Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Is Global ATC testing on the horizon?

Absolutely not! Training and testing are a local matter entrusted to divisions and their training staff. You may be confusing the provision of competencies as a step toward global testing, but it is not. Authorities around the world agree on the competencies for drivers but it up to local authorities to determine how they will address these, the types/methods of testing, content, where they will place their emphasis, etc.

 

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.?

Martin's proposal was considered in February and could not be supported and this has been conveyed to Martin many times. I consider a refusal to accept this as being *stubborn*. Your mileage on it may of course be different Jason.

 

 

Roland Collins

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 233
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

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.

 

Roland,

 

Thank you for the reply. I fully agree that having HFD_TWR staffed rather than non-staffed is more desirable. I also think that at it's core, this new policy (from what I've read and understand) will help facilitate a higher level of staffing among ATC facilities. I'm also a firm believer (in this environment) in trust until proven wrong. What I'm concerned about is if our friend Joe consistently demonstrates an ability not to learn or become familiar with local procedures, is ZBW having any recourse. Or will BOS_CTR continue to have to worry about him when he's online?

 

My concern really boils down to one point. Using the current VATUSA organization (which is the only one I'm familiar with, sorry), does this new policy negate the entire visiting controller concept as we know it? More specifically, does it now make working a position (that a controller's rank allows) anywhere in VATUSA a free for all, as long as the said controller ensures they familiarize themselves with local policy/procedures? If so, and that's where VATSIM wants to maintain course and speed towards, fine. But, do/will facilities have the ability to curtail or restrict "visiting" controllers who have demonstrated an unwillingness to learn aforementioned local policy/procedures?

 

I'm all for initiatives to increase ATC coverage, but am just trying to get clarification on what to expect. For example, as a C3, if I see a group flight departing out of PSP ([Mod - Happy Thoughts]uming it's not cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ified as a "major" facility) to LAX. Would I be able to plug in to PSP_TWR and clear all those aircraft "direct" just because I can, without first asking/talking to someone in a position of responsibility in ZLA?

 

I'm sorry I'm long winded here, it's just something I see which has some serious ramifications. I'm afraid of a "I can plug into any non-'major' facility in I want, because I'm a without even demonstrating that I know Los Angeles is west of Boston when [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igning cruise altitudes" mentality developing. Again, I'm very much for standardization regarding general ability. I think this is in the right direction. Just looking a more "big-picture" here.

 

Personally, I'm not worried that some visiting controller comes in and wants to work XYZ_TWR, just because he's a S3-C3. Based upon where I understand this standardization is going, I know what his capabilities are as a controller in general. What I need to know is what his knowledge is of local LOA's/SOP's if he just decides to plug-in on a whim, because he sees traffic there, and can.

 

Again, sorry if I've mis-interpreted the policy, or mis-read it. It's just after reading it, as well as the last 5 pages of this thread, I feel like I'm in a 2am alcohol encouraged game of twister with 6 people trying to understand some of the specifics of its intent.

-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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If an airport like HFD requires local procedures then it should be designated a 'major' airport IMO.

 

But I think this major designation should be checked to ensure that is reasonable and not an attempt to further restrict beginners or visitors.

 

Ernie,

 

I think I understand what you're saying and I agree fully. For example KBOS has some very specific procedures which controllers need to know ahead of time (for example, a TWR controller at HFD_TWR doesn't need to know that the TOBIN route breaks off north from the FENWA/PIKER/FRESH/SPOND/HAMPS helicopter routes at the Coast Guard Station along the waterfront in downtown Boston), which I think would cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ify KBOS as a "major" facility. However, what I was trying to refer to (and in retrospect did a horrible way of doing it), was one of something as generic in ATC as preferred routes. For instance, ALL aircraft inbound to the antacid capital of the Northeast (EWR/JFK/LGA and satellites) absolutely need to be on a specific route segment out of ZBW. This requires that EVERY controller that plugs into ZBW is aware of preferred routes, and can at least read/understand the published ZNY/ZBW LOA.

 

Now, where to we draw the line? Do we say that controllers needing to know preferred route segments (using your example) cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ifies an airport as "major"? Personally I'm 100% against that. But even a "visiting" controller plugging into something as isolated as BGR_DEL needs to know how to look up and know what the preferred routes are from ZBW into ZNY. Does this cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ify BGR (Bangor) as a "major" facility? Absolutely not (well, I'm not the ATM, but it's my opinion). But as you can see, even something as small as knowing "preferred routes" and what the ZNY/ZBW LOA requires, can have a potential significant impact on operations.

