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Richard, my eyesight is not very good but I read:

 

S3 = Tower

C1 = Approach/Departure

C3 = Center

 

IF I missed something, please enlighten me.

 

Alan Hensley

 

You are correct. The full text of the proposal that was submitted to the EC, included a caveat to allow S3's to man CTR. In addition, are you prepared to see VATUSA's CTR rated controller staff reduced by about 33% and Europe's reduced by over 50%?

Richard Jenkins

richard(a)vatsim.net

"It's all fun and games until the cops show up."

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Do you also agree with letting S3's man CTR? That is part of the proposal also.

 

Ehm Richard,

 

tell them the whole story please . Careful readers will notice that I have not spoken about postion restrictions, but about training and examination instead. And this is because I believe that a global rating policy cannot target local requirements for staffing positions. Most, if not all ACCs with decent traffic levels will do themselfs good by imposing local restrictions to center. In fact, when looking at my division right now, many center positions are already restricted by local regulations. It is the division directors responsability to oversee, review and - if necessary - correct them, if their local policy does not suit the requirements.

 

However, there may be a need for getting around this. Perhaps limited to some period, perhaps when a new ACC is formed and their ATC are just establishing themselves. A global policy should leave local structures the freedom to make a decision based on what happens there - stuff someone overseeing a global scale cannot know (and does not need to know).

 

I know the counter-argument to this: That leaving it up to local decisions will open the doors for misuse. But hey - is that the policies fault then? I don´t think so. If policies are misused, then we have a deficiency in local leadership. And then we need to deal with that, rather than creating policies to compensate for mismanagement .

 

In my opinion, and for the same reasons that Martin listed in his post, it doesn't make sense for S1's to just hop right into tower. I think that S1 should be where the foundation is laid for learning to be an ATC.

 

Well - it doesn´t make sense for S1´s to hop into tower WITHOUT guidance and mentoring. No policy can live by itself, it needs to be filled with life. Thats where training and mentoring comes into the game.

But I also believe in the principle that VATSIM is a learning environment. And new ATC can only learn from practice. So what we need to ensure is that they are guided when they hop into that shark pool called "VATSIM ATC"

 

PS: The text of the VATEUD proposal is no secret.

Edited by Guest

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

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Perhaps someone can clear this up:

 

By allowing S3s to work Center, what will be the point of obtaining a C3 rating since you can work everything with an S3 rating?

UND ATC Major

ZAU MS

GO FIGHTING SIOUX

"Success isn't really a result of spontaneous combustions. You must set yourselfs on fire."

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Im to lazy to read so I have a feeling this has been said, or I will get 'bashed' because I am lazy and not wanting to read.

 

But what is wrong with the current system? It works fine why not let it be? Don't fix something that is not broken.

N029TY

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Guys,

 

you are mixing position certification with ratings reflecting training achievements. The EUD proposal does not talk about position restrictions, it says that ratings should reflect training and examination achievements. Please look at what Stephen has quoted:

 

S1 = introduced to the basics of VATSIM ATC (software, regulations, elementary TWR/GND controlling necessary to go live for the first time)

S3 = trained and examined on Tower position

C1 = trained and examined on Approach position

C3 = trained and examined on Center position

 

Of course a division, or an ATC may feel that it is appropriate to restrict access to positions further. That would be up to their discretion then. For a global scale, the existing restriction that center must be S3 at minimum should remain (to prevent newbies from staffing center positions).

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

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you are mixing position certification with ratings reflecting training achievements. The EUD proposal does not talk about position restrictions, it says that ratings should reflect training and examination achievements. ...

Of course a division, or an ATC may feel that it is appropriate to restrict access to positions further.

 

So as I read it I could be a fully fledged trained and examined as a tower position (S3 rating), but a hypothetical local restriction states that S3s can't man any tower positions.

 

So in essence I am a tower controller who can't control a tower position?

 

This is less confusing than Snr Student?

Michael Benson

Importer and Exporter of aluminium tubing from Slough Intl

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So as I read it I could be a fully fledged trained and examined as a tower position (S3 rating), but a hypothetical local restriction states that S3s can't man any tower positions.

