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[22nd October 2022] Cross The Pond Eastbound - Discussion Thread

Nick Marinov

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Cross The Pond - Eastbound 2022

Welcome to the discussion thread for CTP Eastbound 2022!

We are pleased to announce the return of Cross the Pond, this time flying Eastbound on Saturday, October 22nd. 

Cross The Pond is the largest and longest-running event on VATSIM (over 20 years). The event is biannual flying between Europe and North and Central America Westbound in the spring and Eastbound in the autumn. Hundreds of pilots light up the virtual skies, and dozens of controllers burn both ends of the candle to provide professional ATC service over the Ocean and the Continents.

There will be some changes to our usual departure windows to align our event with the local time zones to ensure a better match with members from both sides of the pond.

Staff members are able to submit airports for consideration from now until the 2nd September. Details of applications are available via your division.

To keep in touch with news regarding the event, you can follow us on our social media and look for the hashtag #CTP22E
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vatsimctp
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vatsimctp/

We also have a dedicated discord server, which is going to get busier as we approach show-day. To join us, head over to ctp.vatsim.net and follow the instructions on your screen.

Edited by Nick Marinov
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Assistant to the Vice President
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3 minutes ago, Malcolm Fernandez said:

How do the slots work and Should a 747 or a CJ4 work for CTP

Infomation on slots will be published soon. It will be similar to last year's system. Watch this space and our socials to know as soon as we post 😛

A B747 always works for CTP! Not too sue about the CJ4, perhaps someone can fill in for me here 😄

Edited by Nick Marinov

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Last edition you expressed an interest on the website. On a certain date a lottery was ran and based on your ranking you received a date and an hour to login into the website and book a slot. If you never participated in Cross the Pond you have a slightly higher chance of being extracted in a very good position, but it is really random (at least this is what they tell us 😛)

Hope this helps,


Edited by Filippo Genoni


S2 - Morocco vACC (VATMENA)

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  • 2 weeks later...


I am pleased to announce that the airport voting for Cross the Pond Eastbound 2022 has now opened. VATSIM members can now vote for their top airports until 13th September 2000 UTC via the CTP website.

Members can vote for their 1st, 2nd and 3rd favourite choice on either side of the ocean, earning that airport 5, 3 and 2 points respectively. The Planning Team of the event will then meet with the user’s vote to include your favourite airports and occasionally a choice of their own.

All VATSIM members ca vote for their favourite airports here: https://ctp.vatsim.net/voting

A full list of the airports available on each side of the ocean are listed at the end of my post. I would like to welcome some new geographical areas to our voting, to include airports in South America (Brazil and Venezuela) and Africa (Morocco and South Africa) for the first time.

On behalf of the Planning Team, good luck to all the airports!

Discord: https://ctp.vatsim.net/discord/

The airports on the ‘Europe and Africa’ side of the ocean are:

  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol - AMS/EHAM
  • Düsseldorf Airport - DUS/EDDL
  • Johannesburg - JNB/FAOR
  • Kyiv Boryspil International Airport - KBP/UKBB
  • Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport - LIS/LPPT
  • London Heathrow - LHR/EGLL
  • Milan Malpensa - MXP/LIMC
  • Mohammed V International (Casablanca) - CMN/GMMN
  • Moscow Sheremetyevo - SVO/UUEE
  • Vienna International Airport - VIE/LOWW
  • Warsaw Chopin - WAW/EPWA

The airports on the ‘Americas’ side of the ocean are:

  • Boston Logan Intl. - BOS/KBOS
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport - CVG/KCVG
  • Curaçao International Airport - CUR/TNCC
  • Edmonton International - YEG/CYEG
  • Gander - YQX/CYQX
  • Grantley Adams International Airport - BGI/TBPB
  • Halifax Stanfield International - YHZ/CYHZ
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport - ATL/KATL
  • José Martí International Airport - HAV/MUHA
  • Las Américas International Airport - SDQ/MDSD
  • Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport - SJU/TJSJ
  • Memphis International - MEM/KMEM
  • Nashville International - BNA/KBNA
  • Orlando International Airport - MCO/KMCO
  • Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport - PTP/TFFR
  • Princess Juliana International Airport - SXM/TNCM
  • Punta Cana International Airport - PUJ/MDPC
  • Queen Beatrix International Airport - AUA/TNCA
  • Rio de Janeiro - Galeão - GIG/SBGL
  • São Paulo - Guarulhos - GRU/SBGR
  • Seattle (Seatac) - SEA/KSEA
  • Simón Bolivar - CCS/SVMI
  • Toronto Pearson - YYZ/CYYZ
  • Washington Dulles - IAD/KIAD
Edited by Nick Marinov

Assistant to the Vice President
Europe, Middle East and Africa
Supervisor Team Leader


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As many of you will be aware, the New York ARTCC has announced that they will not be staffing their airspace for this Cross the Pond. They informed us prior to airport voting that this would be the case, so that we have been able to include it in our planning.


I’m writing to address the concerns that they posted, which may be shared by others.


Are we listening to concerns?


Many facilities have expressed to us that it is challenging to staff their airspace for long periods (i.e. over 6-8 hours) and especially that it is challenging to staff the USA so early in the morning. The Planning Team engaged many of the USA ARTCCs and Canadian FIRs prior to the start of this event about the issue created by timezones for the eastbound edition. At this time, there is no ‘solution’ that fits everyone, however we have all agreed to depart traffic starting later in the day, over a shorter time window. I will post more details out to this when appropriate, but it will inevitably result in fewer slots offered at this event.


Last event in response to the issues with keeping (various) facilities open for extended periods, we were careful to stagger traffic appropriately to minimise long oceanic opening times. We have, for the last 3 events, also not created slots to all city pairs on the basis of managing enroute airspace capacity. Below is an example of the city pairs offered in Westbound 2022:




Importantly, you will notice large red blocks in the bottom left and top-right corners. These are decided based on capacity and how long enroute sectors can realistically stay open. Our route structure also considers this, as shown below our routes for Westbound 2022:




You will see traffic to the Caribbean being specifically routed south earlier, to move it into the Piraco Oceanic FIR and thus not impact our capacity (and staffing time) for New York Oceanic. Likewise you will notice traffic being crossed in Europe to route it up into Reykjavik airspace, preventing complex crossings in the northern parts of Canada. 


Moving on to this event then, what slots can we expect? Here is a picture of our airports put out to voting:




While it is not a foregone conclusion as to which airports will be included, we can tell you with absolute certainty that the only traffic possible in the Southern hemisphere will be from Brazil to South Africa. The staff members involved with discussions with the Planning team prior to this event are completely aware of this and do not have the expectation of traffic from the USA/Carribean. With that in mind, the selections we choose are always with staffing in mind. As we already knew that NY Oceanic was unlikely to be staffed, we have already met to discuss what will be possible. 


In response to enquiries by the NY ARTCC prior to their announcement, I have guaranteed there is no chance of traffic from the USA to FAOR. As such, there has never been any possibility of needing NY Oceanic for extended time periods. If we did have it available, I anticipate their time open would have been even shorter than previous events.


If there are any other ARTCCs/FIRs concerns about combinations that might create staffing concerns, please get in touch. If you’ve told us already (as a couple have) then we already know. But you are welcome to reach out directly to me if you are worried the message hasn’t got through.


Why are we allowing places outside the USA/Canada?


A regular piece of feedback that we on the planning team receive is that the airports chosen are “the same” each year. We recognise this as being a completely legitimate concern, as the length of flight, combined with the size of airport, appropriate staffing and timezones make it hard to choose airports in Europe/USA/Canada that you haven’t seen before.As I have already said above, we also have to reduce slot capacity slightly for our more typical airports, despite already having demand for slots exceed our capacity. 


We have therefore reached out to some newer airports over the last few events to see if they were interested in applying, to give you something slightly different. For example, you will have noticed the inclusion of Tenerife last year to facilitate some extra capacity from Central America. This time, you will see that we have allowed the interest of places in South America and Africa.