 

I'm not trying to argue, just trying to get clarification. Where do you draw the line between "major" and non-"major" facilities. As a C3, should I be able to plug into XYZ_TWR in Albuquerque airspace without demonstrating that I know the preferred route segments between ZAB and ZLA?

-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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Where do you draw the line between "major" and non-"major" facilities. As a C3, should I be able to plug into XYZ_TWR in Albuquerque airspace without demonstrating that I know the preferred route segments between ZAB and ZLA?

 

Dan - you keep bringing up this issue of logging into XYZ without first demonstrating any knowledge of local procedures.

 

I completely agree with you. This is the area where we are at greatest risk.

 

However, I like to think that the MAJORITY of people are responsible and mature enough to know that they need to spend a minimum amount of time looking at local procedures. I'm quite certain that the MAJORITY of controllers don't like to make themselves look like morons.

 

I'd rather see these "minor" places somewhat wide open to rated controllers based on my belief that most controllers will spend some time reviewing local procedures. This is in my opinion where our current rating and certification schemes have failed us - they have in some ways penalized visitors by making them jump through too many hoops - when all that is really needed is for them to spend some time reviewing the local stuff.

 

Another example - you KNOW that I would never hop onto HFD tower without reviewing the procedures on the ZBW website. I KNOW that you would never jump on PSP without reviewing the procedures on the ZLA website. I think that this scenario covers the MAJORITY of the controllers who I've known over the years.

 

It's that MINORITY out there who couldn't care less about learning, reviewing, and providing quality that essentially ruin it for the rest of us. I always like to call them the "Traffic chasers". It's because of those MINORITY people, that we created all of these crazy position restrictions in the first place - and the result is that we've penalized many of the wonderful controllers out there.

 

There are lots of us who have taken the time to learn the foundations of Air Traffic Control. As a result of this, we can easily move to another airspace - literally ANYWHERE and probably do a damned good job - simply by a little observation, review of local procedures, and browsing the local forum. We're the ones who are getting shafted by these policies.

 

I have a personal story here with respect to position restrictions. In the past 24 months I've had my certifications revoked from FOUR separate facilities around the world. I've had considerable scope time and experience at all four of them over the past 8 years and literally out of the blue my certifications were revoked. The road back to "certification" at these places spanned the entire spectrum of our restrictions:

 

#1) Sent an email to the Chief and blammo - I was back on.

 

#2) Sent an email to the Chief, he issued me a written exam they use for center rated controllers. After I p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed that (100%) I was restored.

 

#3) Sent an email to the Chief, he required me to do an Over the shoulder with heavy traffic levels. It was nearly impossible to get a time together with the chief, there was no one else who could issue the OTS, and the traffic levels are lower than Winnemuca Regional sees in a decade.

 

#4) Sent an email to the Chief, he notified me that they were no longer accepting visiting controllers and that I'd have to start all over again at delivery when they did.

 

I'd say that under the circomestances, scenario one was reasonable based on my experience and the nature of the facility. Scenario #2 was perfectly acceptable in my opinion, I was going to review their entire (over 20) set of SOPs anyhow and the exam helped me get my juices going. #3 was far beyond what I consider "fair and reasonable" while #4 absolutely enraged me to the point I considered leaving Vatsim.

 

In both those last two scenarios, I'd say that the position restrictions went far beyond what their original intention was.

Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

Link to post
Share on other sites
Where do you draw the line between "major" and non-"major" facilities. As a C3, should I be able to plug into XYZ_TWR in Albuquerque airspace without demonstrating that I know the preferred route segments between ZAB and ZLA?

 

Excellent question.

 

Who defines this? I was thinking about it to myself, and what factors are we going to use to determine the diffrence between "major" and "minor." The simplest solution I came up with in my head is:

Any airport that is located beneath cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] A airspace shall be considered a major airport.

