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CTP Slot Awards Released


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820 slots
1675 requests

Half of them won't have got a slot. Those who didn't will be prioritised in March to give them some chance.

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Matt Bozwood-Davies
 Vice President Technical Development    
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1 hour ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

There's no reason to complain. I did not get a slot. Did I complain? There are 363 other days of the year when you can "cross the pond".

Thats not an argument. Cross the Pond is not just to Cross the Pond. Its all about the number of traffic and ATC which makes the event amazing and insane.
The separation of opening bookings for certain routes was a cool idea. Maybe you could have separated these "events" another time to another day.

You feel a bit like you "lost" a lottery rather than feeling "ok, I was too slow. Better luck next time" ūüėĄ¬†

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Regards Timm Rehberg

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10 minutes ago, Timm Rehberg said:

You feel a bit like you "lost" a lottery rather than feeling "ok, I was too slow. Better luck next time"

Well, not everyone is able to connect to the CTP-website at a certain date and time to grab one of the slots before they are all gone within a few minutes. The old system was grossly unfair with the growing number of participants. And as we have learnt, the system remembers who was not lucky this time and will take this into consideration for the next edition of CTP.

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15 minutes ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

Well, not everyone is able to connect to the CTP-website at a certain date and time to grab one of the slots before they are all gone within a few minutes. The old system was grossly unfair with the growing number of participants. And as we have learnt, the system remembers who was not lucky this time and will take this into consideration for the next edition of CTP.

But this is a never ending unhappiness story here. Next time half of the people will not get a slot again....
Why not making 2 slot-opening dates within a week to differrent times - so everybody can PLAN.

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Regards Timm Rehberg

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It all comes down to the fact that CTP was never supposed to have this much traffic, it was organized many years ago with only one or two airports either side. It has grown substantially, especially in the last year with the sudden increase of more and more pilots, it's made it harder to organize and manage. Which is why the planning teams decided to format it this way this year. Is it perfect no, is it an improvement over past years, yes. I honestly think this is the best solution until either the basis of the event changes or there are less pilots.

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I am at the CTP portal and I cannot see the booking "request" that I submitted my booking requests nor any reservation/award/lottery.

Either I missed out because I didnt really "save" it (although I am sure I did), or maybe I missed the lotto.... Shouldnt there be a trace regardless?

Or maybe I am looking @ the wrong place.

 

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7 hours ago, Timm Rehberg said:

Don¬īt cry?
He just complained in a normal way. Calm down ūüôā¬†
The lottery system + no pos reports is the wrong way to change the behavior of getting a slot and manage CTP. Sad

Anyway: Have fun everybody.

For real. Come in here to express a thought or two on the process and the first reply is someone trigged by it. 

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Eric

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Just my two cents as somebody that did not get a slot this time around, and is OK with it, and understands the logistics of it, but;

 

When entering my three options I would like to fly CTP for, the website very clearly calls them RESERVATIONS. Going off of that, I think it would have been fair to assume that one of those three options could have been given to the user, inside or outside the time slots they chose just going by the wording the website used. In-fact, as we now know, this system was not a reservation system, but a lottery instead. Not once on the CTP website does it say anything about the total number of slots that would be available, nor does it mention the word Lottery at all. Again, I'm totally OK with the end result here as disappointed as I am now that I must cancel my stream plans for CTP, but the way the lottery was handled this year was misleading at best, and blatantly falsely worded at worst.

 

For the future, I STRONGLY suggest whomever is in charge of CTP use the correct descriptions for how the system is going to work in the future, because calling it a "Reservation" system when it was in-fact a Lottery is going to cause a lot of confusion.

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Edited by Matthew Crawford
Typos, and emphasis.
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I agree with you on that the wording could have been better. You have a point there, Matthew.

