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Discussion: If you could change one thing about VATSIM...

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  • 21st century server infrastructure (low latency voice, higher update rate for online traffic)

  • Pilot signup test (doesn't have to be crazy difficult, just a simple quizz so trolls can't just make new accounts in 2 clicks)

  • CPDLC, ATC Uplink and all that jazz (so CTP doesn't go from amazing to nightmarish when you reach the Atlantic)


Yes it's more than one item but it's so rare we get asked for feedback I'm not wasting that opportunity

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Hello Matthew,

Excuse my long reply, I know you've wanted one, but I have got a couple:


1 - Pilots on the network: There has been a lot of personal concern about that, in several areas such as pilot training, pilot conduct, and lastly pilot coverage. If VATSIM can keep it as voluntary, yet find a way to encourage them to take training, that will be great. However, as many said, work on encouraging pilots to fly in other areas of the world, as I for one, feel that going online as a controller without traffic does not work.


2 - Voice Codec: Voice codec is definitely a concern, however if you can update the codec to allow not only Text and Voice, but also more use of CPDLC across the globe. I for one, could call myself lucky, because I haven't had a time, where I said, I am done and logged off because of the voice quality. Maybe because I knew I can request it in text.


3 - Model matching: If you can improve the way members enter aircraft codes, it would be appreciated. I usually get the wrong livery of an aircraft. Also, if you can improve the pilot clients to accept ICAO for major airlines, that will be appreciated as well.

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Bahaeddine El-Zarif
vACC Director
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Primary Concern: Fix the voice codec. It's 2018, and it needs to change

Second Concern: Pilot standards. A lot of people have suggested tests or restrictions, I don't think this is the way to go. But I DO think the network should utilise a short introduction moodle course to all new registrations. For their registration to become active, they simply have to "complete" (read) each lesson and once that is complete their account is activated. Would fix issues with troll accounts being setup quickly and newer members would have no excuse to not know the basics.

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I would focus on pilot quality. It's not the first time, nor will it be the last when there are pilots signing up and fly just for the heck of it, and when they don't know to follow an instruction they create conflicts with other traffic. This leads to a huge mess for a controller to deal with and when such incidents keep happening repeatedly, controllers lose the will to control.


A standard 10 question quiz on sign up for basic flying (traffic patterns, flying headings, maintaining altitudes and airspeeds, etc) and on the VATSIM CoC and CoR would go a long way in ensuring pilots know what they are doing and would reduce the cause of conflicts caused by unruly pilots by a great deal.

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Adding to the list, I would also prefer getting a new voice codec so the radio qualities can be improved. Voice now depends on the quality of the microphones pilots and ATC are using, and only few have good ones.


Secondly, I would prefer enabling voice on UNICOM. I feel that typing while flying is hard to do, multitask wise, especially in GA planes VFR. Voicing your intentions, I feel, is better than typing your intentions.


Finally, I would raise the standards of pilots and their basic standards of connecting and what to do on the network. Here is an example. During an event, I saw one person on the active, where there were multiple people waiting for him to either takeoff, vacate the runway, or disconnect. I feel that these pilots should know the very basic standards of VATSIM. I'm not saying they should know how to do advanced skills, but basic ones like connecting to a gate or ramp and getting from point A to B on the network.


Hopefully this is clear!


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More "global" standardised technology, to reduce the workload required to run VACCs. There's lots of small areas that are trying to run a full scale operation, but struggle to get websites, email, training docomeentation and various other things get done. In the case of IVAO and POSCON there is (or will be) much more done at a global level, to reduce the workload required by the ACC staff, and improve standardisation across the world.

Alex Beavil

ROvACC Events



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Less corporate BS and the red tape and countless staff that go with it. An IVAO approach of centralising all web services would do so much to improve visibility and cut down 'officials' and 'titles' to a bare minimum. 90% of staff activity is never seen by people on the FSD servers. Policies and standard approaches are needed in some areas (e.g. supervising etc) but some divisions disappear up their own pipes - look at some of the rubbish some Regions have published over time. This is a gaming site where the game is to be 'serious' when on the server flying. We need to remember that!