 

Just my two cents

 

[Edit] sorry, retyped out my definition of a major airport, had a wrong word in there

UND ATC Major

ZAU MS

GO FIGHTING SIOUX

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

-Arnold H. Glasow

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another example - you KNOW that I would never hop onto HFD tower without reviewing the procedures on the ZBW website. I KNOW that you would never jump on PSP without reviewing the procedures on the ZLA website. I think that this scenario covers the MAJORITY of the controllers who I've known over the years.

 

It's that MINORITY out there who couldn't care less about learning, reviewing, and providing quality that essentially ruin it for the rest of us. I always like to call them the "Traffic chasers". It's because of those MINORITY people, that we created all of these crazy position restrictions in the first place - and the result is that we've penalized many of the wonderful controllers out there.

 

There are lots of us who have taken the time to learn the foundations of Air Traffic Control. As a result of this, we can easily move to another airspace - literally ANYWHERE and probably do a damned good job - simply by a little observation, review of local procedures, and browsing the local forum. We're the ones who are getting shafted by these policies.

 

Ian,

 

I wouldn't use the phrase "shafted by these policies". To be honest, I can see the intent of the new policy and fully agree with it. My problem is that, like so many other promulgated policies, is quite lacking in verbiage in the specifics.

 

You've hit the nail on the head. If I got this urge to work PSP, even as a C3, I would never just plug into PSP_TWR on my own. I would ensure that I knew exactly what was expected of PSP_TWR, as well as receive the "OK, you have a clue" by ZLA before doing so. However, as you point out, this is the same ethic of the majority of VATSIM controllers have (knowing their airspace in all respects before plugging in). My problem isn't with the majority, but rather of an ARTCC's ability to deal with that minority, without having "Hey, this is a VATSIM global policy, so I can plug in.. So deal with it".. thrown back in their face. I know that's a bit crude, but you get my point?

 

Again, let me reiterate, I am 100% for initiatives for increasing the accessibility of new members to join the controller ranks. I just want to clarify that a facility will be able to say "Listen, Joe. We appreciate your desire to be a visitor here in ZBW, but this is this the 15th time you've cleared an aircraft KBOS to KLAX via GPS direct. You're not allowed to control a position in ZBW until you meet with an instructor to demonstrate you know what you're doing is wrong".

 

I know I'm using XYZ_ quite often, but as I said... I'm all for standardization, just requesting clarification on a specific item.

 

Thanks,

-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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Marko, since this is the VATUSA forum, I'm [Mod - Happy Thoughts]uming you are using US airspace cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ifications, which means (by your definition above) EVERY airport in the United States is a major airport since Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] A airspace starts at 18,000' and is over the entire continental United States.

 

You are certainly entitled to that opinion, but it clearly goes AGAINST every mention of the INTENT of the policy as mentioned in the numerous responses to your questions. We have repeatedly stated the INTENT is to let a tower controller work at an airport and provide ATC to the MAXIMUM extent possible while also not disrupting operations. Since you were (or are) in KZAU, I'll use those examples. Working RFD tower is nowhere near as difficult as working ORD. Much less traffic, only 2 runways, rarely an approach online to coordinate with. RFD meets my definition of "Minor", ORD meets my definition of "Major".

 

If you're looking for a definition of "Major"...mine would be airports that are the primary airport in Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] "B" airspace and POSSIBLY some for Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] "C"...but the proposed policy leaves that decision up to the FIR/ARTCC chief who can define the airports he wants to as major and then (once he gets approval from the Division Director), implement some local restrictions requiring additional knowledge to work those airports.

 

With reference to the issue of preferred routes in the Northeast US mentioned above...we're losing the point. If a new tower controller at a MINOR airport gives a pilot a clearance that doesn't reflect the preferred route, the center controller can amend the routing once he/she gets the handoff and then notify the tower controller of the correct routing. This gives the new controller the training and helps him get ready to work BOS or whatever. Knowing all the preferred routes should absolutely NOT be a requirement for the controller to work TWR at a minor airport.

 

With regards to impact on visiting controller policy, there is NO change. A person who wants to be a visiting controller must still get permission to do so from the ARTCC/FIR chief of the area in which he wants to control. To use the tower example, if he wants to work minor airports, there shouldn't be much that has to happen because the new global rating standards tell the chief the visitor is capable of working the position. If he wants to work a major airport, the chief can (and should) require the visitor to have the same level of knowledge (no more, no less) than what is required of controllers from that FIR/ARTCC.