 

Ah, no . This is so hypothetical that it´s really not covered. Of course you should be qualified to staff a position when you have successfully demonstrated your competency on that position (i.e., p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed the exam).

 

It´s merely the other way around: Staffing a position, on which you have not (yet) successfully demonstrated your competency by the act of an exam.

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

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Richard, I most certainly do not want to see a decrease. I want to see an increase BUT not at the expense of Quality. Using the FAA as an example; when I got checked out in the tower I was a GS-9. I could not be promoted to GS-11 due to time in grade. I got my CTO but had to wait a few months to get the "title". Same when I got my facility rating I was a GS-12 but I could not get the GS-13 promotion and "FPL" title for a few months. I couldn't care less if the person was a S1, etc., IF they can p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] the OTS for CTR, they are a C3, if by ability only. The C3 comes as part of vatsim's promotion policy. I guess I misread Martin's post. But, the title does not mean a hill of beans to me. If the person can do the job, do it. S1 or whatever. Just make them meet the training requirements, not time in grade for promotion requirements. Same with solo cerifications. IMHO if he can solo then check him out. If he still needs training, he has NO business soloing. Just to learn bad habits and allow him to build time without an instructor or mentor, makes no sense. I have seen instances where C3's or even Instructors had no clue on how to give the instructions for an a/c to hold or for a non-precision approah. Their argument is they are not real controllers. No that is true BUT they are after all training students on how to do it. Title has nothing to do with controlling, even in a "game"

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Richard, I most certainly do not want to see a decrease. I want to see an increase BUT not at the expense of Quality.

 

Hi Alan,

 

There has to be 'some' expense of quality for this hobby.

 

How is our quality maintaned now ? In several cases through policies of exclusion and restriction.

 

We can simply exclude or restrict anyone not up to the high standard set. It works, but the problem with that is although quality may increase, participation decreases.

 

That's fine if you want to be a small elite special club.

 

But its not fine if you are trying to provide a wide area of ATC coverage like we are in Vatusa.

 

On an average night by my observation about half of the Center positions are staffed in Vatusa.

 

So clearly we do not have enough Center rated Controllers to staff our positions. When some pilots look at

this they say 'I don't want to fly on Vatsim there's no ATC where I want to fly'. The pilots know even if they select a staffed

area to fly to, its still a [Mod - lovely stuff]shoot that it will actually be staffed when they get there.

 

Why do we have all these positions if we have no real intention of staffing them ?

 

My own personal observation the last 3 or 4 years is that our overall participation levels haven't changed much.

We've gotten an awful lot of new members during that time, that to me means that this organization is not growing.

 

Regards.

Ernie Alston

Albuquerque ARTCC

Vatsim Supervisor

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I'm of the opinion that we need to REDUCE the number of local restrictions put in place at many facilities across the Vatsim world.

 

After reading the proposals, it appears to me that there certainly are provisions to allow for certain areas to be defined as "Major" areas that require a special certification before someone with the appropriate rating may plug in.

 

Allow me to provide an example using Chicago. Let's say for this example that there are only ATC ratings on vatsim: Tower, Approach, and Center. Whatever rating you have, means you can work that position.

 

The folks at ZAU have defined Chicago O'Hare International (KORD) as a "Major" control position. This has of course been reviewed and signed off by a division director (just like any policy should be reviewed and signed off)

 

Joe, a Tower rated controller at Oakland wants to push some tin at Chicago. He is free to plug in and work any airport within ZAU airspace except for KORD without any special exams, over the shoulders, training sessions, or waiting periods.

 

Joe decides he wants to work at General Mitchell airport in Mil... (I'm canadian and can't spell this) KMKE. The controllers at ZAU of course expect that Joe is a good Vatsim citizen and mature enough to familiarize himself with their local procedures, so that Joe doesn't make a fool of himself or tarnish the high quality ATC we all expect from ZAU.

 

At some point, Joe determines that he wants to work the big kahuna - KORD. Since this has been determined as a "major" control area, Joe is going to have to get an additional certification in order to work that tower. This may be in the form of a written exam, practical session, self study, over the shoulder, or perhaps a combination of all of the above. The general idea is that however ZAU decides to certify people to work at KORD, the certification process is "fair and reasonable".

