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VATUSA Academy Brochure Announcement


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Jason Sutton announced today that the VATUSA Trainihng Academy has released an informative brochure describing the VATUSA ATC Training Academy and it's features.

 

The brochure, created by Anthony, will give the VATSIM membership a general understanding of how the Academy was created, why the academy was created, how enrollment works, what courses are taught, the degree that is offered, and who to contact for more information.

 

Find a copy for yourself here:

 

http://www.vatusa.org/docs/VATUSATrainingAcademyBrochure.pdf

 

There is also a link on the VATUSA site.

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Kyle Ramsey

 

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Kudos on the brocure, it looks very nice!

 

Just wanted to rant for a minute on the term used in there, "VATUSA CID." I've seen this a few other places (can't remember where exactly now, but I know it's somewhere) and to be honest, I have no clue what my VATUSA CID is. I [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume it's your VATSIM ID, but then what is the difference between my VATSIM ID and my VATUSA CID? I think this might be misleading to new controllers, because CID stands for "Controller ID" and if you're a new controller, you'd be expecting to recieve a controller ID, not have to input your VATSIM one (which mind you, the VATSIM ID is a general ID, not specifically a controller).

 

Thanks!

Nick Bartolotta - ZSE Instructor, pilot at large

 

"Just fly it on down to within a inch of the runway and let it drop in from there."

- Capt. Don Lanham, ATA Airlines

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I believe CID stands for "Certificate ID"

 

Even if that is the case, I think the main thing to me that is misleading is calling it your VATUSA one, that is of course [Mod - Happy Thoughts]uming the VATUSA one is automatically the same as your VATSIM one (which I'm only speculating).

Nick Bartolotta - ZSE Instructor, pilot at large

 

"Just fly it on down to within a inch of the runway and let it drop in from there."

- Capt. Don Lanham, ATA Airlines

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Looks good guys...One thing that you might want to clarify for new students is the following section

 

The rights afforded by this degree are the ability to control

any position from Clearance Delivery to Tower on the VATSIM

Network within the United States Division and to join

an ARTCC for advanced training and eventual Controller

(C1) appointment.

 

This implies that as soon as the controller is released from the academy that they can go and plug in at any tower position in the US. Some ARTCC's (quite rightfully so) have implemented Position specific training and OTS's - might just be good to clarify that before manning any position, that the student should read over the position restrictions policy listed on the particular ARTCC's website or contact staff members for for information.

 

Nice job so far.

 

Regards,

 

-AF

DPE / CFI / CFII / MEI (Gold Seal)

CP-ASEL, AMEL, IA, GLIDER, E170/175/190/195, CE-500

VATSIM Supervisor

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Well one thing that should be noted is that when I transfer the member from the Academy to the ARTCC, he/she receives the automated welcome email from the ATM. Since many of the ARTCC's have already developed and posted training procedures for Academy graduates it is my hope that the ATM will include some information about local procedure training requirements in their welcome emails so that the graduate will know how to proceed.

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The pamphlet looks nice, but I have to ask myself WHY? This presentation is pretty useless for online / pc viewing. Unless you intend to print this out and distribute to various FBOs around the country, whats the point? This could have been done way more efficiently in a nice webpage.

 

Also, spending all that time creating such a graphic rich presentation certainly implies that you have nothing better to do. Certainly thats not the case. We aren't getting graduates, you STILL haven't opened up the academy to be visable to everyone, students can't get past the lessons because the academy is so understaffed its an embar[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ment. And yet you have enough time to spend creating this pamphlet?

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The pamphlet looks nice, but I have to ask myself WHY? This presentation is pretty useless for online / pc viewing. Unless you intend to print this out and distribute to various FBOs around the country, whats the point? This could have been done way more efficiently in a nice webpage.

