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Andreas Fuchs

[Qutescoop] Updated airspace and airport data available

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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

for those of you who are still, again or are interested in using Qutescoop (this is a link), I have updated the airspace data of almost the entire world. You will be able to see almost all CTR and FSS stations displayed correctly.

You never heard about Qutescoop? It's an old, but really good program, that will show you the current status of ATC and pilots at VATSIM in both graphical, but also in tabular way. You can search, list and display ATC bookings from VATBOOK. You can search for flightplan routes from vroute and then display them on the map.

Here are two sample screenshots taken moments ago:
QT_01.thumb.jpg.401501419282178344740a52b9fc21ec.jpg

By clicking onto one of the ATC station labels you can retrieve all the information about this controller.

 

Zoomed into the London area to check who is online where and responsible for what airspace. It should be rather accurate, at least according to the data sources that I have used. See next chapter for more information on this.

QT_02.thumb.jpg.064aa4e3e47a1a7bcdb6dd6b6825bb29.jpg



Data Sources
Most airspace data have been copied and converted from the VatSpy Client Data Update Project. While doing so, I realized that its data is also not 100% accurate in some areas of the world which forced me to download, examine and convert current sector files of vACCs from around the world which was quite time consuming. It would be great if all vACCs would regularly propagate airspace data to the VatSpy Client Data Update Project if they make significant changes.


Download
You can download a zip-file containing three .dat-files here: DOWNLOAD QT_data_29JUN2020.zip


Installation

  1. proceed to the AppData directory where Qutescoop is storing its basic data. In Windows by default this is C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\QuteScoop\QuteScoop\data
  2. to make it easy, create a backup of the entire \data\ directory, just in case something goes terribly wrong
  3. unzip QT_data_29JUN2020.zip and extract the 3 files
    - firlist.dat
    - firdisplay.dat
    - airports.dat
    into the \data\ directory, replace the existing legacy files with the new files

 

Known Issues
There are some minor technical limitations of Qutescoop that we cannot correct at this time. Before I will explain them briefly, the good news is that some of the old developers of Qutescoop are again around and may improve the product, personal time and motivation permitting.

Qutescoop only looks at the "prefixes" of CTR and FSS stations, but it does not consider the type of station at all. For example, in the Azores there's both LPPO_CTR and LPPO_FSS. The CTR station is a radar control station that is responsible for the islands and TMAs around them, while the FSS station is a non-radar position that controls the entire Oceanic airspace of "Santa Maria". Qutescoop cannot make a difference between LPPO_CTR and LPPO_FSS and will display the airspace of the first one, regardless whether CTR or FSS is actually online. I have resorted to giving priority to the FSS station. As a consequence you have to make sure that you have a look at who is actually online LPPO_CTR or LPPO_FSS (or both). Whatever LPPO station will be online, Qutescoop will be showing the greater of the two airspaces (LPPO_FSS). This is how the sector data looks like with a SectorViewer Tool from DLMN:
LPPO_CTR_FSS.jpg.ff6a945e58c399f00666764277ba88d7.jpg


The same is happening in Canada at CZQX: CTR (domestic) vs. FSS (Oceanic). In this case I have given priority to the CTR station that usually covers both the domestic airspace of Gander (CZQX_CTR) and Moncton (CZQM_CTR). The consequence is now that even if CZQX_FSS is online, Qutescoop will show the combined domestic airspace of CZQX_CTR, not the Oceanic airspace. Again: you have to click on the label of the station and check whether it is actually CZQX_CTR or CZQX_FSS:
CZQX_CTR_FSS.jpg.4fdf2ffe1dd3a210a879dd9afedbd449.jpg

If you think that it would be better to give priority to FSS over CTR, let me know and I can change it - or you can also change it yourself.


AIRAC NavData Updates
If you would like to update Qutescoop's NavData, you'll need to download current data for X-Plane 10 (not X-Plane 11!). Qutescoop stores NavData in your main program path: Drive:\xxxxxxx\qutescoop\Resources\default data
Extract the files into this directory, you will need earth_awy.dat, earth_fix.dat and earth_nav.dat.


Feedback
If you spot mistakes, errors or inaccurate airspace data, comment here below and I will try to improve it.
If you would like to participate in up keeping the data, let me know - help will always be welcome. Serious offers only, please.

 

Enjoy!

