Jump to content

8.02 Activity Requirements for Minor Fields


Recommended Posts

1 minute ago, Matthew Bartels said:

Again. The problem is that the last thing a person needs to worry about when stressed out is remembering to get a leave of absence from their hobby. This piece right here is one of the big reasons. I forget to ask for that leave because it's literally the last thing I'm gonna think about, now I'm removed for inactivity, now I'm not going to be bothered to become active again because getting certified again is too much work.

I get and understand many of the concerns here.  What we are looking for is a middle ground between protecting your interests and protecting the interest of the general controller. I don't care how rusty you've become, if you tell me that you can't work a couple of aircraft at a small non-complex airport after 6 months or so after briefing yourself, then perhaps you shouldn't have been certified in the first place.

 

You said it right there. This is a hobby. Hobbies take up time. This is also a hobby that requires knowledge. Sure, you may be someone who retains information okay, but not everyone is. That’s okay, but allowing me to log in once a year for an hour. I can do that at like 2am on Christmas and have NO traffic and I am still active. I do this for 3 years then decide to come back. Based on this policy, I should be good to go to control and have no issues at all. Controllers are held to a lot higher standard than pilots in terms of our training, but this policy is going to push that standard down the drain. 

  • Like 4
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Matthew Bartels said:

Because what happens if you decide that your activity policy is going to be 2 hours a week?

So, set a threshold to what extent the policy can be enforced (i.e. minimum, maximum). Or, as you have done with other things, force divisional or regional staff to approve the requested local activity policy. 

  • Like 1

C1-rated controller

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

[email protected]

1341101

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Matthew Bartels said:

No. What I'm saying here is how is if you don't like our policy go somewhere else a solution that is in the spirit of this? That's the if you don't like it leave mentality.

I'm open for productive discussion. One key aspect of this entire policy is that it's going take some things and make them standardized. Because what happens if you decide that your activity policy is going to be 2 hours a week? You can tell me all day that that is excessive and unrealistic, which it may be, but giving latitude for each individual facility to make their own policy can and has lead to local policies on that level of ridiculous.

In general this policy is setting more guardrails than it is putting in hard limits. Those guardrails are what are going to need tweaks, and they will not be as loose as some would like.  So for example, we could say something like activity requirements can not be any stricter than 1 hour every six months, but that doesn't mean that your facility can't go to 1 hour a year.

Be honest, when was the last time someone tried to set an activity policy that had to be intervened by the BoG? Most ARTCC policies have to go through Division approval, and no Division would allow that through. We have a management structure in place for situations just like this, and they work 99% of the time. The 1% fringe case can be handled case-by-case by the BoG and doesn't need to be codified into policy. This is red tape for the sake of red tape. Not what VATSIM is about. VATSIM is about a mutual love of aviation, not LARPing the bureaucracy of the FAA.

  • Like 12
ALEXANDRA ROBISON
Air Traffic Manager, Albuquerque ARTCC
VATSIM Senior Developer
 
## [email protected]
Facebook Twitter Instagram
VATSIM Logo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In all of this, where is the problem this is actually trying to solve? Inactivity policies have hardly been barriers to C1 retention, and artificially inflating “activity” numbers in this way is counterproductive at best and detrimental to moral and quality at worst. It’s a total non-starter.

A minimum inactivity policy such that nobody can leave someone active on a roster until the end of time makes sense. A hard maximum does not. If a division starts to impose draconian activity policies it can be addressed on an individual level. 

Matt I appreciate your dedication to explaining the reasoning, but you seem to be the only one. Granted it’s morning in Europe, but I can’t imagine any other fairly active division or sub-division will be in favor of this. For as much work went into these policies, it still feels like the Board is out of touch.

  • Like 3

ZLA DATM, I1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Matt for all of your explanations and I truly appreciate you taking the time to answer several questions for VATUSA staff last evening.