 

Also, spending all that time creating such a graphic rich presentation certainly implies that you have nothing better to do. Certainly thats not the case. We aren't getting graduates, you STILL haven't opened up the academy to be visable to everyone, students can't get past the lessons because the academy is so understaffed its an embar[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ment. And yet you have enough time to spend creating this pamphlet?

 

Brandon,

 

I try to stay out of these things, but I find that kind of disrespectful towards Mr. Santanastaso, Mr. Sutton, and Mr. Turner. They work hard to make the academy run smoothly. I can say one thing it's not easy. If you're not a mentor or instructor with the academy become one (know the student load). Sure, it would be nice to have a one to one student teacher ratio, but that won't happen, meaning that some will have to wait their turn for training. If you communicate with your students it shouldn't be a problem, they'll probably understand. Yes, I wish the academy could be open to everyone, but at this time it cannot. Maybe one day it will, maybe it won't. Alright, I'm done yakking.

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The pamphlet looks nice, but I have to ask myself WHY? This presentation is pretty useless for online / pc viewing. Unless you intend to print this out and distribute to various FBOs around the country, whats the point? This could have been done way more efficiently in a nice webpage.

 

Also, spending all that time creating such a graphic rich presentation certainly implies that you have nothing better to do. Certainly thats not the case. We aren't getting graduates, you STILL haven't opened up the academy to be visable to everyone, students can't get past the lessons because the academy is so understaffed its an embar[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ment. And yet you have enough time to spend creating this pamphlet?

 

At this point any blatant attacks are unnessecary and uncalled for. The Academy DOES need to increase the number of mentors so that new students can be processed through the academy more swiftly. However, without imposing a mandatory recruitment of all instructors, it can be and still is difficult. The pamplet is mainly to tell prospective students something about the Academy and what they are getting themselves into. At the moment, the academy is time consuming for students and instructors alike. If a prospective student sees the pamphlet and decides he does not have enough time to go through training, he probably will not join, lowering the amount of useless inactive attendees of the academy.

Jay Hsu

ZME ARTCC

VATPRC Resource Manager

http://www.vatprc.net

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Also, spending all that time creating such a graphic rich presentation certainly implies that you have nothing better to do.

 

This is as accurate as someone hypothetically saying that by you having the nerve to write this post implies that you are a complete schmuck.

 

EDIT: Give these guys a break. They have real lives, jobs, and families.

Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

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The academy has yet to be opened simply becuase of the very "kinks" in the system that many of you mention. It is a case of trail and error, and I am quite delighted to say that steps are already in motion to bring the academy to the next level of functionality and practicality. The concerns and issues that plague the academy, and truthfully ANY institution or program so early after its birth, will soon dissipate and become past lessons from which we can learn. The academy can and will get better. I would just sincerely ask that you, the VATSIM and VATUSA community, give me and the academy a fighting chance. Brochures like the one I created was meant to be as informative as it was supposed to be inspirational, to show you that the academy is embracing the future with high hopes and standards.

 

And with regards to the accusation of time having been misappropriately allocated, I can [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ure you that the brochure, as well as any other item or policy for the academy, was created using time in addition to that which is necessary in order to keep the academy running.

 

I am friends and colleagues with many of you, and I think that ALL of you can verify that I have been running on full steam (with lots of coffee) ever since my appointment as Deputy Director of Training and Academy Director. With the exception of a week or two over the past several months, I have in many cases placed VATUSA and the academy ahead of many pressing and important real world obligations because I know how much the success of the academy means to VATUSA and the entire VATSIM network. Give me a chance - give the academy a chance. I guarantee it will be worth your while!

Anthony Santanastaso

VATUSA Division Training Manager

[email protected]

http://www.vatusa.net

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Brandon,

 

I try to stay out of these things, but I find that kind of disrespectful towards Mr. Santanastaso, Mr. Sutton, and Mr. Turner. They work hard to make the academy run smoothly. I can say one thing it's not easy. If you're not a mentor or instructor with the academy become one (know the student load). Sure, it would be nice to have a one to one student teacher ratio, but that won't happen, meaning that some will have to wait their turn for training. If you communicate with your students it shouldn't be a problem, they'll probably understand. Yes, I wish the academy could be open to everyone, but at this time it cannot. Maybe one day it will, maybe it won't. Alright, I'm done yakking.