 

Once Joe gains this certification, he can work KORD any time he wishes, and is not restricted in any way by the times or circomestances when he can work there. He also doesn't have to meet any currency requirements that force him to spend 30 hours every 6 months at the positions. Once he has the certification - he has it, and it can't be taken away. He can work the position during events, during peak times, essentially - whenever.

 

Joe eventually attains his "Approach" rating at Oakland. Now at this point he is able to work any Approach position on Vatsim, as long as they are not defined as a "Major" control position. Perhaps ZAU also defines CHI_APP as a major control position. IN this case, Joe could work ANY approach position in ZAU without further certifications - except for CHI_APP. If Joe chooses to get certified at that position and it works out - then again he isn't restricted to working the position at any time.

 

Finally - Joe gets his "Center" rating. Now Joe, a seasoned veteran already at controlling and with some good hours on CHI_APP and ORD_TWR, can work ANY "Minor" center position on Vatsim. Since Joe already has his "CHI APP" rating and ZAU has not implemented any special restrictions for center - he is free to work CHI_CTR whenever he wants.

 

One different scenario: Jose, a Center rated controller from KZAB decides he wants to work CHI_CTR. Remember how CHI_CTR doesn't have any special restrictions? Well guess what - Jose can NOT work CHI_CTR until he gains the CHI_APP certification since the control of CHI_CTR [Mod - Happy Thoughts]umes responsibility for CHI_APP.

 

Looking at this from my perspective, it holds a nice balance between creating restrictions that work and are still "Fair and reasonable". Position restrictions were originally created to block "bad" people from chasing traffic, logging on wherever they wanted, and causing havoc. (by "bad" I don't mean poor controllers, I mean people who have no regard for pretty much anything). Unfortunately, over time these restrictions seemed to lose their purpose and then started to block "good" people from taking advantage of working new airspace - something which can be fun and refreshing for the controller, the facility, and the pilots.

 

The policy however does raise a lot of questions still:

How do we determine what is a "major" position and what isn't?

 

How do we ensure that there is "some" consistency between facilities who all have the ability to hand out the various "ratings"?

 

Where do we define "the line" in terms of a "major" control area's certification process being "fair and reasonable"?

Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

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Richard, I most certainly do not want to see a decrease. I want to see an increase BUT not at the expense of Quality. Using the FAA as an example; when I got checked out in the tower I was a GS-9. I could not be promoted to GS-11 due to time in grade. I got my CTO but had to wait a few months to get the "title". Same when I got my facility rating I was a GS-12 but I could not get the GS-13 promotion and "FPL" title for a few months. I couldn't care less if the person was a S1, etc., IF they can p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] the OTS for CTR, they are a C3, if by ability only. The C3 comes as part of vatsim's promotion policy. I guess I misread Martin's post. But, the title does not mean a hill of beans to me. If the person can do the job, do it. S1 or whatever. Just make them meet the training requirements, not time in grade for promotion requirements. Same with solo cerifications. IMHO if he can solo then check him out. If he still needs training, he has NO business soloing. Just to learn bad habits and allow him to build time without an instructor or mentor, makes no sense. I have seen instances where C3's or even Instructors had no clue on how to give the instructions for an a/c to hold or for a non-precision approah. Their argument is they are not real controllers. No that is true BUT they are after all training students on how to do it. Title has nothing to do with controlling, even in a "game"

 

Alan,

 

I agree, I wouldn't be opposed to a scenario where students could challenge a rating, much like people do in college by challenging cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]es. I think what I find troublesome is that we always seem to think we have to choose either quality or quantity. I firmly believe we can do both!

 

IMO (remember that) this policy is more about getting people in the door and into the VATSIM family. The higher ratings are not as much a concern to me, since those people for the most part are established and progressing. They have made the commitment and stuck with it over the years. Our biggest problem is new ATC. Its not uncommon for someone to join and then be put onto a waiting list that could be months long. In that time they either lose interest or become discouraged and move on. VATSIM has excellent training and some of the training programs are incredibly complex for a hobby, but at times staffing them is difficult, and we don't look at the consequences of demanding this training and then not being able to provide it in a timely manner. We have to get rid of these long waits and get people excited about controlling. It is almost like we are giving a kid a new toy and then telling him/her to leave it in the box for x amount of time and don't touch it. Where is the fun in that? Almost a cruel joke.