 

On the subject of preferred routes, I personally think some people are getting way too carried away with them anyway. In over 15 years of real-world flying (including the dense Northeast corridor) one of several things happen:

 

1. The ARTCC computer spits out the preferred route and it gets p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed on to the pilot.

2. Pilot gets route as requested.

3. Pilot gets a route different than what he requested due to either preferred routes, weather, traffic flow or whatever.

 

In all cases...once airborne, that route is just a point for discussion. In the last three weekls I've flown my Mooney from Chicago to Green Bay, Dallas, Newport (RI) and Venice (FL). In all cases once I was clear of Chicago's cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] "B" (which was all radar vectors anyway), I was given direct destination by the Center controller. To be honest, VATSIM controllers are FAR more rigid in their unwillingness to deviate from preferred routes, SIDS, STARS, etc. than controllers are in the real world. In discussions with other experienced pilots and controllers on VATSIM (real world) I've come to the conclusion this is because many people on VATSIM get focused on the PROCEDURES/RULES as opposed to the MISSION --- which is safely and efficiently moving the traffic through the system.

 

When I flew into Chicago last night I was given direct destination while over Florida's panhandle (and done working my way around some thunderstorms. When I was near Indianapolis, Chicago Center amended my clearance to be direct JOT VEENA KUGN. While 30 miles from JOT, I could see a major thunderstorm cell right over JOT, but the path direct VEENA was clear. I asked for direct VEENA and it was immediately granted. Center kept me at 14,000' as I flew over the Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B and KORD so I wouldn't interfere with the arrivals and departures going into and out of ORD and MDW. Once I was North of ORD, I was handed off to Chicago Approach and put on a vector direct KUGN and descending through his airspace.

 

That's how it works in the real world, so let's not get too focused on preferred routes...especially since we don't have near the traffic load that generated the requirement for preferred routes in the first place...and most of the time we don't even have controllers online so it's a moot point anyway. The whole POINT of this exercise is to get MORE controllers online by reducing the required knowledge to the minimum required to do the job without disrupting the network.

 

What is the minimum required to work tower at a minor airport? Take a look at the draft policy, but in a nutshell it is:

 

1. Can work VRC/ASRC to communicate with a pilot.

2. Can work VRC/ASRC to enter/amend a flightplan

3. Understands the concept of landing/taking off into the wind for runway selection purposes.

4. Understands CRAFT (how to give a clearance)

5. Understands the Even/Odd rule

6. Understands how to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign a squawk

7. Understands how to communicate/coordinate with a higher ATC position (APP/CTR), do handoffs, etc.

8. Understands how to give a takeoff clearance

9. Understands how to give a landing clearance

10. Understands concepts of takeoff/landing separation

 

That's really about it. Everything else is extra (and nice) but really not necessary 99% of the time...

 

As a number of people in this thread have posted, this is much ado about nothing and a couple of people who don't like the policy (for whatever reasons) continuing to be difficult. I'm happy to provide guidance and interpretations, but the only people who need to worry about this are the ATMS, DDs and RDs and there are places besides these forums for discussions on implementation to take place.

 

Dave

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not trying to argue, just trying to get clarification. Where do you draw the line between "major" and non-"major" facilities. As a C3, should I be able to plug into XYZ_TWR in Albuquerque airspace without demonstrating that I know the preferred route segments between ZAB and ZLA?

 

Yes you should be able to plug in to XYZ_TWR (minor).

 

What happens to a flight routing to ZLA when ZAB is not online ? Or when a flight departs BOS for ZNY and ZBW is not online ?

 

He departs on his own in his route, its then up to the inbound center to amend it if he feels such a need to do so.

 

There's no difference, we are already plenty experienced with this sort of thing, it happens everyday.

 

I think cheat sheets and such will be helpfull in this area.

 

Regards.

Ernie.

alcsig1b.png
Link to post
Share on other sites
What happens to a flight routing to ZLA when ZAB is not online ?

 

True. What happens though when ZLA or ZAB is online, and somebody just hops on some position at a "minor field" underneath the Approach or Center controller or such, without any regard for proper routes or local policy? That certainly can't be good.