 

Cornell,

 

Having been a mentor and INS I know teaching is not the easiest thing in the world, especially if you have a larger mentor to student ratio, but I somehow find it troubling that the upper staff would take time to make a pamplet when their are bigger fish to fry. why can't the academy and its program be open to everyone? There is simply no reason or downside for the academy not to be public, after all, 100 minds are better than 3

 

 

 

At this point any blatant attacks are unnessecary and uncalled for. The Academy DOES need to increase the number of mentors so that new students can be processed through the academy more swiftly. However, without imposing a mandatory recruitment of all instructors, it can be and still is difficult. The pamplet is mainly to tell prospective students something about the Academy and what they are getting themselves into. At the moment, the academy is time consuming for students and instructors alike. If a prospective student sees the pamphlet and decides he does not have enough time to go through training, he probably will not join, lowering the amount of useless inactive attendees of the academy

 

 

Jay,

 

All I'm doing is calling things the way I see them....thats uncalled for? So I can't give me opinion and ask a few questions?

I don't think there should be mandatory to serve in the academy ( lets not give them any idea's ), but they still do need a way to fix the staffing problems. I know what the pamplet is for....but thanks for pointing that out . My problem is why make a pamplet when ALL of that information can be posted on a simple webpage and made twice as clear?

 

 

This is as accurate as someone hypothetically saying that by you having the nerve to write this post implies that you are a complete schmuck.

EDIT: Give these guys a break. They have real lives, jobs, and families.

 

Ian,

 

Perhaps you mis-understood what I meant by that? I know that they have personal lives, so do I, but what im getting at is dont you think they would spend the time that they work on the academy doing things that have a higher priority? How does putting out a pamplet and advertising help when the academy isnt even ready for the load of students it has?

 

The academy has yet to be opened simply becuase of the very "kinks" in the system that many of you mention. It is a case of trail and error, and I am quite delighted to say that steps are already in motion to bring the academy to the next level of functionality and practicality. The concerns and issues that plague the academy, and truthfully ANY institution or program so early after its birth, will soon dissipate and become past lessons from which we can learn. The academy can and will get better. I would just sincerely ask that you, the VATSIM and VATUSA community, give me and the academy a fighting chance. Brochures like the one I created was meant to be as informative as it was supposed to be inspirational, to show you that the academy is embracing the future with high hopes and standards.

 

And with regards to the accusation of time having been misappropriately allocated, I can [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ure you that the brochure, as well as any other item or policy for the academy, was created using time in addition to that which is necessary in order to keep the academy running.

 

I am friends and colleagues with many of you, and I think that ALL of you can verify that I have been running on full steam (with lots of coffee) ever since my appointment as Deputy Director of Training and Academy Director. With the exception of a week or two over the past several months, I have in many cases placed VATUSA and the academy ahead of many pressing and important real world obligations because I know how much the success of the academy means to VATUSA and the entire VATSIM network. Give me a chance - give the academy a chance. I guarantee it will be worth your while! Very Happy

 

 

Anthony,

 

If there are so many "Kinks" as you put it, why are you spending time creating, in my opinion, pointless pamplets that serve no person for viewing on a PC? I just dont see the logic in spending time on it when there are bigger fish to fry.... I'm all for the academy and I do know that you, and Jason have been working you tails off, but this here just doesnt make sense to me.

 

 

 

 

BG

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Anthony summed it up, but I want the chance to add to it a little

 

We aren't getting graduates,

 

On the contrary we've had several graduates...none that have transferred into ZJX but that's only because none so far have asked to control there.