Richard Jenkins

richard(a)vatsim.net

"It's all fun and games until the cops show up."

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It may sound like I'm repeating myself but I will do this to make sure that we all have the same understanding.

 

The VATEUD model by Martin was given very careful consideration; as were those from all other divisions. Martin detailed it to me in February so that I could ensure that it was on the table for discussion. Martin wants others around the world to align with his model even though in many cases it would cause them far greater hardship than the EC model.

 

What Martin hasn’t told you is that his model did NOT find acceptance with the EC and Martin has several times been advised of this fact. Martin refuses to accept this and now wants to garner your support for his stubbornness.

 

The new scheme must be appropriate, workable, and within easy reach of ALL divisions and their training departments. The EC model achieves this without compromising ATC standards.

 

For the record, there are a number of problems with Martin’s model. Some of these are:

  • It has 4-steps from Pilot/OBS until a person becomes a fully qualified controller able to operate in all control positions. To use Martin’s words to me: “It makes full use of the total range of VATSIM ratings, starting with S1 and up to C3.â€
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Ernie makes a good point. We take in a m[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ive number of new members. Generally, we take in between 100 - 150 new members each day. We do a terrible job of getting these people on the scopes. We have to do better...

Richard Jenkins

richard(a)vatsim.net

"It's all fun and games until the cops show up."

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Ernie I can't speak for any other center but ZME is not an elite club. No one has been turned away who wanted to control, NOT one. Those who have not stayed, did so of their own choosing. I consider you and I good friends and you know I am not one of the elite. I came here not bragging about my past experiences but rather as one of the guys who did not think he was better than anyone else and wanted those who probably will never get to experience aviation for real the chance here. Our OTS's are "by the book", following the vatusa guidelines to the letter. The guideline requires one to know how to do thing and whether we like it or not, there is learning that comes with that. You know I have put in whatever has been needed to train in the past but it is a two way street. I have no problem what whatever is decided on vatsim. I have always been taught and have taught my children that nothing comes free and whatever you do do your best, if nothing else, for your own pride. I hate not seeing every center staffed. One comes to vatsim to control. Unfortunately, some find out that they just can't plug right in. Some go elsewjee because of that. But do to the younger age factor, it is also possible and more than likely that interest is lost for various other reason's also. You know my saying here Ernie. "If you don't know what you are doing, AT LEAST sound like you do". By doing this, I have seen where the person actually starts learning a little. I, for one, don't suggest going to the standards I saw back in the "day". But an effort must be made by both the Student and the Instructor/Mentor to do some learning, albeit some. Memphis Center elite? I thought we were just following vatusa guidelines.

 

Alan Hensley

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Again, I want to stress, whatever the policy is I will adhere to it. But using the example that was given for ORD and all, one can't just go to a particular airport and give any realism without some background of the facility he will control at. If that is the case, we need to do away with LOA's and the such. To some, even taking an evening and making a cheat sheet they can keep next to them for following routings in the LOA is too much work. If that is what the majority want, (I am not being a smart guy), then that is fine with me. I will continue to give the ATC I give, while I can. I follow the policies put forth by my ATM regarding training. He in turn follows the same policies. I use VATUSA'S guidelines on ALL over the shoulder's. No more, no less. My thing is the 30 day requirement as a S3, etc.. Ernie you remember how much hot water you got into for letting me control at ZAB when I first came here. But even you said because of my knowledge, you let me do it. If vatsim wants to change the standards that is fine by me. If sure would give me more opportunity to man Memphis Center or whatever position is open. Thanks for the chance to give my opinions.

 

Alan Hensley

Training Administrator

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First, I am 100% for standardization of ATC across the network. It provides a level of comfort that a pilot knows what they’re getting (in terms of controller experience / proficiency). After reading the previous 5 pages, and the global policy change which was nicely slipped in by the EC without telling the people who need to start thinking about making local changes to comply, I have a question.