Many of my thoughts have been echoed by previous posts, so I will aim to keep this direct and to the point. Also, please note that any disgust or disapproval is aimed at this policy, not at anyone in particular.

Playing to the lowest common denominator doesn't work. While some people, like Matt himself had referenced, might be able to get on the bike after not riding after a long while and with little failure, the fact is that this skill set is cumulative and requires consistent practice across the board. The vast majority of people with whom I work (especially and in particular nowadays) have no concept for how much time and effort it takes to become a believable controller (notice I said believable, not real world). Through a series of frequent interactions with aircraft and teachers, students of all levels and experiences eventually gain enough momentum to relax some amount of their frequent input, but still require consistency and frequency in order to maintain a level of proficiency that does not detract from the experience of the other people playing with them on the network. While this is a game, or a hobby, it is one built around a skill that requires some more attention than GTA or Call of Duty. Bottom line is that some people are cut out for being ATC, albeit virtual, while others are not - and that's OK! The world goes round with people engaging in different activities that suit their level, ability, and commitment to the hobby, activity, job, or relationship of which they find themselves a part.

(As an aside, and to be taken with a grain of salt, having spent an entire week working with several IRL Oshkosh ATC, without having had the practice we afforded them these past two years, it would've made it slightly more challenging to be as comfortable with the lingo this upcoming week considering their training is traditionally in the form of a rather boring PowerPoint presentation. These are RW controllers who spend the rest of the year working and they acknowledge the importance of some sort of contact time on a regular basis. I know we aren't RW and dealing with RW controllers, but for them to throw a nod at consistency, I think it's pretty telling or at least indicative of the possibility that lesser herculean individuals such as us might indeed require more than 1 hour a year to provide some level of believable service.)

To address an argument that we should be a place for everyone at any level, I answer with a direct example from my full-time profession. I am a secondary music teacher. I believe the opportunity to play music in a performing ensemble should be for everyone. That is exactly the way I run my program, and I am proud to say that I have had many great success stories over the many years that I have been teaching. Alternatively, several times over the years I have actively conferenced with students that they should find an alternative elective. In these circumstances, it was because the students did not follow the very reasonable and fair performance and participation guidelines of the class and expressed zero effort to improve. Any day of the week I would rather have a fairly poor sounding instrumentalist in my band who has a great attitude, gives me all their effort, and appreciates and follows the class guidelines, versus someone who may sound great but does nothing. (To expand, I very rarely have a circumstance where the student who does nothing sounds great. Often, they too are incapable of meeting the minimum performance requirements of characteristic sound and technical ability.) I reward and acknowledge demonstrated effort and commitment.

I hang around our Discord often. The emotional maturity and overall disposition of many of our newer members is a lot more inexperienced and of a lower level than I had remembered it being the case when I started on VATSIM nearly 20 years ago. So true is this description of my student encounters on a regular basis on my job. We are continuing to embark in an educational environment that is striving for minimal input for maximum output. It's particularly difficult for teachers of courses that are fundamentally designed around the development of skills that require continued persistence and effort. Trust me, if I could play my primary instrument to even an acceptable standard without having to practice weekly or daily, I would choose that option without hesitation. But, the fact is that my instrument requires, at a minimum, some form of maintenance to be performed. With reference to the aforementioned state of emotional maturity, I fear that a system that willingly solicits the minimum amount of input will enable enough of our current and perspective users to abuse this network as a mere playground of sorts and not contribute enough to the spirit of why many of us (especially the older, more RW experienced of us) have stuck around in the first place. Unlike Matt's example above, I fear that they'll accept the guidance right out of the gate (pre-S3 or C1) and find some random airport at some random time that has no traffic that will fulfill their one hour in twelve months just so that they can remain on the roster and hang with their friends on Discord and TeamSpeak.