 

you STILL haven't opened up the academy to be visable to everyone

 

I don't see why this continues to be brought up. The Training Department has said a hundred times why the Academy is not public. Unless you are part of the faculty or a student undergoing training why would you even want access in there, or better yet, why would you need access in there? Access to the portal is limited just as the portals to the ATM and Instructor sites are…on a need to be in there basis. All that you'll see anyways are the lesson files, the SOP docs, an FAQ page, a resource page and a pilot/controller glossary, that's it. For the life of me I cannot fathom why anyone else would want to go in there and yet it continues to be thrown in the Training Department’s face. I have supplied the ATM and TA staff with copies of the outline, the syllabus, and to some, even the SOP docs. Since Anthony has made the stages available for download, if an ATM or TA would like a copy all they need to do is email him.

 

students can't get past the lessons because the academy is so understaffed its an embar[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ment.

Students getting past lessons has nothing to do with the faculty. From time to time a staff member may go out of town for a few days or has to attend to something that keeps him or her from being online but all in all the current faculty is doing a great job. How and when a student gets past a lesson depends mostly on how much effort the student is willing to put forth. Many of them enroll thinking it's a walk in the park and soon come to realize it requires a lot of hard work on their part. And in turn many give up. The faculty works hard to keep this from happening but I will not allow the Academy to change any of its principles just so that it becomes less of an effort for the student. Remember that these are YOUR future controllers we are training. It's all about quantity versus quality. I’d love more than anything to see five or so graduates leave the Academy every week, but I’m not going to risk lowering the standards of the Academy or even the USA Division to see that it happens.

 

Understaffing can from time to time be an issue. That’s what happens when you are a part of the largest division in all of VATSIM. We see on average about 40 new students every 2 weeks. Anthony, Jeff Turner, and I have done everything and are doing everything we can within reason to keep a high faculty number. Brandon you say that the Academy is so understaffed that it’s an embarr[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ment, but the last time I checked you hadn’t volunteered to come over and help train, and you have an I-1 rating. I guess I could solve the problem and require every single VATUSA member that holds an I-1 rating or an Instructor position to staff the Academy. I have the authority to do so and have been thinking very seriously about going forward with it. The only reason I haven’t is because there are students undergoing training at each of the 22 ARTCC’S that need attention as well. I cannot just focus on the Academy, I have to think about the entire Division and that’s what I’m doing. If you or anyone else reading this post is interested I have just approved a new change in the curriculum and training that will only require a grand total of 9 teachers to ensure students graduate in a window of no more than a 2 week period. And I’ve done so without sacrificing the standards of the Academy or VATUSA. According to my numbers we have 30 members on the faculty so I think we're going to do better than ok...more on this soon.

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Brandon, what you said did sound offensive to me. Perhaps rewording your sentiments in a less-accusatory manner can get the same point across. Nevertheless, I do hear you.

 

One thing I'd like to point out regarding the pamphlet is that I did have a little difficulty reading it, as it did come vertically. Adobe reader just wouldn't cooperate rotating the page... lol

Jay Hsu

ZME ARTCC

VATPRC Resource Manager

http://www.vatprc.net

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Toward the public/private nature of the Academy.

 

Transparency is probably the easiest way to encourage a greater sense of legitimacy toward the operation. If the ARTCC's themselves that are recieving students from the academy can't even go in to poke around a little, then how can there be significant confidence in the operation of the academy? Since the ARTCCs are directly affected by the product produced, it would be nice for training staff and chiefs (at a bare minimum) to know how things are working on the inside at the academy.

 

A greater public understanding of how things are being operated begets the ability for VATUSA membership to provide input on the Academy as it is constructed and built out. I would personally see this as vital here after the inital structure has been set up. I think the Acedemy is an excellent idea, and can help ease the burden on ARTCCs of taking new students from square one. Why not then allow more exposure to VATUSA? We controllers as a whole are the ones that will get to deal with the new graduates as they trickle out.

 

~Nate

Nate Johns

 

"All things are difficult before they are easy."