 

As well, I know at ZLA, we have had quite a problem with people controlling unauthorized positions, or attempting to provide ATC as observers. Pilots, quite frankly, have been outraged by having some controller on who completely disregards local policy, routes, etc. Heck...according to some feedback, they get mad if phraseology is wrong. While I think the concensus is that ATC (no matter how bad) is better than no ATC, I think there are quite a few loyal pilots out there who would disagree. Many people fly in various ARTCC's for the reputation and quality ATC programs they have built, over years and years. What will be done to ensure that controller quality is maintained?

 

Along those same lines, it's obvious that only the larger/popular ARTCC's will be affected by "traffic chasers" opening "minor positions" wherever the traffic is. Nobody is going to open XXX_TWR that sees 2 movements a month. So again...what will be done to ensure that the quality and reputation of a given ARTCC isn't jeopardized by some traffic chaser who has no desire to learn any local procedures.

 

Overall, I think this will be a good policy. There are obviously just some questions and issues that need to be ironed out.

 

David...agree with pretty much everything you said, except for the preferred routes. They are in place (both real world and VATSIM) for a reason, else the FAA wouldn't waste time and big bucks on Airspace and Procedures folk, and TMU, and whatever else. I know I couldn't imagine controlling anywhere in ZLA on even a moderately busy day, without preferred routes. It would be chaos.

Edited by Guest

Bryan Wollenberg

ZLA!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Firstly, sorry about the delay in replying. I was away on business and then was in Boston for the tea party so I didn't get a chance to continue in this discussion.

 

Secondly, I'd like to second Gerry and Martins proposal about either moving this or splitting this thread to the Controller Discussion forum as this conversation now has global implications that all ATMs/Chiefs should be aware of.

 

Ernie, I just want to point out that when I said I was concerned with keeping a standard of controlling ability, it was not meant in an elitist sense whatsoever. It was purely meant in a general sense of average controlling standards on the network as a whole. I am worried that this may be a slight over reaction to certain FIRs/ARTCCs breach of policy and in the long term may be detrimental to the networkif not worked out properly.

 

As I have said before, I am in complete agreement with the intent of these new policies. It is the application and practical implementation we have to be careful about.

 

Roland, as others have said, thanks for your point of view. We are in agreement on the intent of all of these policies. There are a couple of things though.

 

I have been working in conjunction with the Regional Directors and there has been considerable consultation with all divisions.

 

Honestly, I haven't seen this from VATUSA. The ATM forum has a post stating that there will be discussion on policy and there is a discussion on an events policy, but nothing else. There has been no discussion whatsoever in this forum about global standards policy or the visiting/transfer controllers policy. Have you received a submission from VATUSA/VATNA? If so, can you let me know (by private message if you wish) who was involved in the creation of it? Because vZBW certainly wasn't. I would like to get involved in this discussion.

 

Also, I want to be clear on this. You are talking about letting an S1 control a Tower position(Minor) from Day 1 with no previous practical training?

 

If so, can I make the view point that this could have a detrimental effect on the network?

 

This is the way I am seeing it. In a general sense, I would have no qualms about letting about half to three quarters of the new S1s control at a tower position as they would be responsible enough to review training materials, setup information and software usage. Unfortunately the other quarter to a half wouldn't act as responsibly and would just try to get online as quickly as possible(This comes from personal experience). You therefore have a much greater chance of a tower controller not being able to do something as simple as setting up a voice channel, send text instructions correctly, setup voice atis etc. The text issue is the one that bothers me the most as it could impact our hearing impaired members by infringing severely on the level of service they should be able to expect. We also risk alienating the pilots that fly on VATSIM because we provide a more realistic service than other networks. Yes, of course we should be patient with new S1s, but this should be applied to a limit. Patience is one thing, but having to wait 10-20mins (No.1 for clearance) for a simple IFR clearance because you are text only or maybe even on voice (Both have happened to me) will eventually drive some of our members away if it starts to happen more and more often.

 

David, I do see that you will be applying a slightly higher standard to the basic ATC exam. However, I don't believe that written testing can truely teach some of the skills that you are quoting as part of the standard. Of course you can read the manual and answer questions based on that, but applying that to on the job controlling is a whole different kettle of fish. Some of what you are quoting can really be only correctly learned by one on one practical training.

 

My main concern here is that I just want to make sure that by being as inclusive as possible to controllers, we don't end up actually alienating certain elements of our pilot membership.

 

As I've said before, please see these points of view as constructive.

 

Cheers!

Paul.