Lastly, and from the standpoint of my role as the division training manager, I wholeheartedly believe that the severity of this currency rule will result in a significant decrease in our teacher's return on investment (ROI). Our teachers work hard to address the GRP standards let alone our division specific curriculum. Not that the GRP standards are overwhelming in and of themselves, but the fact is that some (or most, recently) of the students with whom we have had contact have had little to no background in aviation, let alone air traffic control. Starting from nothing, there's a vast amount of information to address without leaving so many holes in the foundation that make building their contributions to the next level an almost impossibility. One example comes from a student with whom I most recently helped who failed our OBS/S1 exam several times. I specifically addressed this student and offered my help to try and find out why they were so challenged in passing the exam. I came to find out that their study skills, testing and study behaviors, and prior knowledge were all factors that contributed to the chain of causation for them failing the test numerous times. They had expectation bias about certain topics because of information gleaned from fellow Twitch streamers and used their assumed knowledge to answer questions instead of carefully reading our study material. Needless to say, after our training session and putting to play several suggested study and testing habits, they went on to pass the test with flying colors (100%). My ROI was tremendous. I, just like the real world, felt like I made a difference in this student and had an optimistic outlook for the continuation of their training. Our (VATUSA's) teachers experience this on a daily basis with students who continue to show up, practice, and engage. I fear that opening the door to a policy that permits, and thereby encourages, passive versus active engagement will lead to an increase in teacher burnout due to the decreased ROI.

Finally, I want to emphasize that my thoughts on currency pertain to proficiency, not necessarily rostering. In the examples listed above this post about people who have complex or complicated lives, I accept that their not being around for a period of time does not mean that they do not ever want to contribute. But, their return to service, if you will, should be with a 1:1 orientation session with a teacher prior to plugging in just like I'd never lose my PPL but at some point need to fly with an instructor in order to regain currency (notwithstanding all the other nuances, I'm just stating it as simply as possible). To avoid the 1:1 session, the currency/competency/proficiency rule must be stricter than one hour every twelve months.

Thank you very much for everyone's time and careful consideration. I wish to especially thank the members of the BoG and many consultants who spent hours in creating this document. Please feel free to contact me for further discussion as I would be most happy to continue this conversation with you.

Sincerely,

Anthony

Edited by Anthony Santanastaso 88019
  • Like 7

Anthony Santanastaso

VATUSA Division Training Manager

[email protected]

http://www.vatusa.net

logo_email_sig.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Matthew Bartels said:

I get and understand many of the concerns here.  What we are looking for is a middle ground between protecting your interests and protecting the interest of the general controller.
 

I don't care how rusty you've become, if you tell me that you can't work a couple of aircraft at a small non-complex airport after 6 months or so after briefing yourself, then perhaps you shouldn't have been certified in the first place.

 

With all due respect, nothing you have said in this thread shows that you’re interested in finding a “middle ground”. We have all asked for a more strict requirement, and you have said “Thanks, but no thanks”.

 

Also, remember, it’s not a six month hiatus that people will be able to take. It’s literally double that. Imagine being able to get in a plane and fly passengers after doing one landing in the previous year… I think the FAA policy of three landings in 90 days is pretty spot on. 3 hours in a rolling 90 day period should be easy enough. Matt himself said earlier in the thread that your 20 hours of controlling came in the form of a few sessions. It seems much more likely that someone can find a spare afternoon or weekend once a quarter.

 

Here’s another thing we’re forgetting: how many people *actually* come back if they’ve been gone longer than 3 months? I remove people from our roster around that time and I never see 90% of them again, and the ones who do return don’t come back until a year later usually. This one hour a year seems laughably low, and it shows again that the BoG is completely out of touch with the day-to-day issues that the network is facing. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Nicholas Lascko said:

Matt, you know that 2 hours a week isn't a requirement anywhere and you are blowing that out of proportion. On the other hand, I have seen C3s on the network, and have been for 15 years, completely forget how to work en-route radar after returning after 2 years. 1 hour a year is way too low and honestly, this restriction should absolutely not be included in the final copy of the policy as it is red tape just to add red tape.

