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Gary,

 

Thank you for sharing your concerns. Roland is asleep in Australia right now, so I will give your questions a try. He is much more eloquent than me, but I tend to be a little more direct. If I get any of it wrong I'm sure he'll be along to get me back on course.

 

Lets confine this to VATUSA and ZBW as you suggested. As you said this would be a visiting controller [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned to another ARTCC and visiting ZBW. As such, this controller would (should have) received his basic training for whatever rating he/she has from the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned facility. At this point the only responsibility ZBW would have for training this new person, would be making the local procedures available to him/her for review before taking the qualification exam for the position. It is not the responsibility of ZBW to teach the person basic concepts or terminology. What ZBW must do is make the local procedures easily available to the visiting controller for review, and hopefully have someone available to answer any questions this person may have before any OTS. In short, a visiting controller will have to meet the same standards as an [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned controller must meet for the position. Very much as it is now.

 

VATSIM has a systemic problem with shortages of instructors and mentors. This is really nothing new, it has been going on since the SATCO days. But as the complexity of the training programs and the demands on the student increased we have problems keeping, for lack of better term, the supply/demand curve undercontrol. For example, recently we had an ADM apply for visiting controller status at a facility and was told the wait would be 3 months before an instructor would be available. If that is the standard response from the facility, I think we can all agree that is not beneficial to the facility or VATSIM as a whole.

 

I believe we can boil this down a little. Basically, the biggest changes as I see it, will be based around the new students [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned to your facility. You will need to find something for them to do from day 1 of their new rating. We can no longer have people joining the ATC side and being put on hold for weeks or months in an effort to experience what VATSIM is about.

 

If I can be of any further help, please do not hesitate to ask.

 

Richard

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Richard Jenkins

richard(a)vatsim.net

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

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Richard,

 

Two questions:

 

I have a good handle on "new" controllers and what sort of requirements can be put in place for airspaces designated as "major" control areas.

 

1) Could you walk through the visiting controller scenario for me?

 

I'll use myself as an example. I'm a Center rated controller who's home base is ZLA. I decide that the guys over in ZBW don't seem like a bad bunch and would like to plug in over there. Let's say that KBOS is designated as a "Major" control area. Obviously I'll need some additional certification to work DEL/GND/TWR/APP at Boston - and of course Center.

 

What about working HFD_TWR? If it isn't designated as a "major" control area - what do I have to do in order to plug in there. I already meet the rating requirements, but do I have to p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] some other local procedure examination/test in order to control there? If the answer is "no" - then do I have to apply to their facility before I plug in? Just wanted to get some clarification on this.

 

2) I'm a bit confused by the new Visiting controller policy.

 

It keeps mentioning "Divisions". My understanding is that VATUSA is a division but ZLA or ZBW are not. Does this mean that if I want to work at ZBW I don't qualify as a visiting controller? In my opinion I would COMPLETELY be a visitor - but the policy is a bit confusing. I read it to say that if I wanted to visit VATCAN or VATEUD it would be as a visitor, but someone with a home base of CZVR would not be a visitor to CZEG.

 

Thanks,

 

Ian.

Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

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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.

Roland, I am feeling a little dense about this, so could you spell it out to me exactly why this is a problem? So what if CTR is not until C3?

 

The way I say it the proposed C3 title only means that a person is capable of properly working a center position. I'm sorry but I'm just not understanding why that's a problem.

 

What specific parts of Martin's scheme disqualify it from being a CBT by your definition? Please, help me to understand.

 

 

One of the reasons I like Martin's proposal is because when I look at a controller's rating under his scheme, I can immediately know what level of service that particular controller is capable of providing.

 

Under the current scheme, where S1's are qualified to man a tower, they may not actually be capable of doing so. Let S1's man the tower, yes, but only if they are really able to do so. I don't want to be cleared to land on top of some other guy in IMC because the tower wasn't competent.

 

Let S1's work tower, but only under the approval or direct supervision of a mentor/instructor, and only on the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]umption that they will soon take the practical test to become an S3 and fully qualified to work the tower under Martin's proposal.