Link to post
Share on other sites
In addition, are you prepared to see VATUSA's CTR rated controller staff reduced by about 33% and Europe's reduced by over 50%?

 

Those already qualified for center could be promoted if necessary to continue working center. I still see no problem with the proposal.

 

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€
Edited by Guest
Link to post
Share on other sites

While I think that being a certain rank enables you to control a certain position is a good thing, what happens to international locations? Can a US controller log in as Sydney Tower without knowing a thing about Australian ATC? Can a Controller Certified in the UK control in Canada? What are the limits to a Tower Certification? An Approach Certification?

 

Again, I think it would be best to move this to the General Discussion Forum.

Matt Chase

VATPAC C1 /O

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Matt,

 

The new visiting/transfer controller policy covers this. It's available here :

http://www.vatsim.net/EC/policies.htm

 

This states that a transfer or visiting controller has to go through a competency test. However (and this is something I'm trying to get clarification on at the moment), it also states that visiting controllers can only come from outside of the division they want to visit, not a facility(ARTCC/FIR/ACC). Not sure if it has been misworded slightly, but if it isn't, I'm very interested in the direction that this will take us in relation to the concept of controlling within a division and would like further guidance on this.

 

Cheers!

Paul.

Link to post
Share on other sites
This states that a transfer or visiting controller has to go through a competency test. However (and this is something I'm trying to get clarification on at the moment), it also states that visiting controllers can only come from outside of the division they want to visit, not a facility(ARTCC/FIR/ACC). Not sure if it has been misworded slightly, but if it isn't, I'm very interested in the direction that this will take us in relation to the concept of controlling within a division and would like further guidance on this.

 

Hmm,

 

I [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume that this would be subject to a divisional regulation. F.e. VATEUD has covered this in our policies, §5. It basically extends the standard visiting controller policy down to the ACC level.

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

3500.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Martin,

 

That's what I was thinking aswell. But further thought made me realise a more basic reason why I need clarification. This is a Global policy and therefore policies that fall underneath it's purvue should not condradict what it says and it clearly states that a visiting controller MUST come from outside the division. Can we enact policy at a divisional level that conradicts this and allow the status of visiting controller interdivisionally?

 

Cheers!

Paul.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm,

 

I understood the EC policy in a different way, as that it covers visiting controllers between divisions directly. In paragraph 2, regions aren´t even mentioned. This is what the policy reads:

 

2. Visiting Controller

2.1 Visiting controller is a status granted by a division to permit occasional controlling for a controller from another division who is operating outside of their HOME division.

2.2 The requirements detailed above for a “ transfereeâ€

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

3500.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello again,

 

Roland wrote:

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€

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

3500.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
This [policy] states that a transfer or visiting controller has to go through a competency test. However (and this is something I'm trying to get clarification on at the moment), it also states that visiting controllers can only come from outside of the division they want to visit, not a facility(ARTCC/FIR/ACC). Not sure if it has been misworded slightly, but if it isn't, I'm very interested in the direction that this will take us in relation to the concept of controlling within a division and would like further guidance on this.

I can provide that for you Paul.

 

Every member must join a region at registration. A controller is required to join a division and it becomes their HOME division.

 

2.4 The HOME division is responsible for the provision of training, [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment and rating. A division may delegate some of this function to a sub-division operating under its control.

 

2.5 The visited division may provide training and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment for the purpose of granting visiting controller status but is not permitted to alter a controller’s rating. Only a HOME division can alter a controller’s rating.

 

The concept of *visiting* applies to operating away from HOME.

You are not visiting when you are at HOME.

 

The Revised EC Transfer & Visiting Controller Policy properly defines and addresses a visiting controller since this is an important part of the overall reforms.

 

A division that has established sub-divisions may wish to apply intra-division "visiting rules" in relation to these; and that is their prerogative. However, in line with previous discussion on VATSIM rule vs Local rule, a local rule on visiting controllers should generally align with the VATSIM EC rule, and should certainly be no more restrictive. Less restrictive is OK.

 

Roland Collins

Link to post
Share on other sites
True. What happens though when ZLA or ZAB is online, and somebody just hops on some position at a "minor field" underneath the Approach or Center controller or such, without any regard for proper routes or local policy? That certainly can't be good.

 

No doubt beginners and new visitors will make some mistakes and commit some errors.