What I don't get is, that every 6 months we get to hear the same story, from people complaining/expressing their sadness about, why they wasn't able to get a slot for CTP. Gents, this is a hobby - it is not only about the fun for the pilots but also for the controllers. Unfortunately there amount of controllers just doesn't match the amount of pilots and we have to face that fact. There has to be some kind of restriction, to keep it fun for everybody involved. One already wrote how CTP has only increased each time and that is still happening and the current world situation hasn't stopped the increase either. With the amount of pilots that wants to fly, it is just taking out the fun for the controllers - it is just not possible to handle. Luckily the system will change this time, so we don't need position reports, but there will still be work that has to be done and we still have to deal with pilots going AFK during their cruise and will be unresponsive as well - and there might be more of that, considering there is no need for position reports any longer.

Just my 2 personal cents.

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Morten Jelle

VATSIM Network Senior Supervisor
VATSIM Membership Manager, Asia/Pacific Region

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Replied to you on the Discord, Matthew, but to reiterate:

The point you have with the wording is absolutely valid. It was a definition we started using in the planning phase which just got stuck. We will definitely revise it for the next event, thanks for the feedback!

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Mats Edvin Aar√ł
General Manager - Member Engagement
Supervisor Team Lead: Team 4
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5 hours ago, Matthew Crawford said:

For the future, I STRONGLY suggest whomever is in charge of CTP use the correct descriptions for how the system is going to work in the future, because calling it a "Reservation" system when it was in-fact a Lottery is going to cause a lot of confusion.

Yes, "slot application", "slot request" or "slot lottery" (slot machine? :D) would have been better. Your concerns have been acknowledged, as you can see from the replies of the CTP team members.

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7 hours ago, Eric Fisher said:

For real. Come in here to express a thought or two on the process and the first reply is someone trigged by it.

Hi Eric,

I am German, my language is a) direct and b) English is not my first language. I did not mean to hurt your feelings or to belittle you, I should have inserted some smileys in my first post to make clear that it was not meant entirely serious. On the other hand how can you call the fact that you did not get a slot this time and last time "being screwed"? On the first instance you were too slow, because there were hundreds of other members who had nothing better to do than sit in front of their computers and press F5 (to reload the CTP page) all the time until they could access the reservation system. The second time you were just unlucky to not have won the lottery, although the chances to catch a slot were about 50%, right? Cheer up, you will be lucky next time, especially as the system will take your unsuccessful application into account. And your sliver lining may be the fact that there are other events that will see pilots cross the North Atlantic with full ATC. Let's see when the next edition will happen, monitor the event notifications.

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I will suggest the idea of "unsuccessful election" from the system to politics and Lotto here in Germany.
Cool idea to prefer people who were unsuccessful last time for the next time to be honest. Means half of the slots next time are already "blocked".

What so ever - I understand the fact that the number of pilots increasing is sadly not the same on the controller side but maybe thats also a point to VATSIM to allow easier ATC training or to change the region to become a ATC somewhere else?
Restrictions for example to control a certain time in a region before you're able to move is kind of useless within a global network. 

But this goes way too far now.
Congrats to everyone with a slot ūüôā¬†

Edited by Timm Rehberg
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Regards Timm Rehberg

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Eric -- previously, the system favored first-world, high-speed internet connections in the booking process.  The people getting "screwed" were those who got locked out EVERY time, because their ISPs would just hang on the first "refresh" request and by the time the second one was redrawn, all the slots were gone.  EVERY time.  At least now, everyone has a week to put their preference in rather than 30 seconds, and everyone has a fair chance to participate in at least every 2nd or 3rd one. 

Regarding the concerns about the wording being misleading -- the process was pretty well spelled-out under "Slot Allocation" in the announcement post (linked below) so even if the website wording was unclear, expectations shouldn't have been for anyone who saw the announcement.  It is good to get that wording adjusted, though, to make it more clear for future. 

 

Cheers,

-R.

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52 minutes ago, Timm Rehberg said:

What so ever - I understand the fact that the number of pilots increasing is sadly not the same on the controller side but maybe thats also a point to VATSIM to allow easier ATC training or to change the region to become a ATC somewhere else?

You forget the airspace capacity. There is a certain limit that can not be extended further. every CTP we see more people crossing oceanic that real-world traffic there (pre-COVID traffic levels). The equation 'more controllers = more planes' is not valid for CTP where we stretch the airspaces we use to their limits.