Edit: In response to the pilot issue mentioned by so many, one easy solution would be to allow supervisors to use their judgement a little more and, where somebody cannot do the basics, make them feel supported in removing them from the servers. That way you don't put people off by tests, but can crack down on the feckless who cause carnage.

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Thanks Matthew,


The one thing I would change:


Remove real world atc standards for controllers in some regions, which I see as restricting the number of controllers available.




BoG implement an atc training audit regime.


C1/O P3


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Controlling Side:


1) Accountability for peoples actions. Get rid of the politics. This is a game, not congress. Removal of politics will see the decrease in the decline of members. How to fix this? It starts with the founders, then goes to the BOG, then goes down from there. The founders need to set a strong presence of "We will not tolerate BS and child like behavior (which is all too common now in the staff side of controlling)" We don't get paid, we are volunteers. Treat us like volunteers, not like we're getting paid 3 figures.



Pilots side:

1) VATSIM's motto is "As real as it gets" why do we make controllers train, but let pilots go free reign. As a controller in an FNO, it throws off your timing when you have a pilot that doesn't know what they're doing. Give them the basics, but enough so that they aren't extremely new.

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It's been discussed very heavily about the lack of pilot standards and that should be addressed in some way. Maybe a short test or encouraging pilots to join Vatstar or both since Vatstar is volunteer run as well. There are a lot of members who dont fly because they dont know how Vatsim works. It seems like every week someone is asking how to Vatsim. There need to be something in place to familiarize then in the form of a video or a presentation. Most will not read through instructions on a website.


I think there should be a rewrite to the b# to included the allowed 30 minutes away from your computer. Numerous times over the last couple months I step away from my computer for about 10 to 15 minutes with numerous contact me messages and supervisor message because I stepped away for a bathroom break or a food break, I must also add that I was still at my home when these happened. We cant be expected to monitor for active controllers if we leave the room and no one is on and then a controller pops up when we leave for a break.


Finally, I run into controllers who are logged in and online but no one is manning the position with multiple planes landing, taking off and requesting clearance. There sholud be some type of penalty for this. If pilots decide to leave the seat for 2 hours with mulitple people calling they get booted and eventually some type of disciplinary action is taken

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To get up a new database structure. So that the main user data's are saved correctly in the database. At the moment all VATSIM p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]words are saved in the database without a correct coding format, in "clear text". And that all regions and all websites are correctly built according to the new privacy statement. With a complete imprint a a privacy policy.





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Get rid of the Board's idea of "We want this to be an accessible learning environment". The interpretation of the idea is broken!


Accessibiliy =/= Quality


These concerns and suggestions are the same since forever and then after a few rounds of discussion by the board it always boils down to "We want this to be an accessible learning environment", so no pilot training required, no strict quality control impletemented. "We simply can't do that folks, we this to be accessible"


Dear VATSIM Board, strict is good, don't look at it as something that will degrade accessibilty. Unbounded open-ness does nothing but tolerate inadequacies. Even democratic goverments fines/imprisons those who breaks the law.


Once the board decides to let go of the "good guy attitude" and decides to put the foot down and put quality as priority, EVERYTHING will follow.


It's probably stupid to quote a movie but here's one from Black Panther

"Your a good man (Vatsim) but its hard for a good man to be King"

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Dormant regions should not be required to have a regular structure(VACC) Instead, any VATSIM C1 rated controller should be able to man those positions until the situation has sufficiently improved to justify building a regular structure.

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1) POSCON, a serious threat, don't bury your collective heads in the sand about it. If people are desperate for a drink, brands wont matter. POSCON will be accepting VATSIM controller ratings for transfer ATC's and pilots just have to use a new client.


2) Voice issues, quality and latency.


3) Less restrictions for C1 rated controllers, we earned them, yet are stuck like prisioners in our home vACC's/Divisions and have to jump through hoops to control in other area's. Open up dead area's for C1 rated controllers to man and maybe breath life into them. Visiting controlling is hard with timezones to schedule any sort of familiarization. I'm confident an ICAO level of service can be provided in dead areas by C1's. You do it for Worldflight, where a 'select' few man stations in dead areas for it.

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