Nick

I will be honest, I agree with you that it is too low.  However, my question to you is what would you propose instead?  You mention that including this in the policy is red tape for the sake of it.  However, there needs to be something does there not?  So what would you suggest?  Do you think it should be something decided at the divisional/sub-divisional level?  If so, how then, would you protect our members from, for example, Nicholas going power crazy in Cleveland and insisting that everyone controls 5 hours a week?  (Not that it would ever happen LOL, but you get the idea).

While I agree that 1 hour in 12 months is way too low.  I also see the point that it can be abused and we have to keep in mind this is a hobby, not a job.  So how do we find that balance?

Phil

  • Confused 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Philip Dowling 813710 said:

Nick

I will be honest, I agree with you that it is too low.  However, my question to you is what would you propose instead?  You mention that including this in the policy is red tape for the sake of it.  However, there needs to be something does there not?  So what would you suggest?  Do you think it should be something decided at the divisional/sub-divisional level?  If so, how then, would you protect our members from, for example, Nicholas going power crazy in Cleveland and insisting that everyone controls 5 hours a week?  (Not that it would ever happen LOL, but you get the idea).

While I agree that 1 hour in 12 months is way too low.  I also see the point that it can be abused and we have to keep in mind this is a hobby, not a job.  So how do we find that balance?

Phil

As he mentioned earlier in the thread, all subdivional policy must go through the division currently (in VATUSA) which prevents things like that. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe someone suggested the freedom for sub-divisions to select their own limits, up to a point. If I recall correctly 3 hours in 3 months were suggested. 

Personally I find that suggestion to be more then reasonable. If someone has no availability in 3 months to control 3 hours, then their endorsement is frozen, requiring them to do a quick refresher session to unfreeze the endorsement. 

If a controller is indeed still up to par after having been inactive for a few months (or even years) then this refresher session will be quick and harmless. If on the other hand they're too rusty and below standard then it might take a bit longer to regain the endorsement, however, that would then just show that the policy works, as it would ensure that controllers rejoining the network know what they're doing.

Evidently the maximum must be reasonable, to avoid the situation of a facility going overboard and requiring minimums that might be unattainable for controllers with a busy RL. One hour a month, either represented as 3 hours in 3 months, or even 6 hours in 6 months, would in my view be more then fair. It is not too much to ask of someone, and it's not as if the ratings will be taken away if the minimum isn't achieved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my feelings not as a senior staff member, I feel like 1 hour per year is way too low. As many people have said 99% of sub-divisions have reasonable requirements. Most average out to 1 or two hour(s) per month. If you can’t do that small amount of time, loa is a few clicks of a button or an email away. Plus if you’ve only been removed once or twice chances is you can re-enter that same sub-division just by requesting transfer as you did when you originally joined. I think it was Nolan (sorry if I’m wrong) said that most people who get removed for inactivity either don’t come back or are gone for at least a year which means that they would have been removed for inactivity with any reasonable requirement anyway. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Allie and others have the right idea here. An activity requirement should not be instituted/enforced network wide, and here's why:

- Quality of Service will suffer. Anyone who thinks otherwise, is out of touch with the reality of this network.  Let's say I get my minor approach certification today, I control my hour. Cool and dandy. I go away for 364 days. In the meantime, the airspace, its procedures, etc have changed. Nothing is stopping me from getting on that position and controlling it using the outdated knowledge of the airspace. Most likely, the pilots I control fly into ABCD airport all the time and know the current airspace, procedure, etc. more than the Controller who is "current" to work this airspace. Do you not see the problem here? It doesn't take a scientist to do that math.