 

This question revolves more around visiting controllers (I’m going to use ZBW as an example, as it’s the airspace I’m most familiar with). If our friend Joe, who is an S3 (or TWR rated controller) in XYZ ARTCC, decides he wants to come visit ZBW. Would Joe be able to plug in to any ZBW “non-majorâ€

-Dan Everette

CFI, CFII, MEI

Having the runway in sight just at TDZE + 100 is like Mom, Warm cookies and milk, and Christmas morning, all wrapped into one.

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Again, I want to stress, whatever the policy is I will adhere to it. But using the example that was given for ORD and all, one can't just go to a particular airport and give any realism without some background of the facility he will control at. If that is the case, we need to do away with LOA's and the such. To some, even taking an evening and making a cheat sheet they can keep next to them for following routings in the LOA is too much work. If that is what the majority want, (I am not being a smart guy), then that is fine with me. I will continue to give the ATC I give, while I can. I follow the policies put forth by my ATM regarding training. He in turn follows the same policies. I use VATUSA'S guidelines on ALL over the shoulder's. No more, no less. My thing is the 30 day requirement as a S3, etc.. Ernie you remember how much hot water you got into for letting me control at ZAB when I first came here. But even you said because of my knowledge, you let me do it. If vatsim wants to change the standards that is fine by me. If sure would give me more opportunity to man Memphis Center or whatever position is open. Thanks for the chance to give my opinions.

 

Alan Hensley

Training Administrator

 

Alan, I don't think anyone is saying position restrictions will be going anywhere. Obviously, Joe New Member is not going to be able to take his S1 test and login to MEM_TWR. But you will need to make accomodation for him/her to be able to do something at a minor airport. Get him/her involved and build the interest and dangle the carrot of MEM...

Richard Jenkins

richard(a)vatsim.net

"It's all fun and games until the cops show up."

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Your scenarios are quite useful Ian, although the exact detail of these has yet to be considered by local staff. I expect staff to be doing this over the next few months. I agree that in many instances it may not be necesary to grade CTR locations, but there may be a case for it in EUR. Nevertheless, the option is there.

 

How do we determine what is a "major" position and what isn't?"?

This is a local determination since they know their own airspace. It should be a once-only happening that should take a division only a matter of hours to decide. For example, in the UK it is most likely that the *major* locations will be; Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester. In Australia it may be that only Sydney is designated as *major* since it is the only Australian airport with a complex layout. In the USA I anticipate that there will be about 20 locations that warrant being designated as *major*.

 

How do we ensure that there is "some" consistency between facilities who all have the ability to hand out the various "ratings"?"?

The key to this is the competencies for each ATS position. ATC competencies are the same for any location in the world. Only the local layout changes, and that is why there is need for local familiarization before being signed off.

 

In RL I am a training consultant in a variety of areas, including aviation. I have prepared a complete set of competencies for each ATS; Local (Tower), TMA radar (APP/DEP) and Enroute (CTR) ... and I will put these up alongside the guideline in order to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ist training departments in shaping their program.

 

Where do we define "the line" in terms of a "major" control area's certification process being "fair and reasonable"?

This is a local determination signed off by the Division Director and then readily accessible through all web pages and docomeentation so that it is clear for all to see.

 

 

Roland Collins

VATSIM co-Founder

VATSIM - VP Regions

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Perhaps I’m over-reacting (and if I am, I apologize), but I just want to make sure that there is at least some safeguard to ensure a visiting controller knows more than where Boston is located on the globe before plugging in as a visiting controller.

Dan,

You have made a good point and I’ll respond to it the way that I see it.

 

There is no doubt that VATSIM expects a controller to familiarize themself with any new airspace in which they are permitted to operate. It is in CoC (C.1). There is also an expectation that pilots and controllers will show a significant degree of tolerance toward each other when on-line in unfamiliar airspace CoC (A.10).

 

[Edit] The bottom line is that a visiting controller must meet the same standard as a local controller. You can see it HERE in the Revised EC Transfer & Visiting Controller Policy [End edit]

 

I am not suggesting that these alone will ensure the level of performance that you seek. Having readily accessible cheat sheets will greatly [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ist. However, the objective is to have a person operating HFD_TWR when it would otherwise be un-staffed. I am sure that you agree that this is desirable.

