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Cross the Pond NATs


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1 hour ago, Jason Thompson said:

In previous years they have had specific tracks for no slotted traffic, shame they can't do that again.

We never had enough controllers for the Ocean and I think it is better to provide full service to all slotted pilots and no service to anyone else, during the event time in the airspace that it takes place. That's fair. There are 363 other days of the year when you can cross the North Atlantic whenever you wish.

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On 10/29/2020 at 10:05 AM, Tobias Dammers said:

Pilots without a booking are "strongly encouraged" not to fly transatlantic on the day of the event. It's not so much a request as it is the next best thing short of an outright ban.

It's not technically forbidden, but it might as well: there will be no ATC service in oceanic airspace for non-event traffic; the official answer to pretty much any question about flying CTP without a booking seems to be "just don't".

Please be a good sport about it and respect this; you're not getting any ATC over the ocean anyway, and domestic ATC will probably prioritize event traffic, so what you get is just a lousier version of a transatlantic flight you could make any other day, and you will be "that person" who helps ruin it for everyone.

Pilots wanting to fly without a booking should do the up and over route via BGGL and BIRD airspace and then down via SCO airspace staying north of Gander, Shanwick and domestic Shannon airspace. 

Edited by Eric Fisher
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Eric

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4 hours ago, Bill Casey said:

As asked on Page 1: How will the en route controllers know who to "ignore"?

Frankly, since I've never done any controlling, I don't know exactly, but I'm sure that can be sorted out.

For starters, in order to enter controlled oceanic airspace, you need an oceanic clearance, which means that whoever schedules those would be the one to do the check, rather than the oceanic enroute controllers. Since routes are assigned with the slot, and linked to the vatsim member ID, automating the "is this event traffic" check at this stage is going to be straightforward, and I bet someone has already prepared the necessary software.

So what I would expect here is that when you request an oceanic clearance, and you don't have a slot, two things will happen: first, your request will be processed with low priority; and second, if you requested anything that conflicts with the event, you will be rerouted.

19 hours ago, Eric Fisher said:

Pilots wanting to fly without a booking should do the up and over route via BGGL and BIRD airspace and then down via SCO airspace staying north of Gander, Shanwick and domestic Shannon airspace. 

Out of curiosity: will the northernmost city pairs still be routed entirely through Gander and Shanwick, or will some of the ESSA traffic pass through Reykjavik airspace? A direct routing from CYYZ to ESSA, for example, passes over both Greenland and Iceland, and in fact bypasses Shanwick airspace entirely. So without knowing the planned routings, flying via BGGL and BIRD may still conflict with CTP.

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I suggest all (big) events should be cancelled, as all they cause is chaos... If you are a participant, even with a slot, you have to wait and if you are an outsider you have to wait for the participants to get their act together. This weekend I was hoping for a quick one hour hop, but I had to wait 20-30 minutes just to get my clearance as it happened to be The Tegel night and EFHK was invaded by Alpacca Airways.

Just joking about the events. I really do not see an issue of Vatsim strongly suggesting to avoid the busy airspace during the CTP. If you are not part of it, then why would you still want to fly on that particular time? What was the issue again?

Edited by Lauri Uusitalo
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On 11/1/2020 at 12:46 PM, Tobias Dammers said:

So what I would expect here is that when you request an oceanic clearance, and you don't have a slot, two things will happen: first, your request will be processed with low priority; and second, if you requested anything that conflicts with the event, you will be rerouted.

For someone who has never controlled, that's quite some optimism on human's capability to multitask.

In any case, isn't it so that pilots without a slot don't get ATC in the ocean? So why would someone with a slot be requesting an Oceanic Clearance? Should he not be sent to unicom before? How does Moncton know who's got a slot?

 

On 10/31/2020 at 5:27 PM, Eric Fisher said:

Pilots wanting to fly without a booking should do the up and over route via BGGL and BIRD airspace and then down via SCO airspace staying north of Gander, Shanwick and domestic Shannon airspace. 

So the un-existent ATC for planes without slot in Shanwick/Gander will hop onto Reykjavík? I don't see how that works either.