- As others have stated, you're slapping the training departments of the ARTCCs/FIRs/Divisions/Sub Divisions in the face with a shovel because of the new red tape you added. The excuse we would get from controllers who aren't privy to the new knowledge: "per the GCAP, I'm current!" Counter productive to the hard work and dedication of the volunteers who train controllers on this network. Slowly but surely, and this clause proves it - we're moving away from the whole "Simulation of Air Traffic Control" and into the "We're basically gamespy, come on up and connect!" (Although, we allllll know VATSIM only cares about # of connections, so I'm not really too surprised at that model).  That is not what, I'd say, over 50% of the membership of VATSIM is here for. 

 Matt, to address this: 

10 hours ago, Matthew Bartels said:

The point is that if someone with no experience can come in and do a good job with a thorough SOP review prior to controlling then why can't someone who has been formally trained and took a break do the same thing?

Not all students are created equal. Some learn faster than others, some are slower and that's OK. 

Should the activity clause pass as written (Although, if you all actually have the best interest of the network in mind, it won't) you're going to see QOS deteriorate before your very eyes, and this will be the beginning of the end for people who want to take this hobby seriously enough to do it right, and have a good time simultaneously. 

 

Disclaimer: Those who know me know I have a lot of 'hot takes'. Those who don't, I don't intend any disrespect..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the majority here, 1 hour every 12 months is ludicrous, it's a slap in the face to the rest who actually work to stay current.  Our policy currently is 5 hours every 60 days, which I don't think is overburdening anyone, if you put in just an hour every week, you'll be more than above currency requirements, even an hour every 2 weeks just about gets you there.  If some think that 's too much then Nolan's idea of 3 hours per 90 days would even be better than 1 hour per 12 months.  If you're controlling only 1 hour per year, you are not current.

0.png

 

Ben Stevenson

Chief Instructor

Toronto FIR (CZYZ)

torontofir.ca

CZYZ-logo-black.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Dylan Lundberg said:

- Quality of Service will suffer. Anyone who thinks otherwise, is out of touch with the reality of this network.  Let's say I get my minor approach certification today, I control my hour. Cool and dandy. I go away for 364 days. In the meantime, the airspace, its procedures, etc have changed. Nothing is stopping me from getting on that position and controlling it using the outdated knowledge of the airspace. Most likely, the pilots I control fly into ABCD airport all the time and know the current airspace, procedure, etc. more than the Controller who is "current" to work this airspace. Do you not see the problem here? It doesn't take a scientist to do that math.

Not only could things have changed, but I'd argue that most S1, S2, S3 and C1 controllers who have gotten their ratings recently, will struggle not with the changes, but with the basics of controlling if they are gone for 364 days. I'll use myself as an example for this: I have periods where I don't have the possibility to control N90 for a month or two due to real world, and having to spend my free time managing the ARTCC instead, and as a result, I could go 4-5 weeks at times without controlling, and I notice that I need time to get back into things. Taking my own example even further: I was gone from ZNY for a year and a half. I struggled getting back after being NY CTR, C1 certified for 5 years and being an instructor for 4 1/2 of those 5. I went through refresher training on every single position before I got back, and spent weeks re-learning center, and I'd argue that although I know a lot of procedure, I'm a pretty average controller, not a great one. A year is WAY soo relaxed and will result in poorer service on the network, but I will admit that it will save me time removing people from the roster though, and it would be cool to see 1000 controllers in ZNY, which is what would happen based on current membership numbers.

NckPTPXs.jpg

Karl Mathias Moberg (KM) - C3/I1
https://nyartcc.org
ZNY Air Traffic Manager

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't understand the precise goal of lowering standards and making the network substantially worse. If someone can't keep up with say an hour a month, then they can submit an LOA.

If they don't have time to submit an LOA, which by the way takes about 30 seconds, then that sucks for them.

  • Like 1
JACOB BOYLES
Assistant VP of Development
## [email protected]
Facebook     Twitter     Instagram
VATSIM Logo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Philip Dowling 813710 said:

So what would you suggest?  Do you think it should be something decided at the divisional/sub-divisional level?  If so, how then, would you protect our members from, for example, Nicholas going power crazy in Cleveland and insisting that everyone controls 5 hours a week?  (Not that it would ever happen LOL, but you get the idea).