 

Another Controller might wish to correct that error, and also give the newcomer or visitor some advice

or information on how it could be done more efficiently.

 

This is a learning environment, let them learn while online, experience is a great teacher.

 

We must give them an opportunity to learn, and more importantly practice time without supervision.

 

If we had enough Instructors to be online whenever a student wanted to control I might feel different. But too often as someone else in this thread pointed out we have students waiting literally weeks for an opportunity to meet up with their instructor and during that time they are unable to get any practice in because they are restricted by local policies. That no doubt discourages some newcomers from participating further.

 

As well, I know at ZLA, we have had quite a problem with people controlling unauthorized positions, or attempting to provide ATC as observers. Pilots, quite frankly, have been outraged by having some controller on who completely disregards local policy, routes, etc. Heck...according to some feedback, they get mad if phraseology is wrong. While I think the concensus is that ATC (no matter how bad) is better than no ATC, I think there are quite a few loyal pilots out there who would disagree.

 

I think most pilots are little more understanding than this.

 

Surely they understand that a new controller will make mistakes while in the process of learning. The same as Controllers understand that new pilots make mistakes while they are learning. If controllers are required to be tolerant of pilot mistakes, why are pilots not required to be tolerant of controller mistakes ? We're all in this together.

 

If some pilots really and truly do not wish to deal with beginners then it certainly would be their prerogative

to visit only the designated 'major' airports.

 

Many people fly in various ARTCC's for the reputation and quality ATC programs they have built, over years and years. What will be done to ensure that controller quality is maintained?

 

Perhaps this concern for 'reputation' is part of the problem. Perhaps in some cases the facility becomes so concerned about not having its reputation soiled, they become rather intolerant of newcomers and visitors. This then begins to show in some of their local policies and restrictions (see the examples of excessive local policies Roland displayed earlier).

 

Nonetheless this proposed policy changes the focus of any local reputation as 'all' facilities will have newcomers and visitors working their minor airports. So the local facilities reputation should then based on the controlling quality at the 'major' airports and not the minor ones.

 

Ernie, I just want to point out that when I said I was concerned with keeping a standard of controlling ability, it was not meant in an elitist sense whatsoever. It was purely meant in a general sense of average controlling standards on the network as a whole.

 

Understand.

 

 

Regards

Ernie Alston

Albuquerque ARTCC

Vatsim Supervisor

alcsig1b.png
Link to post
Share on other sites
If controllers are required to be tolerant of pilot mistakes, why are pilots not required to be tolerant of controller mistakes ?

 

Ernie,

 

I have no doubt you posed this as a rhetorical question but just to make sure, the tolerance is required both ways, as detailed in VATSIM's Code of Conduct.

Norman

sig_FSLBetaTester.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gentlemen,

 

This thread has taken a myriad of routes to get down to the basic gist of what has been a very large "elephant" in the room. I thank and applaud Roland, Richard, et. al. for painting the elephant in colors we can begin to discern - bringing to light more of the specifics and nature of the new rating standards and visiting controller policies. Beyond the selective criticisms and outspoken disagreement with them, it is apparent that as VATSIM has grown into its many Regions and Divisions, some form of global codified standards have become necessary to level the playing field for both new controller applicants and established members as well.

 

As many others have said, I too agree with the intent and spirit and will do my best to comply with the requirements of said policies - that's my job. That being said, I believe a thorough evaluation of their practical implementation must be accomplished. While the new policies do appear to hold great promise for increasing controller accessibility and mobility, they also have the potential to decrease the quality of enjoyment of our hobby for others.

 

Case in point: (I will continue the use of ZBW as that is VATSIM territory I am most familiar with.) To continue with the example of visiting controller Joe coming to HFD_TWR and plugging in...I like many here believe controller Joe would be an upstanding member of VATSIM and follow through in familiarizing himself with the ZBW LOAs and SOPs but, what if he doesn't? Where are the checks and balances allowed the sub-division (ARTCC) to ensure this has been accomplished? If controller Joe is only going to be working local VFR pattern traffic then certification according the "core competencies" described in the policies are sufficient. However, as controller Joe's services expand to include clearances and routing [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ignments (which they undoubtedly would) he must be held accountable for the interactions he may engage in or follow-on actions made necessary for others. Though there are many, preferred routings are a prime example.