- Dr. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

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I believe that Nate has made some excellent points and I wholeheartedly value and understand his opinion. If I may, I would like to address and hopefully answer your questions and/or thoughts, as I know that they are shared amongst the general VATUSA population, so therefore, my response is directed towards everyone willing to listen.

 

Allow me to reiterate. The academy is exactly like a software program that is being beta tested so as to ensure the final product is not so much perfect as it is adequate and infallible enough upon which everyone is then able to place judgement and criticism. Had we opended the doors and made the academy transparent from the start, I am certain that many would have questioned its worth and existance. The academy is not yet finished. We are still building the virtual concrete walls and have not yet decided what color to paint them. It is always nice to see something built from the ground up; I should know, they are building Hofstra Universitys new music building with a state of the art rehearsal space right in front of the old one that I frequently visit. However, by not having access you are being shielded from several trials and errors, as well as many of the very typical growing pains.

 

With regards to the new building being constructed at Hofstra University, why do you think the contractor and his men will not allow any of us to walk through the new building, even with a hard hat? Why is it that we are kept in the dark as to when the building will be finished? Why can't we view the building schematic in order to see how it is being constructed? How come we weren't consulted with our opinions as to what the new building should offer and look like?

 

The very same answers apply to the academy. It is true that some of the top administration were able to walk through the new building and offer their opinions while still in the middle of contruction, but so to were the ATMs, DATMs, TAs and even top VATSIM Staff with regards to the content of the academy. As Jason mentioned previously, he has sent out in depth docomeents explaining the exact material (which, by the way, is strictly 7110.65 and everything within the purview of Clearance Delivery to Tower has been explicitly taken from the Federal docomeent), the curriculum outline that explains the organization of the academy lesson material as well as the exact topics that would be covered, and some even received a copy of the Standard Operating Procedures.

 

Other than the docomeents listed above, there is nothing more to the academy. We are an educational institution teaching air traffic control straight out of 7110.65 so as to ensure that each student who begins their career as an air traffic controller on the VATSIM Network receives a standardized education. Are you curious as to the layout and look of the academy, in other words, what the style sheet of the webpage looks like? In that case, I will be more than happy to create a PDF docomeent of screenshots of how each page looks. I felt from the start that that would be a misuse of my time in consideration of the other projects I have to address, but perhaps you feel that such a docomeent would be a necessary courtesty upon which I should extend.

 

Once again, if you are curious about what material we are covering, I ask that you please visit this address: http://www.faa.gov/atpubs/atc/.

 

I am deeply sorry if you were expecting anything more mysterious or involved, but that link simply explains it all. Soon, the new VATUSA Training page will be fully operational and will replace the old one, and you will see exactly what the academy is about. As for the comment about how the contents in the brochure should be on a webpage, I am afraid that that is a premature evaluation of the brochure since that is exactly what we had intended on doing via the new training page for quite some time now.

 

It was my belief that the release of the brochure would be a good "teaser" and indicator of things to come, and while I will not proceed to indicate when exactly you will be presented with a plethora of good news about the academy, I can [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ure you that the time is near. Good things come to those who wait, just like end users for a software program and everyone in the Hofstra University music department who are so eager to walk the floors of their new state of the art facility.

 

Once again, I truly do thank all of you for your opinions and points of view. Your concerns only verify the fact that you are deeply p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ionate and devoted to the United States Divsion of the VATSIM Network. As I have stated many times before, we too, your VATUSA Staff, are deeply p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ionate and devoted to YOU and will stop at nothing to make sure that you are PROUD to be a member of VATUSA.

Anthony Santanastaso

VATUSA Division Training Manager

[email protected]

http://www.vatusa.net

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I just want to make a very rough comparison, and it isn't meant to be derogatory (disclaimer there) to anyone in particular:

 

Microsoft comes out with a product. Ok. Fair enough. It isn't perfect (they're rushed to get it to market). So what do they do? They issue critical (and sometimes updates that are optional) updates. Windows XP is a very complex product and the issues surrounding security involve releasing critical updates every once in a while.