I believe it should be done at the sub-divisional level, with approval from the division, as it is right now. I increased my activity requirement this year, from 1 hour a month to 2 hours a month, with full approval from my staff and controllers who actively participate in the community. If I were use that same process to go to 5 hours a week, I have no doubt that I would be receiving a lashing from USA staff and active controllers  like this policy is receiving right now and have to backpedal. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Board of Governors

One thing that I’m not seeing being mentioned in all of this discussion is the  personal responsibility for the actual controller. Everyone is assuming that the controller will automatically be bad because they didn’t meet the arbitrary restriction that the local facility set. 

There is not a lowering of standards here. The controller still must perform at the level required by their rating and be able to uphold current procedure. They need to do their homework before they can plug in.  If they consistently don’t perform up to standard and they get bad feedback, then an avenue for compelling them to get better is there. That’s something that was unheard of for the past 20 years.  

I get it. One hour a year is very low. But that’s an ACTIVITY requirement. The CURRENCY requirement is that the controller must do their research before they plug in. That is a lot stricter than any arbitrary number a local facility can throw out, but it also opens up the ability for a hobbyist  to be a hobbyist instead of having to be stressed out that they couldn’t control 2 hours this month and forgot to get an LOA.

Remember that this clause only applies to your Minors / Restricteds. There is talk already about putting the same requirement for majors onto the resticteds. So that’s a change and would end up only that your minor airports would have this very loose requirement. There has to be some give and take here. We can’t and shouldn’t be über protective of every single airport. I don’t think someone is going to do severe damage to your reputation because they controlled some one runway / one taxiway airport in the middle of nowhere not 100% to standard.

If we have to have activity requirements for minors at all, I would want to compromise somewhere in the 6 month range. No it doesn’t have to be 1 hour every six months, but let’s give some breathing room here.

 

Matt Bartels
VP: Marketing & Communication
## vpmkt (at) vatsim.net
Facebook Twitter Instagram
VATSIM Logo

Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

6 hours per 6 months

it seems everybody agrees with this ratio and of somebody isn’t away for a long time, 6 hours should be enough time to re-learn procedures and etc.

Edited by David Solesvik 1341101
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

C1-rated controller

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

[email protected]

1341101

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personal responsibility is great to think about in a vacuum, but literally two decades of this network existing have shown us people often do not have an accurate idea of their own controlling ability, and many simply do not care. The impetus is now on a facility to dedicate more time and resource to monitoring and feedback, and risks creating a poor experience both its own more active controllers and for the pilots on the network.

Not all ATC service is created equal, and I am extremely baffled at how this is being pitched as a "pro network" move when the result will be an inaccurate number of controllers and a worse experience for pilots.

Who is this imaginary stressed out hobbyist who can't submit an LOA? If personal responsibility is the name of the game, is it not their personal responsibility to communicate their intentions to their home facility? Being a hobbyist doesn't mean being fee of stress, it mean participating in the group. 

Edited by Matthew Kramer
  • Like 1

ZLA DATM, I1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Nicholas Lascko said:

I believe it should be done at the sub-divisional level, with approval from the division, as it is right now. I increased my activity requirement this year, from 1 hour a month to 2 hours a month, with full approval from my staff and controllers who actively participate in the community. If I were use that same process to go to 5 hours a week, I have no doubt that I would be receiving a lashing from USA staff and active controllers  like this policy is receiving right now and have to backpedal. 