 

We have to get back to basics and deal with it in the way that it has been handled in the past. Controllers should talk to each other and provide [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istance to the person trying to fill a gap in ATC. We did this pretty well in the past [text] and the newer communications technology should make this even easier to accommodate. When controllers chat to each other there is opportunity to dynamically deal with situations and continue the VATSIM philosophy of encouragement and support.

 

I’ll leave you with a couple of quotes from me:

 

"We empower, not imprison."

 

“We must learn to build each other up and stop cutting each other downâ€

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...I use VATUSA'S guidelines on ALL over the shoulder's. No more, no less. My thing is the 30 day requirement as a S3, etc.. Ernie you remember how much hot water you got into for letting me control at ZAB...

 

I remember, we violated a bunch of Academy regulations to do it. I also remember how much you enjoyed that experience, and how much you wanted to do it again , it was fun.

 

What you got in that session was a bit of the 'wow factor' a little taste of Vatsim, the 'fun' part.

 

Its that 'fun' part that is missing from the experience of many new Controllers today. We subject them to so many restrictions and limits that they simply lose interest long before they earn ratings.

 

Lets take an example from real world General Aviation.

 

When someone expresses interest in flying, often they get an introductory flight.

 

That introductory flight is meant to generate the all important 'wow factor', it helps to sell the flying idea to the interested party. Its a lot harder to keep them interested if they are limited to ground school and must first p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] certain tests before they see the inside of a plane.

 

We should also do things that make that initial Vatsim experience a little more enjoyable.

 

One way to do it is to give them an opportunity to be a controller at a minor airport, and yes this includes TWR.

 

Regards.

Ernie Alston.

Albuquerque ARTCC

Vatsim Supervisor

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I feel the need to chime in here...

 

1) Referencing the posts about new users signing up, and same staffing levels on the scopes. One needs to ask themselves if the people signing up are wanting to FLY. Perhaps, the new signups are ONLY signing up to fly.

 

2) Has anyone really looked at the signup lately, and how many steps are involved anymore?

 

3) Roland keeps mentioning these testing standards and the like. It has been mentioned so many times in this thread that I am starting to think there is a precedent being set with the global postion policy that is laying the groundwork for global testing! Let me rephrase this...

 

Is Global ATC testing on the horizon?

 

4) Martin's proposal was just that, a proposal. Stubborness is not an issue here. Martin is exhibiting good leadership qualities by taking in concerns of the "crew" and trying to effect change. Which seems to be more than what others are doing.

 

Thank you,

Jason Vodnansky

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I feel the need to chime in here...

 

1) Referencing the posts about new users signing up, and same staffing levels on the scopes. One needs to ask themselves if the people signing up are wanting to FLY. Perhaps, the new signups are ONLY signing up to fly.

 

2) Has anyone really looked at the signup lately, and how many steps are involved anymore?

 

3) Roland keeps mentioning these testing standards and the like. It has been mentioned so many times in this thread that I am starting to think there is a precedent being set with the global postion policy that is laying the groundwork for global testing! Let me rephrase this...

 

Is Global ATC testing on the horizon?

 

4) Martin's proposal was just that, a proposal. Stubborness is not an issue here. Martin is exhibiting good leadership qualities by taking in concerns of the "crew" and trying to effect change. Which seems to be more than what others are doing.

 

Thank you,

Jason Vodnansky

 

1. Most people sign up to fly. In the past we figured about 1-2% try the ATC side and that number appears to be about the same. This coupled with the member survey last year leads one to believe that more needs to be done to attract new ATC.

 

2. The signup process has continually been updated. It currently makes members go through the PRC and one other page for controllers on how to get started.

 

3. No global testing as far as I am concerned. Would be an extreme technical challenge.

Richard Jenkins

richard(a)vatsim.net

"It's all fun and games until the cops show up."

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This question revolves more around visiting controllers (I’m going to use ZBW as an example, as it’s the airspace I’m most familiar with). If our friend Joe, who is an S3 (or TWR rated controller) in XYZ ARTCC, decides he wants to come visit ZBW. Would Joe be able to plug in to any ZBW “non-majorâ€

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