements such as "I think you get my point." May I ask:

 

What is your point?

Why do you believe that?

What actual benefit(s) or lack thereof do you see contained within the given proposal?

What evidence do you use to support such claims?

 

My intent here is not to attack your opinion or position on the matter, but to elicit more from you and others who wish to argue for or against this proposal.

Nate Johns

 

"All things are difficult before they are easy."

- Dr. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

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Actually, I am neither for or against it, as I see this as a (free to me) hobby, and as such, will comply with whatever is set up in the system.

 

What I am against, or have a problem with is those that "preach",

"in the real world", because, as I said, this is NOT the real world. And I agree to a certain extent, we should make an effort to mimic real world operations, as pointed out in my post, this cannot always be done, due to (your word) volunteerism. So neither of the situations discribed, mine or yours offers any more realism than the other, and

1) My "point" is.... This is VATSIM, not the real world, there are things that we do here to counter the issue of not having full coverage control at every airport in the USA that would normally have it. Also, just because it's not done a certain way in the r/w, doesn't necessarily mean, that it shouldn't or can't be done on VATSIM.

2) I'm pretty sure that is obvious.

3) Benefits, as a VATSIM SUP, if there was more en route coverage, I wouldn't have to be answering "wallops" for AFK pilots as much.

4) Evidence is contained in all the cert records of the pilots that were either disco'd from the network, or suspended for repeat offenses for being AFK.

 

But like I said, it doesn't matter to me either way VATUSA decides to go, I'll still fly, and I'll still control, and I'll still try to enjoy myself doing a hobby that I am fond of.

 

Disclaimer: This is just MY opinion, and doesn't necessarily reflect those of anyone else, or any organization or group that I am affiliated with.

 

 

Scott DeWoody

CEO - American Virtual Airlines

joinava dot org

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3) Benefits, as a VATSIM SUP, if there was more en route coverage, I wouldn't have to be answering "wallops" for AFK pilots as much.

 

You'd probably get more. The US en-route system is pretty dry. When I ran Gander, I would get pilots AFK all the time, not even responding to the annoying SELCAL call. You'll get them from people who run them because pilots still go away from keyboard when under ATC. Sometimes they ask, sometimes they don't. On an average hour shift, 10% of pilots need to receive another "contact me" when I go to talk to them. Yes, even on arrivals. This number fluctuates, but is pretty general.

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Keep in mind that an large non top-down en-route control doesn't necessarily mean more coverage. It just means more lateral coverage... but the vertical coverage goes poof. You guys gotta stop thinking in two dimensions.

 

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=61524&start=210#p447790

 

It seems as though no one read my post...

Rather than everyone still going off on the "OH MORE COVERAGE" train, please just read the linked post so I don't have to say the same thing again.

 

What am I chopped liver?

VATUSA, vZAU S2 / ORD Major Cert.

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Daniel,

 

I have tried thus far to keep training (of any kind) away from the Regional level. It's something that really should be accomplished at the Division level, but if you want me to look into creating some sort of program for the Region, I'll be happy to do that. I'm not one to bloat the Region with all sorts of staff and programs, but that might have to change, obviously on the controller side of things as well. Rich, I did get your PM. Will get back to you on that this evening. Just on my way out the door to work.

 

Just for your info, so you don't get things confused, I'm not VATUSA2 also. That would be a huge conflict of interest. I'm listed as VATUSA2, since that's how the VATUSA website handles certain permissions, and I needed access to certain staff sections of the website.

 

Since you seem to be the most vocal person here about pilot training, why in the last few months have you not gone to Gary or the rest of the VATUSA staff with some proposal or request?

Bryan Wollenberg

ZLA!

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I don't see the r/w TRACON's shuting down.

Tracon's do close down.... Not for the reason you suggested though. There are good arguments for this FSS type system, and good reasons against. The reasons against HIGHLY outweigh the reasons for having it.

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VATSIM Supervisor

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Well,

 

Not to take away from Dan responding, I went and recently spoke to Gary regarding a divisional Pilot training program.