We don’t see opening up different opportunities to pilots to be a negative for the event. The event will always remain dominated by traffic between Western Europe and Eastern USA/Canada and we have no intention to try to stretch facilities beyond their capacities.


We welcome feedback both now and at the end of the event in our formal feedback process. Do you think offering some newer and more unusual opportunities takes away from the event?


Who Decides the airports? Does my vote count?


I have been very open about the way airports are decided and nothing has changed in the method of the past 2 years. I often post in discord about how the selection process works. A summary is that we open as much up to voting as we can and then figure out how closely we can stick to it based on sector capacities.


At the end of the voting, we look through at the airports that you want to have in the event. The top few airports on each side are automatically selected. We then progress down the voting to see if we can accept later airports based on the airport choices above. 


To give a fictitious example. If the top 4 airports in Europe on a given event were Amsterdam (EHAM), Brussels (EBBR), Paris (LFPG) and London Heathrow (EGLL), we have a massive amount of congestion and work for the southern sectors in London control and limited overflight capacity in EBBU, EHAA (Koksy sector). If the next 3 airports were London Gatwick (EGKK), Dusseldord (EDDL) and Frankfurt (EDDF), it would be impossible to include them all. We would likely have to reject 2 of those 3 on the basis of capacity and then proceed to airports lower in the vote. 


This can, and does, result in airports being selected that have lower votes than some that are rejected. However this is necessary to make the event manageable. The only way we could go completely with voting would be for the Planning Team to eliminate large numbers of airports prior to the vote based on our own preference. In the above fictional example, we could choose to remove 2 of those 7 airports from voting in the first place, on the basis that selecting 5 would be ok for capacity. We choose however, to hear what you all want and then try to find a way to achieve it. As such, we spend a lot of time before and during the voting period reaching out to various sectors that we foresee issues. It is common also for concerns to come to us from ARTCCs, FIRs or vACCs, over airport combinations that would cause their airspace issues. We listen and respond to these issues prior to confirming the final airports.


Who are the Planning Team?


For those of you in our discord, you may recognise those of us on the planning team as having a red colour. We are a group of (currently) 7 members with significant experience running this event. The team gets added from time to time from those that contribute significantly, but often has members sitting on the group for several years. 


Planning for each event starts several months in advance and takes a huge behind the scenes effort. In addition to our Planning Team, we also recruit an Event Team, who take on specific roles to achieve each event and require the help and coordination of ARTCCs, FIRs, Divisions and vACCs. 


I currently sit as the coordinator of the planning team, a role which I took on from Westbound 2020. Since that time myself and the team have been aiming to improve communication and coordination, so that you all know more about what is going on and how things work. We have a long way to go, but know that we’re always happy to hear what you want from our event and to hear your concerns. You can get answers to direct questions via this forum thread or the #organiser-questions channel in our discord.


Thank you for taking the time to vote in our airport poll.



CTP Planning Team

Edited by Kieran Hardern
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Cross the Pond is happy to announce our departure and arrival fields for 2022 Eastbound!


  • CYHZ - Halifax Stanfield International Airport
  • CYYZ - Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • KATL - Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  • KBOS - Logan International Airport
  • KIAD - Dulles International Airport
  • KSEA - Seattle–Tacoma International Airport
  • SBGR - São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport
  • TBPB - Grantley Adams International Airport
  • TNCM - Princess Juliana International Airport


  • EDDL - Düsseldorf Airport
  • EGLL - Heathrow Airport
  • EHAM - Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
  • FAOR - O. R. Tambo International Airport
  • LOWW - Vienna International Airport
  • LPPT - Lisbon Airport
  • UKBB - Boryspil International Airport


You can keep up to date with us via our twitter and facebook @vatsimctp, or the CTP Discord server. To join our discord head over to ctp.vatsim.net and follow the instructions.

Edited by Nick Marinov

Assistant to the Vice President
Europe, Middle East and Africa
Supervisor Team Leader


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9 hours ago, mourad djili said:

Hi Nick,

Need help how to book slot as vatsim pilot please.