However, lowering the standards for ATC training would only cause more chaos as controllers would not have been trained to perfection as they are now so that they can handle the traffic levels.

The time restriction for transferees is in place for a completely different reason and if it was to be removed, imho, we would see a lot of regions suffer.

Edited by Nick Marinov
Added comment re time restricton
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We've talked quite a bit in this thread about the availability of pilot slots and the vast interest in flying the event. It's nice to see there is so much excitement and for the 50% of people who weren't lucky enough to get a slot: sorry. Hope you can join in the fun next time. It's good to see the team acknowledging that and giving those who entered this year an improve chance of a slot next time.

As Morten says, there is a significant capacity limitation on this event. It's not just on the number of controllers: it's also about the availability of runways and airspace. In real life, Boston or JFK might depart 30-60 airplanes per hour. However, those airplanes are a variety of aircraft types going in all directions. Even then, slots are strictly controlled, with operators bidding, fighting, merging, and playing politics to get access. 

During this event, we at Boston have something like 120 slots over the course of the 4-hour departure window. The real Boston probably doesn't see 120 heavy departures in a week. Once they're airborne, these departures need to be sequenced (this year) with JFK departures, MCO overflights, 75% of YYZ departure traffic, and a route from KATL to ESSA. To do this, we're using a good portion of the available "exit fixes" that separate us from Moncton Center. Moncton, and then Gander, have it even worse than we do. It's not just an issue of how many volunteer controllers we can get to handle the traffic; it's also the fact that we are running out of airspace! 

Now, with this limited airspace, a controller is going to have 50+ airplanes on the frequency and in an area that normally might see a fraction of that. During the westbound event earlier this year, vERAM (a U.S. ATC client) ran out of 3-digit unique airplane codes because there were so many! Pilots are wanting higher but can't necessarily get it because of other traffic. There are many handoffs. Just one airplane who misses a handoff or changes to the wrong frequency can turn an easy situation into a challenge, and that's not to say anything of the many people who don't correctly follow their navigation on departure or who climb above the published top altitude on the departure chart. 

I think the hope from the CTP team is that providing more slots, in a more fair way, will help those who do receive a slot to have a better experience. It's still going to be ridiculously busy for everyone involved...but hopefully it will also be a little more manageable in the past since we're planning for it in advance and spreading traffic between more airports.

If you do have a slot, you can help by reading the Airfield Documents published for your route, filing the preferred route assigned to you, spawning in 30 minutes before your assigned time, departing on-time, and -- most importantly -- making sure your flying skills are "on point". Do a trial run, at least of the departure. Make sure you know what top altitude you should stop at until ATC clears you higher. Check if you're flying an RNAV departure; if so, make sure you know how to program in the correct runway and check your FMS for the corresponding waypoints on the chart. These simple actions go a long way in helping the pilot behind you not have a nasty surprise through 500'! 

If you don't have a slot...please, PLEASE don't fly transatlantic this year. There are so many airports that will be staffed in both the U.S. and Europe that have nothing to do with CTP. The best thing to do would be to find one of those (i.e., not a departure and arrival field) and give the lonely controllers there some traffic. For example, in Boston Center, we'll have our satellite airport Bradley (KBDL) staffed up. This would be a great place to fly into or out of. You'll hear all the CTP traffic with our Center controllers but won't have to wait in a long lineup for taxi or takeoff at Boston. 

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Evan Reiter
Boston Virtual ARTCC/ZBW Community Manager

 

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On 11/7/2020 at 1:19 PM, Eric Fisher said:

The slot awards were released. Didn't get one. Got screwed on the last CTP as the slots went in microseconds and now this one. This is getting old fast.

Where was this even announced?  No e-mail, nothing when logged into CTP.

Will

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16 hours ago, Mats Edvin Aaro said:

Replied to you on the Discord, Matthew, but to reiterate:

The point you have with the wording is absolutely valid. It was a definition we started using in the planning phase which just got stuck. We will definitely revise it for the next event, thanks for the feedback!

Yeah, I made my post here, but then figured the Discord would be faster (which it was!) Appreciate your quick answer there. Have a good day!

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