 

Last, one thing I haven't been able to understand is:

  • Pilots with slots fly with ATC in the ocean.
  • Pilots without slots fly without ATC in the ocean.

What happens when a pilot without slot decides to fly in the same route, or partly (some points) that the controlled pilot is flying through?

My answer is: they crash. As an vATC who's n1 priority is safety, that don't sound like a really good plan to me. So:

The only two solutions I can think of is:

  1. Moncton makes sure, through the system I dont know about, that planes without slots fly different route.
  2. Moncton makes sure, through the same system, that planes without slots fly all at a lower than optimal Flight Level. (F.e FL250/290)
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2 hours ago, Oscar Berenguer said:

For someone who has never controlled, that's quite some optimism on human's capability to multitask.

Not at all. No multitasking is required, just automation. And as someone who's been in that particular field of work for 30 years, I'm telling you that that's perfectly doable.

Note that flights with a slot still need to obtain an oceanic clearance, and that this is done through an automated tool - meaning that all the filtering can be done before a human even gets to look at the request.

And from here, things become fairly straightforward: without an oceanic clearance, domestic won't hand you over to oceanic control, so you just don't get to enter controlled oceanic airspace. At this point, you can try and wait it out until you do receive an un-slotted oceanic clearance (which, I believe, is either not going to happen at all, or only for a slot after the event is over, or with a massive re-routing), or you can divert (i.e., not cross the ocean after all), or you can ignore ATC advice and face the VATSIM equivalent of a fighter escort, .wallop.

For event airfields, I bet they have similar tooling so that whoever plans the departures automatically gets to process event traffic first, sorted by slot time.

None of this is difficult from a technical perspective, and none of it requires human multitasking, just a bunch of relatively straightforward automation.

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3 hours ago, Oscar Berenguer said:

My answer is: they crash.

No, they don't, they are just Bits and Bytes and normally everyone has crash detection deactivated. But still, it would be annoying you can be sure that Supervisors will be assisting to take care of those cases.

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16 hours ago, Oscar Berenguer said:

For someone who has never controlled, that's quite some optimism on human's capability to multitask.

In any case, isn't it so that pilots without a slot don't get ATC in the ocean? So why would someone with a slot be requesting an Oceanic Clearance? Should he not be sent to unicom before? How does Moncton know who's got a slot?

 

So the un-existent ATC for planes without slot in Shanwick/Gander will hop onto Reykjavík? I don't see how that works either.

 

Last, one thing I haven't been able to understand is:

  • Pilots with slots fly with ATC in the ocean.
  • Pilots without slots fly without ATC in the ocean.

What happens when a pilot without slot decides to fly in the same route, or partly (some points) that the controlled pilot is flying through?

My answer is: they crash. As an vATC who's n1 priority is safety, that don't sound like a really good plan to me. So:

The only two solutions I can think of is:

  1. Moncton makes sure, through the system I dont know about, that planes without slots fly different route.
  2. Moncton makes sure, through the same system, that planes without slots fly all at a lower than optimal Flight Level. (F.e FL250/290)

Having written much of the new system, I can tell you there is reason to be optimistic this year 😛. There will be one or two sneaky ways for controllers to determine immediately whether a pilot has a slot, and the workflow this year is light years ahead of the system Oceanic and Domestic has had for previous years, enabling efficient communication and issuing of clearance whilst maintaining the prescribed separation. Automation of many laborious tasks is the backbone of the system 🙂.

Edited by Andrew Ogden
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Andrew Ogden | I3
Gander Oceanic OCA Chief
VATSIM Web Developer

Visit us: https://ganderoceanic.com
Contact: [email protected] 

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Considering that:

  • ...the booking system only registers CID's, and doesn't even ask for a callsign;
  • ...slots are issued to accounts, and come with a routing;
  • ...CID and callsign are equally available to any clients, and equally easy to extract automatically;
  • ...the clearance request tool (nattrak or whatever will be used) probably also uses VATSIM SSO;

...I am fairly confident that it will indeed be based on CID, not callsign.

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