 

Like many ARTCC's there are some very specific procedures as to how aircraft are routed through ZBW airspace. They have been established through carefully developed LOAs and SOPs so controllers from both intra- as well as adjacent facilities know what flight profiles aircraft will be following. It was mentioned earlier that if controller Joe doesn't route an aircraft appropriately, the CTR controller can [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign the appropriate routing after-the-fact. This is not "good business". Though it does create the opportunity to teach controller Joe (something I'm in favor of), the fact is the CTR controller is now having to pick-up the workload that should have been competently accomplished by another controller. Yes, re-routes do happen - no question - but they shouldn't happen needlessly. As mentioned in David's real-world experiences, they are used quite frequently by the real-world controllers (I'm a former real-worlder myself). The one thing missing in David's example above is that real-world ARTCCs & TRACONs are sectorized and manned at a much more detailed level than we see on VATSIM (now or in the near future). It is seldom we have more than one CTR controller online at a time. In order to provide competent service to ALL of the pilots in his airspace, he MUST rely on properly [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned and flown routes ie. preferred routes. Without carefully applied checks and balances ensuring controller Joe's competency with localized procedures and operations, there is a very real possibility that our CTR controller will become frustrated with the additional workload he now must (needlessly) [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume. He may even give up signing on at all. How have we served his enjoyment of the hobby? This may sound extreme but we have seen this type of thing happen before.

 

Please understand I do not express my thoughts with any conscious measure of elitism or exclusivity. I am all in favor of ensuring that new applicants and visiting controllers have fair and equitable access to a positive online experience. As the new TA for ZBW, I intend to ensure our processes continue to do so - new policies notwithstanding. My hope is that there will be a measure of discretion allowed at the LOCAL (read ARTCC) level to ensure negative impacts to the established controller base and their operations and experiences are held to a minimum.

 

MS

Gary Millsaps

VATUSA1

 

"I knew all the rules but the rules did not know me...

guaranteed."

Link to post
Share on other sites
Roland, you are identifying these aspects as problems. Could you please elaborate why you regard these as problems? You only said they ARE, but not WHY.

Problems may not have been the best word.

Those particular aspects are not within the features that were considered by EC as being important for the success of the scheme. These are detailed in the guideline.

 

So what if an S1 is only a trainee? If they're competent, wouldn't they get promoted to S3?

That's right Stephen; in Martin's model TWR competency isn't properly established until S3, therefore an S1 is not yet fully competent. It leaves S1 in a sort of *competency-limbo* and is the reason why Martin needed to move everything up a level. This resulted in CTR competency not being properly established until C3.

 

Martin’s proposal is not a proper competency-based training scheme.

Competency-based training (CBT) is an approach to vocational education and training that places emphasis on what a person can do in the workplace as a result of completing a program of training.

 

Competency-based training programs are often comprised of modules broken into segments called learning outcomes, which are based on standards set by industry, and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment is designed to ensure each student has achieved all the outcomes (skills and knowledge) required by each module.

 

Ideally, progress within a competency-based training program is not based on time. As soon as students have achieved or demonstrated the outcomes required in a module, they can move to the next module. In this way, students may be able to complete a program of study much faster.

 

But if the EC & BoG already rejected Martin's model (something of which I was not aware until you said so) then I guess we'll have to accept their decision.

Martin believes that I may have misrepresented the timeline so in fairness to Martin I want to make it quite clear that when I said; "Martin's proposal was considered in February and could not be supported and this has been conveyed to Martin many times." … I did not mean to infer that all of this took place in February. The EC made their decision in favour of a different model at the end of May 2007. This was first conveyed to Martin at that time and reaffirmed to him a number of times since then.

 

Martin refuses to accept this decision by VATSIM and has since sent a separate written proposal to EC on 3 July 2007; despite the fact that the content was already taken into consideration when the EC voted and unanimously decided on a different model back in May.

 

Let me make it quite clear. The EC discussion began at the end of 2005. Over a period of 18-months information was gathered and every possible option and consequence carefully considered. The unanimous decision from EC is not a knee-jerk reaction but a very well-informed decision; one that is in the best interest of VATSIM. It has been scrutinised and supported by VATSIM Founders and BoG.

 

Roland Collins

VATSIM co-Founder

VATSIM - VP Regions

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...