 

His reasoning to VATUSA not making a Pilot training scheme made complete sense to me, Gary has his reasons for VATUSA not starting an ATO.

 

I leave it up to Gary on whether he wishes to disclose those reasons here, or somewhere else (Considering this isn't a Pilot training thread)

 

Anyway, Back to original topic now?

 

Cheers!

Rahul

Rahul Parkar

"On second thoughts Nappa, catch it, catch it with your teeth" -- Vegeta

Professional Nerd. (Professionally not professional)

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running some type of training program at the division level is a h/a. As long as u have dedicated people to run that particular divisional training program than its fine. However, you end up with just as much turnover in instructors as you do at the ARTCC level. No continuity...no one to efficiently run it. This is the reason the VATUSA ATC academy failed.

Tom Ferry

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running some type of training program at the division level is a h/a. As long as u have dedicated people to run that particular divisional training program than its fine. However, you end up with just as much turnover in instructors as you do at the ARTCC level. No continuity...no one to efficiently run it. This is the reason the VATUSA ATC academy failed.

That's using the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]umption that humans are required to execute the training, which is not the case in this online age.

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No but humans are required to observe the practical part of attaining a rating.

 

Cheers!

Rahul

Edited by Guest

Rahul Parkar

"On second thoughts Nappa, catch it, catch it with your teeth" -- Vegeta

Professional Nerd. (Professionally not professional)

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No but humans are required to observe the practical part of training.

 

Not necessarily.

 

Cheers!

 

Luke

... I spawn hundreds of children a day. They are daemons because they are easier to kill. The first four remain stubbornly alive despite my (and their) best efforts.

... Normal in my household makes you a member of a visible minority.

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No but humans are required to observe the practical part of attaining a rating.

 

Not necessarily.

 

Cheers!

 

Luke

 

True, But I was making referrals to this network and it's current infrastructure.

Rahul Parkar

"On second thoughts Nappa, catch it, catch it with your teeth" -- Vegeta

Professional Nerd. (Professionally not professional)

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True, But I was making referrals to this network and it's current infrastructure.

 

It can be done using the current infrastructure, but it would be much easier if VATSIM did some simple things like adding a field or two to the ServInfo feed and adjusted the frequency downwards a bit.

 

Cheers!

 

Luke

... I spawn hundreds of children a day. They are daemons because they are easier to kill. The first four remain stubbornly alive despite my (and their) best efforts.

... Normal in my household makes you a member of a visible minority.

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Time for a little clarification...

 

First off, I apologize for hijacking this thread to a degree but there are several issues to be addressed and they are all interconnected. I'll warn you ahead of time, this may get long...so grab a drink and your popcorn...

 

Rahul is correct in stating my position that it is not in the VATUSA Division's best interest to introduce a division-managed Pilot Training Program at this time. I do not believe we are in a position to establish yet another bureaucratic element nor commit the necessary resources to this endeavor. Along with this, I find as was mentioned by a previous poster that the long-term value of the PTO effort is still in question. This is not meant as a judgement value of the program in general - I believe there is value in the program and it will prove itself in the future. My initial concern is that whether managed at Divisional or Regional level, a PTO will not answer many of the issues and concerns outlined in this and other threads.

 

There are currently 14 authorized ATOs listed on the VATSIM website...of those, six are organizations (VAs mostly) that are based in or closely [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ociated with the VATNA Region...that's just under 50%. Based on data most recently shared with me (full year 2011), the VA-oriented ATOs accounted for approximately 50% of the pilot ratings so far awarded. Further, greater than 75% of the pilot ratings awarded by the Region/Division-managed programs were awarded within the first six months of their inception. in one case greater than 50% of the ratings were awarded in a single month. The reported rating rate after this initial period falls off dramatically. An extrapolation would be that the participation levels in these programs has diminished as well.

