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Who can operate an FSS?

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4 hours ago, Miguel Albano said:

On VATSIM, there are FSS positions in South America, Africa and Asia, as well as the most famous of all, NAT.

I can only speak regarding Gander and Shanwick, but those are not operating as FSSs per se -- those are using the FSS suffix because it allows them sufficient radio range within the FSD protocol to reach the entirety of their control responsibilities.

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  • 1 month later...

Indeed, so IRL, FSSes are also known as AFISes - where flight information service is provided by aircraft, and not necessarily full ATC - this depends though.

On VATSIM, some positions have an _FSS suffix - these are mostly used for extremely large enroute positions that are combined on VATSIM but not in real life. Logging on with _CTR gives the controller a range of maximum 600nm from one visibility point (there could be 4 of these, so for example you can throw 4 of these points around said airspace and see 600nm from this point) - however, with _FSS, you can see up to 1500nm from one point. As I said, this is useful for positions where 600nm*4 isn’t enough. Speaking of Shanwick and Gander, these used to be two FSS positions, as one position would often extend into the other one and cover both sectors when the other sector is offline. But during major events such as Cross The Pond, such a high range was not required as one would not extend into the other FIR. Seeing so many planes on the scope often resulted in controller client lag and crashes. So when we created NAT_FSS, we also changed the single Shanwick and Gander positions from _FSS to _CTR, as when controlling only one FIR, 600nm * 4 vis-points is enough visibility to be able to control. This doesn’t work with NAT_FSS, which covers both, as combined it covers a huge sector.


I believe with GCAP, there are plans to change the definition of _FSS, but GCAP is a long time away.

Edited by David Solesvik

C1-rated controller

Gander Oceanic FIR Chief (ZQO1) | San Juan CERAP Deputy Air-Traffic Manager (ZSU2)

[email protected] | dsolesvik#0001


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