2 hours ago, fredrik halvorsen said:

When are the booking times?


I think you all need a bit of patience. Every phase of the event is announced here so if you don't see anything it means that pilot's slots have not opened yet. They have just announced the airports so before releasing the slots, the planning team's members, have to choose the city pairs to properly accomodate everyone (and I don't think that's easy). When the time to register for interest comes, you will surely hear that.


Kind Regards,


S2 - Morocco vACC (VATMENA)

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Pilots are now allowed to join our slot lottery!

Demand for participation in CTP outweighs the available capacity of the controllers and airspace. As a result, we choose to limit the number of participants using a slot system.

Only pilots with a slot are able to participate in the event. In order to distribute the slots to pilots we complete the following steps:

  • Pilots register their interest (available 22nd Sep - 5th Oct 1900 UTC)
  • The lottery calculates if you have been awarded a slot and your position in the queue
  • Pilots login after their allocated time and pick a time slot and city pair (being earlier in the lottery gives more chance for the route you want) (available Mon 10th Oct)
  • After everyone has had some time to select their route, the remaining slots are released to all members (on Sat 15th Oct)

Several factors affect the outcome of the lottery, the most significant of which is your historical interaction with this event. If you have no-showed during a previous event when you held a booking, you will have slightly less chance of getting a slot now. If you applied but did not get a slot last year, you will have a slightly higher chance of getting a slot now.

 In a change from previous events, you will have to return to the website in the week leading up to the event to reconfirm your intention to fly and to provide important information such as your callsign, maximum assignable flight level and so on.

We hope that these changes will ensure as many people can fly for this event as possible and importantly, that as many people with a slot join us for the event.

You may now register to be included in the lottery at ctp.vatsim.net

If you want to keep up to date with CTP, don't forget to join our Discord server at ctp.vatsim.net


This Event's system in Detail

To explain the process in detail this year. The lottery will run much the same as previous - that being that everyone will go into the lottery and get randomised into an order. This order will be affected primarily by chance, however, there will be weighting for the following:

  • No shows - negative weighting if you no-showed a slot you had in the previous event. This does not include people who dropped a slot they were allocated.
  • Previous slot allocations - if you got a slot in the last lottery, you have a slightly negative weighting. Likewise, if you didn't, you have a slight positive weighting
  • Sequential events - if you have multiple sequential unsuccessful events, you get more of a positive weighting

With all of those factors taken into account, people will be ranked from 1 to N (N being the total number of people who express interest). A reminder that the main factor is chance, and therefore if you have negative weighting, you aren't guaranteed to not have a slot. Likewise, with a positive weighting, you aren't guaranteed.

Each person is then given a time that they can book from. These times will probably start at 1400Z on 10th Oct and there is at least 1 minute between each person in the lottery, therefore a maximum of 5 people getting in every 5 minutes. Times will be 1400-2200 UTC only, which we have picked based on an acceptable 'daylight' time between the US and Europe, our core pilot base. So the first person in the lottery will end up being able to book from 1400Z on Monday 10th Oct. Someone in the middle of the lottery may not be able to book until 1600Z on Wednesday (for example). The point of this is that if you can't exactly make whatever time you're given, you are likely to be able to log on soon after and still get a choice of slots, in contrast to the classic 'free for all' system where being 15 minutes late meant no slot at all.

We're not sure how popular all the slots will be, therefore it's perfectly possible that we'll run out of slots before the 15th Oct and therefore people towards the end of the lottery may not have any slots left to choose from. Equally, it's perfectly possible that some slots and times that are less popular will still be available. People with slots can drop them at any time, so slots will always pop up.

Regardless of what's left, anything not taken will be available on 15th Oct 1800z UTC. Anyone at this point can take a slot from what's left. Anything dropped will be available to be booked.

Everyone will then have to return to the site between Monday 17th Oct and Thursday 20th Oct (2100 UTC) to confirm they are flying and ensure they've filled in all the details. If you don't do this, your slot will become available to anyone else to take.

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