 

The VATUSA Academy is less than 6 months old. It has to go through a few cycles of students to see what's being done "right" and what's being done "wrong" so the 'developers' can revise the curriculum and work out the kinks in the flow of operations. Only with these tweaks, and "critical updates" ( ) can they say they've got it down to a "T".

 

I tried, a VERY long time ago, to create a "training academy" for a virtual railroad I was the Chief Operations Officer of. And with no staff whatsoever to help me out. It's very hard business, and very detailed and very involved, especially when you're doing everything by yourself. I had to throw in the towel and let it go because it was just overwhelming, and was taking away significant time from my normal duties as COO.

 

My $100 bucks worth. If I deserve a refund, give it to me.

Student 2

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So are students getting their requested ARTCCs or is VATUSA filling a quota for each facility, at times sending graduates to a facility they did not wish to work in the first place?

 

An honest answer would be nice. We don't need to be sugar-coating everything for the new individuals coming to VATUSA in this day and age.

CMEL.CSEL.IA.AGI.CFI.CFII.MEI.CRJ2.FO.Furloughed

Part of the Acey 80

 

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It's all about quantity versus quality. I’d love more than anything to see five or so graduates leave the Academy every week, but I’m not going to risk lowering the standards of the Academy or even the USA Division to see that it happens.

 

At some point doesn't quantity become an issue?

Richard Jenkins

richard(a)vatsim.net

"It's all fun and games until the cops show up."

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It's all about quantity versus quality. I’d love more than anything to see five or so graduates leave the Academy every week, but I’m not going to risk lowering the standards of the Academy or even the USA Division to see that it happens.

 

At some point doesn't quantity become an issue?

 

Richard,

 

I'm sorry, but this is one time that I have to agree with Jason. Do you want controllers that don't know the first thing about controlling? I don't and if I ever become ATM/DATM that will be one of my first priorities. To have quality controllers. With that being said, I do understand your point, and it's a valid point, it would be nice to get more controllers out there, but I think they're doing all they can. Just like running an elementary school, thinks don't happen overnight.

 

Cheers!

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I'm sorry, but this is one time that I have to agree with Jason. Do you want controllers that don't know the first thing about controlling? I don't and if I ever become ATM/DATM that will be one of my first priorities. To have quality controllers. With that being said, I do understand your point, and it's a valid point, it would be nice to get more controllers out there, but I think they're doing all they can. Just like running an elementary school, thinks don't happen overnight.

 

Students who don't know a thing about controlling? We have pretty elaborate training programs...I'm not quite sure what you're talking about.

 

Things don't happen overnight, however, how big of a prospect is this "lack of quality" that you forsee? I'm not sure how rigorous these training sessions in the Academy are, but they don't need to be too extensive. I think students should be accelerated through training as quickly as possible so that we are not holding them back. Our goal is to be a learning community, but there is also no need to make a student run a sweatbox nine times.

 

Glancing at this brochure, I just don't think it needs to be so elaborate. I know we're standardizing USA ATCT training, however, I think this brochure is too intimidating for new students. No offense, but why is there the picture of a cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]room? And four total hours learning ground control? It took me one hour tops to read through the 7110.65 regs on ground control AND learn our local SOP. And calling cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]es "lecture" and "lab" while unique to the VATSIM community, this is not OKC, this is VATSIM. Yes we want realism, but how much farther shall we go? We've already taken SOPs and airspace regulation to the ultimate level....do you really think we must go farther still?

 

As also I understand it, there are stage-checks for each level (Delivery, Ground, Tower). I would hope these are not too extensive/regulatory. While I know we need to check students' abilities, I hope we aren't limiting students too much.

 

And if the majority of you disagree with me that's fine, I guess I just have to sit back and watch everything unfold...

Steve Ogrodowski

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