I will add my own experience to the ZOB example. I'm on staff at ZNY and visit our neighbor at ZOB have many of the border restrictions and routes memorized from working ZNY all the time (typically 10+ hours per month). I usually control the minimum required at ZOB which is 2 hours a month (I supported increasing the activity minimum as well). Despite all the advantages I have in knowledge, skill, and proficiency when it comes to being a visitor at ZOB, I still know for a fact that I'm a less capable controller at ZOB than at ZNY where I control much more frequently. I have all of the reference material open all the time when logged on as CLE_CTR whereas I only have to look up the more obscure crossing restrictions and approach plates for NY_CTR.

Talk of personal responsibility is great, but even someone who's very well motivated like myself often puts in the minimum requirement because that is the minimum requirement. Back when the ZOB requirement was 1 hour, I put in just about exactly 1 hour each month and I was worse off for it even though I was motivated to do a good job. My extremely unscientific count of this thread is that a lot of the concern is coming from sub-division staff (ARTCCs in US parlance) staff and for good reason. All of us have stories of controllers who are unwilling to put in any more than the bare minimum and try (often successfully) to throw the book at us and say "but the policy says this so I'm only going to do the absolute bare minimum that's in the policy." That is where the concern comes from. If everyone took personal responsibility and initiative, we'd all be better off for it, but we all know that that's not the case in actuality.

Edited by Alex Ying
  • Like 1

New York ARTCC

Instructor // ZNY/ZWY Facility Coordinator

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Matthew Bartels said:

One thing that I’m not seeing being mentioned in all of this discussion is the  personal responsibility for the actual controller. Everyone is assuming that the controller will automatically be bad because they didn’t meet the arbitrary restriction that the local facility set. 

There is not a lowering of standards here. The controller still must perform at the level required by their rating and be able to uphold current procedure. They need to do their homework before they can plug in.  If they consistently don’t perform up to standard and they get bad feedback, then an avenue for compelling them to get better is there. That’s something that was unheard of for the past 20 years.  

I get it. One hour a year is very low. But that’s an ACTIVITY requirement. The CURRENCY requirement is that the controller must do their research before they plug in. That is a lot stricter than any arbitrary number a local facility can throw out, but it also opens up the ability for a hobbyist  to be a hobbyist instead of having to be stressed out that they couldn’t control 2 hours this month and forgot to get an LOA.

Remember that this clause only applies to your Minors / Restricteds. There is talk already about putting the same requirement for majors onto the resticteds. So that’s a change and would end up only that your minor airports would have this very loose requirement. There has to be some give and take here. We can’t and shouldn’t be über protective of every single airport. I don’t think someone is going to do severe damage to your reputation because they controlled some one runway / one taxiway airport in the middle of nowhere not 100% to standard.

If we have to have activity requirements for minors at all, I would want to compromise somewhere in the 6 month range. No it doesn’t have to be 1 hour every six months, but let’s give some breathing room here.

 

How does a subdivision uphold "the controller must do their research before they plug in"? GCAP does not afford us the ability to remove a minor certification if someone comes back after 11 months and 29 days and doesn't do their research to be current. You are locking us into not being able to manage our rosters. The overwhelming response here has been 1 hour per month, and you are still not budging. So is this a "review period" or a "this is what you get, and don't throw a fit" period?

ALEXANDRA ROBISON
Air Traffic Manager, Albuquerque ARTCC
VATSIM Senior Developer
 
## [email protected]
Facebook Twitter Instagram
VATSIM Logo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Matthew Bartels said:

There is not a lowering of standards here. The controller still must perform at the level required by their rating and be able to uphold current procedure. They need to do their homework before they can plug in.  If they consistently don’t perform up to standard and they get bad feedback, then an avenue for compelling them to get better is there. That’s something that was unheard of for the past 20 years.  

Ok...? But how can I punish someone who doesn't do that? I can't pull their ratings with the new regulations, so there is no accountability for not doing this. I can't kick them from our roster, and I can't deny them controlling minor airports. So what CAN I, as the facility manager do?