 

Please understand, this is not meant as any kind of value judgement of these programs themselves...these are just the facts. If a VATSIM member wishes to avail themselves of the fine training any one of these organizations is authorized to provide, they are able to do so...but they must make the effort to do so. Developing yet another training venue that abides by the same competency requirements that all such programs are held to just isn't warranted. Though division-managed, no greater requirement of compliance with a unique set of operational requirements than the basic VATSIM-specified competencies would be allowed.

 

With this said, I am more than willing to support a third-party effort to establish a Pilot Training ATO. I am willing to make available any technological resources I am able to muster and encourage any interested parties to go-for-it. The only caveats being, it will not be an official part of the VATUSA Division and it must be fully compliant with all of the VATSIM ATO competency requirements and authorized as such by VATSIM.

Gary Millsaps

VATUSA1

 

"I knew all the rules but the rules did not know me...

guaranteed."

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Time for a little clarification...

 

First off, I apologize for hijacking this thread to a degree but there are several issues to be addressed and they are all interconnected. I'll warn you ahead of time, this may get long...so grab a drink and your popcorn...

 

Rahul is correct in stating my position that it is not in the VATUSA Division's best interest to introduce a division-managed Pilot Training Program at this time. I do not believe we are in a position to establish yet another bureaucratic element nor commit the necessary resources to this endeavor. Along with this, I find as was mentioned by a previous poster that the long-term value of the PTO effort is still in question. This is not meant as a judgement value of the program in general - I believe there is value in the program and it will prove itself in the future. My initial concern is that whether managed at Divisional or Regional level, a PTO will not answer many of the issues and concerns outlined in this and other threads.

 

There are currently 14 authorized ATOs listed on the VATSIM website...of those, six are organizations (VAs mostly) that are based in or closely [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ociated with the VATNA Region...that's just under 50%. Based on data most recently shared with me (full year 2011), the VA-oriented ATOs accounted for approximately 50% of the pilot ratings so far awarded. Further, greater than 75% of the pilot ratings awarded by the Region/Division-managed programs were awarded within the first six months of their inception. in one case greater than 50% of the ratings were awarded in a single month. The reported rating rate after this initial period falls off dramatically. An extrapolation would be that the participation levels in these programs has diminished as well.

 

Please understand, this is not meant as any kind of value judgement of these programs themselves...these are just the facts. If a VATSIM member wishes to avail themselves of the fine training any one of these organizations is authorized to provide, they are able to do so...but they must make the effort to do so. Developing yet another training venue that abides by the same competency requirements that all such programs are held to just isn't warranted. Though division-managed, no greater requirement of compliance with a unique set of operational requirements than the basic VATSIM-specified competencies would be allowed.

 

With this said, I am more than willing to support a third-party effort to establish a Pilot Training ATO. I am willing to make available any technological resources I am able to muster and encourage any interested parties to go-for-it. The only caveats being, it will not be an official part of the VATUSA Division and it must be fully compliant with all of the VATSIM ATO competency requirements and authorized as such by VATSIM.

 

Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh, but isnt the thread topic "ARTCC Consolidation" not "VATUSA for ATO"?

 

It just seems like this derails the thread further. Maybe include your opinion on the supercenter idea. After all, isnt that what this thread is about?

ALEXANDRA ROBISON
Air Traffic Manager, Albuquerque ARTCC
VATSIM Senior Developer
 
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Now Now,

 

As Gary and I both know, I don't usually come and play as part of his offensive line.

 

Heck, I'm usually that really pesky Defensive end, Picking apart the QB

 

But in this case, It seems to me that you're blaming Gary for derailing the topic, when the topic had begun moving into the Pilot training debate way back on page 14, (With the debate on EU pilots vs US pilots) Gary just addressed comments made on this topic about why VATUSA is not running or setting up an ATO.

 

Gary has also made a post regarding the Super center idea... It's back somewhere around page 11 if I'm not wrong.

 

Cheers!

Rahul

Rahul Parkar

"On second thoughts Nappa, catch it, catch it with your teeth" -- Vegeta

Professional Nerd. (Professionally not professional)

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