Changelog:

  • 30JUN2020: added NavData update instructions
Edited by Andreas Fuchs
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Posted (edited)

Very well done! Looked at the Norwegian data and it seems very correct. There is one thing however, I can not see you used the updated airport list in the vatspy github page, and as a result you are missing quite alot of airports and even have airports that has closed over 20 years ago in the package, which then again that ICAO code is used now somewhere else. On the VATSpy github page I earlier this year did a major import of missing airfields, airports, platforms and such that resulted in almost 7000 new entries, data were taken from Eurocontrol's database. 

 

Another thing you need to remove URFV, in that area vatsim uses the airspace structure from 2012, it has been discussed and removed in the vatspy package: https://github.com/vatsimnetwork/vatspy-data-project/pull/77 UKFV is the only valid ICAO code for that FIR on vatsim.

Edited by Adrian Bjerke

Adrian Bjerke
Training Assistant Norway | ACCSCA23 
[email protected]
VATSIM Scandinavia

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Hi Adrian,

thanks a lot for your feedback!

I have updated the airspace data only - almost every step of work is manually done. I only update airports when I see that they do not exist or still exist. I also usually leave legacy airport in the file, because some pilots will still be using them. I saw your VATSpy-updates for airports in Norway, could you point out the 10 or 20 most important (frequently used) airfields that require an urgent update?

Regarding the Crimea area: yeah, I also saw this recent update on VATSpy. It is disputed in the real world, so I chose to leave both the Russian and Ukrainian designators in. My thought was that for sure someday someone will logon as "URFV_CTR" and then pilots will have no clue what airspace this ATCO is responsible for. We have the information, so why take it out? There is no harm done by leaving the Russian codes in, as long as we also have the official Ukrainian codes.

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Id recommend you add most of those that are missing for Norway. We have people flying from helipads from oilplatforms, we have airports like ENGK that just dont excist in your data despite it has had an ICAO code for many years, and airports like ENFB that was old Oslo Fornebu closed in 1998 and the ICAO code ENFB now belongs to Statsfjord B oilplatform, which also publishes METAR's.

The reason why I did that major work in vatspy was because I often fly TBM900 to small (but ATC covered) airports and quite alot of the airports I flew to did not excist in that data at all, despite it operating as a normal commercial airport. It is only Norway and Denmark where I included helipads for, the rest of the world only included airports and airstrips.

However looking at how the airports are defined, I think could easily convert all the data correctly, or even build a file just with eurocontrol's data with a few lines of scripting, seems to be the same coordinate format as vatspy, just with fewer decimals.

I would still let URFV out, its not recognized by ICAO or EuroControl, or any other state but Russia, and as vatsim does not involve into political conflicts it shouldnt really be included either.


Adrian Bjerke
Training Assistant Norway | ACCSCA23 
[email protected]
VATSIM Scandinavia

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Thanks. I will remove/add some Norwegian airfields, but I just don't have the time to manually add all the airports. Oil platforms? Nah, unless someone delivers the data in the right format, it is too much work with little gain for the majority of the users. I hope you understand my reasoning.

In case that you or someone else is able to create an Excel-script to convert airports, I will happily to do the rest of the work and convert and update the airports.

Here are the 2 formats in direct comparison:

QT       EDDF:Frankfurt:Frankfurt/Main:DE:50.026:8.543
VatSpy   EDDF|Frankfurt|50.033333|8.570556||EDGG|0

 

3 hours ago, Adrian Bjerke said:

I would still let URFV out, its not recognized by ICAO or EuroControl, or any other state but Russia, and as vatsim does not involve into political conflicts it shouldnt really be included either.

I will think about it. But with this reasoning we also have to remove BALT_CTR, UKR_CTR, EURx_FSS/CTR, ASIA_FSS etc.. As mentioned previously, leaving it in does not damage the data set, the Ukrainian code is recognized fine, just like the Russian one. After all, in the real world, this is now Russian airspace with Russian ATC and Russian aircraft.

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I will see what I can do with the airports. We do regularly have pilots flying to them in Norway, just like any other smaller airport.

26 minutes ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

I will think about it. But with this reasoning we also have to remove BALT_CTR, UKR_CTR, EURx_FSS/CTR, ASIA_FSS etc.. As mentioned previously, leaving it in does not damage the data set, the Ukrainian code is recognized fine, just like the Russian one. After all, in the real world, this is now Russian airspace with Russian ATC and Russian aircraft.

Those are VATSIM specific and VATSIM approved sectors that has nothing to do with the real world. URFV is neither of those, URFV is a political conflict which VATSIM does not involve themselves in.


Adrian Bjerke
Training Assistant Norway | ACCSCA23 
[email protected]
VATSIM Scandinavia

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