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Military endorsement


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Hello friends & colleagues,

Thanks for the work put into this new policy.

VATSIM UK (likely among others) currently uses a separate endorsement for the control of military aerodromes and airspace. The procedures in use in these aerodromes and airspaces do differ—often quite substantially—from those used at their civilian equivalents, reflecting real-world practices. From a (possibly entirely misinformed) reading of the GCAP I’m not sure how these aerodromes and airspaces would fit into the new system:

  1. Including military procedures within the normal training regimen for controllers would represent a fairly significant increase in both training time and instructor workload, for procedures which would not be of use to a significant number of trainees.
  2. Abolishing the procedures and treating all aerodromes and airspaces as civilian would be a pity, as that would be a regression away from a degree of realism currently in use on the network.
  3. ”Restricted airspaces/aerodromes” seems not to be an accurate fit, since this seems to be primarily concerned with local special procedures rather than wholesale different set of procedures as may be found in military use. If I am reading this wrong and this is the intend of restricted airspaces/aerodromes, it might be worth a clarification within the GCAP mentioning this specific use-case as a motivating example?
  4. Major aerodromes/airspaces are assessed individually, rather than “all military aerodromes within the (sub-)division”, and in any case would seem not to be in the spirit of what the “major” classification is for.

PAR is also another point of potential interest—while technology limitations have made its use on the network up to now rather marginal and limited to outside tools, with the advent of Velocity it will become possible for this to be offered much more widely, particularly for its common use of military traffic. Given that it might require specific training, I am not sure whether that should be some form of endorsement too, or whether it would be enough to ask controllers not to offer it as a matter of division professionalism rather than enforceable policy.

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This policy might be better left to the divisions. In the United States civilian and military facilities cannot be easily separated as you described because:

  1. Many military installations are covered by civilian facilities (e.g., Joint Base Andrews (KADW) is covered by Potomac (Washington) Approach).
  2. Many airports are joint-use civilian/military facilities (KCHS and KBAF for example), and
  3. Military facilities regularly provide services to civilian aircraft.

For us it is not really practical to break all of that stuff off into a "military endorsement". My hope is that this policy will be left to the divisions to do what is best for their local procedures.

I second your inquiry into PAR. I have never heard of any VATUSA facility actually providing training on how to give one, but I agree that Velocity might open up that possibility (as well as the possibility of faithfully simulating PRM/SOIA, but that's getting off track). In real life (at least in the US) only certain facilities have the equipment to be able to do them and (I believe - but I might be wrong here) only certain controllers at those facilities are trained/authorized to give them. So maybe an optional "PAR Approach Endorsement" would be appropriate (at least for us in the US).

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From what I can personally understand, things such as military facilities fall under 4.01(b)Restricted Aerodrome/airspace. However, I do agree, I think that it should be necessary to outline the representation of military facilities, either as an example within 4.01(b), or as a separate clause.

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C1-rated controller

Gander Oceanic Operations Director & Instructor | VATSIM Spain Events Director & Operational Assistant | Eurocontrol West Sectorbuddy

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1341101

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It does sound like the perfect use for restricted airspace. The training requirements for a restricted endorsement are that the controller "must complete a familiarization course." That sounds like reading up on unique military operations, before being issued the endorsement and being allowed to control all of the military airports. I think that the language being vague is fine, because I don't believe that this document is meant to be read by students and controllers usually, but rather by staff in setting up their training programs.

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7 hours ago, David Solesvik 1341101 said:

From what I can personally understand, things such as military facilities fall under 4.01(b)Restricted Aerodrome/airspace.

But what then becomes unclear is how this would fit into the 33% figure. Effectively, it would be impossible to restrict someone from logging onto EGVV_CTR (which covers the whole UK airspace for military traffic and top-down at every aerodrome) because that would, in effect, be 100% of the UK...? Therefore denying placing restrictions anywhere else, such as Heathrow!

7 hours ago, Alexandra Robison said:

I'm curious how your military restriction fits within the current GRP?

I think it just proves the level of disconnect from the current GRP. (For what it's worth, I've never had an issue with requiring further training to control military - since I'd be scared otherwise - and I highly doubt there have been any complaints that it's required but rather thanks to those who developed the courses).

ATC Examiner, VATSIM UK

No nonsense controlling Twitch - HazControl ✈️

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