NckPTPXs.jpg

Karl Mathias Moberg (KM) - C3/I1
https://nyartcc.org
ZNY Air Traffic Manager

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Matthew Bartels said:

One thing that I’m not seeing being mentioned in all of this discussion is the  personal responsibility for the actual controller. Everyone is assuming that the controller will automatically be bad because they didn’t meet the arbitrary restriction that the local facility set. 

There is not a lowering of standards here. The controller still must perform at the level required by their rating and be able to uphold current procedure. They need to do their homework before they can plug in.  If they consistently don’t perform up to standard and they get bad feedback, then an avenue for compelling them to get better is there. That’s something that was unheard of for the past 20 years.  

I get it. One hour a year is very low. But that’s an ACTIVITY requirement. The CURRENCY requirement is that the controller must do their research before they plug in. That is a lot stricter than any arbitrary number a local facility can throw out, but it also opens up the ability for a hobbyist  to be a hobbyist instead of having to be stressed out that they couldn’t control 2 hours this month and forgot to get an LOA.

Remember that this clause only applies to your Minors / Restricteds. There is talk already about putting the same requirement for majors onto the resticteds. So that’s a change and would end up only that your minor airports would have this very loose requirement. There has to be some give and take here. We can’t and shouldn’t be über protective of every single airport. I don’t think someone is going to do severe damage to your reputation because they controlled some one runway / one taxiway airport in the middle of nowhere not 100% to standard.

If we have to have activity requirements for minors at all, I would want to compromise somewhere in the 6 month range. No it doesn’t have to be 1 hour every six months, but let’s give some breathing room here.

 

I think one of the problems is "Activity" and "Currency" seem to be used interchangeably or currency really isn't defined from what i can see.  8.02(a) says about the 1 hour per 12 months to remain active, 8.02 talks about removing a controller if they fail to remain current, but there is no definition of what current is, someone could successfully argue that they are active therefore current since the policy doesn't say different.

8.04(c) muddies the waters even a little more; 

"Completion of a control session on a position which provides top-down service to other endorsed positions satisfies the currency requirement"

 

So they do their 1 hour a year for activity requirements, (or 1 hour per 3 months for major endorsement) and they are considered current, there is no difference defined between ACTIVE and CURRENT.  As far as I can tell, happy to be corrected.

0.png

 

Ben Stevenson

Chief Instructor

Toronto FIR (CZYZ)

torontofir.ca

CZYZ-logo-black.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Board of Governors
Quote

 

8.06(a) In these rare cases, based upon an observed trend of severely deficient performance coupled with poor feedback from pilots and controllers, a Sub-Division or Division may petition their overseeing authority (Division or Region) to suspend the controlling privileges of said controller to the rating level where they are proficient, and the overseeing authority may require remedial training to rated proficiency.

8.06(b)  This requires substantial documentation and all other avenues of encouraging the controller to improve must be explored prior to forwarding the issue to the Division or Region.

This is your ability to correct the problem right here.

Matt Bartels
VP: Marketing & Communication
## vpmkt (at) vatsim.net
Facebook Twitter Instagram
VATSIM Logo

Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bye bye any automation we have for tracking controller activity and currency. Have fun ARTCC senior staff, good luck managing hundreds and hundreds of people on your roster because they are technically current, then having to go on a case by case basis to figure out if they can control.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
JACOB BOYLES
Assistant VP of Development
## [email protected]
Facebook     Twitter     Instagram
VATSIM Logo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Matthew Bartels said:

This is your ability to correct the problem right here.

You still aren't listening. This isn't a public comment period, this is a "here's what you get, like it or leave" period. That attitude that you so tongue-in-cheek mentioned yesterday that the BoG has, you have right now. It's pretty apparent that you have no intention on listening to the class and adjusting to what we are suggesting (1 hour per month). What's the point of this entire forum then?

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
ALEXANDRA ROBISON
Air Traffic Manager, Albuquerque ARTCC
VATSIM Senior Developer
 
## [email protected]
Facebook Twitter Instagram
VATSIM Logo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...