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

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On 9/22/2022 at 2:10 PM, Nick Marinov said:

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.

What's stopping a pilot without a slot from just hopping on anyways? How will they be identified as not having a slot?

Edited by Callum Mckinnon
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  • Board of Governors

You can hop on all you want.  You won't be in the slot database, and you won't have the "secret code" to file in your flight plan.  Both of those will assure everyone that you don't have a slot.  You are not restricted from flying, but since you've been specifically asked not to fly without a slot to protect the delicate balance of the event including staffing as it is, you are subject to hearing one of my favorite lines when someone is looking to something that just doesn't work and/or is "legal but ugly":  "Expect a 24 hour delay"....    

Bottom line:  Don't be a jerk.  This event is stretched to it's limit already, for many, many reasons, with many, many in the community calling for it to be retired.  Don't be "that guy"....

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Don Desfosse
Vice President, Operations

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44 minutes ago, Robert Shearman Jr said:

It's flying trans-Atlantic during Cross The Pond, without an event slot, that should be avoided.

And to be really precise: trans-Atlantic during Cross The Pond inside the part of the Ocean, that is used for the event, without an event slot. If you want to fly from KLAX to EDDF and use a routing via the top of Greenland and then down to Norway, nobody will mind.

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2 hours ago, Viktor Strom said:

The slot time you get, is it the time that you should push back from the gate or the time when you should take off?

You can find the answer in the "FAQ section" of the Cross The Pond website:

A slot departure time is the time (in UTC) by which we expect you to be in the air.


Edited by Andreas Fuchs
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2 hours ago, Kevin Finch said:

I've added an expression of interest but I can no longer fly the event. Can I remove my EOI? I don't want to get a slot and be a no show.



2 hours ago, Raul Ferraz said:

if you don't book an actual flight, you're not a no show. Getting a slot and do nothing with it has no impact afaik


Raul is correct, the expression of availability does not hold any negative impact. If you would still want to be removed, please email me on the email in my signature.

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


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Maybe a silly suggestion for the lottery, but something I thought of: a slightly positive weighing when you controlled a CTP event previously., Since CTP requires a lot of controllers, who, when controlling, not take a slot, giving them a slightly higher chance for the next edition of the event. Participating VACCs can issue the organisation a list of members that controlled, which is input for the next event.


ACCNL4 (Training Director) - Dutch VACC

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