 

 

I see the VATEUD proposal as helping to preserve quality, and while still maintaining quantity. I don't see it as being likely to scare potential controllers away.

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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.

 

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

 

David,

 

First, I hope you enjoyed your flight to UUU, and had lunch at the Red Parrot. That’s a beautiful area to fly in, and I miss it already.

 

Second, I’m not sure how much experience you have teaching ATC as a hobby to people. Typically people who start out learning to control are slammed with a wealth of knowledge and do their best to soak it up and apply it. One of the most complicated things to initially learn is the airspace itself. Traffic flows along SID’s/STAR’s, as well as required routing segments are critical to facility operations and interaction with other facilities (especially when it’s busy). One way to begin teaching the airspace to new students is by using the preferred routes method. It really boils down to a) Have them use preferred routes and stress their importance, or b) Hand them all the high and low altitude charts for their facility and have them study and memorize those. Which do you think would drive students away faster?

 

The problem arises in once the student begins to gain experience and learn the airspace, they’ve become attached to the whole preferred routes concept, and it slowly leads to a misconception that they are the only way to get from point A to point B. Some students grasp that this isn’t the case, and can eventually look at a requested route and immediately tell that it’s not going to work, or can offer a slight reroute. Others don’t see the preferred route and think it’s automatically wrong. It boils down to a training/experience issue.

 

With regards to why I brought up preferred routes in my HFD_TWR post. There are some routes/route segments which need to be adhered to. For example, aircraft inbound to N90 need to be on established segments per the ZBW/ZNY LOA, in order to ensure smooth traffic flow in and out of there. There are times where preferred routes (or TEC routes) are almost mandatory, but most of the time they are not. Working HFD_TWR, a visiting controller would have to know the routes into N90, due to its proximity.

 

Using your “how it works in the real worldâ€

-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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Help me understand how the situation for the CTR guy is materially different if I as a pilot launch myself from HFD using a routing (non preferred, or even dangerous) I pulled from some dark smelly place, or if that routing came from a newbie TWR controller who hadn't learned the position as he should have before logging on?

Kyle Ramsey

 

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Lets confine this to VATUSA and ZBW as you suggested. As you said this would be a visiting controller [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned to another ARTCC and visiting ZBW. As such, this controller would (should have) received his basic training for whatever rating he/she has from the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned facility. At this point the only responsibility ZBW would have for training this new person, would making the local procedures available to him/her for review before taking the qualification exam for the position. It is not the responsibility of ZBW to teach the person basic concepts or terminology. What ZBW must do is make the local procedures easily available to the visiting controller for review, and hopefully have someone available to answer any questions this person may have before any OTS. In short, a visiting controller will have to meet the same standards as an [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned controller must meet for the position. Very much as it is now.

 

Richard,

 

Thank you for the clarification. Your explanation puts my concerns to rest. I wasn’t concerned that a facility would have to re-train a controller who comes in to visit, but just concerned that there would be a safeguard in place to at least ensure they know the airspace they want to control. Having visiting controllers meet the same standards as [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned is all I wanted clarification on. That way our friend Joe can’t just come into a facility, and immediately plug into ABC_TWR without having read/demonstrated knowledge of that facilities TWR local procedures, because “VATSIM says I can do just thatâ€

-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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Hi Stephen,

 

thanks for your support - you´re speaking out exactly what our intentions are.

 

Maybe I can explain a little bit further why the EC and the EUD concepts differ. I had a long talk with Roland today, and it made some things more clear to me (not that I would agree with his position - but it added to my understanding of the differences):

 

ONe of the major differences is the way we are interpreting [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essments. It´s obvious that the EC policy favors the idea of examining someone prior to letting him controlling the position. That means that prior learning has to be done by self-studies, theoretical tests, or mentoring sessions (in the case of the TWR rating as OBS). To sum it up, the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment should come prior to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igning a rating. This makes sense (whithin the logic of the concept), because a rating should indicate the position the candidate is allowed to staff.

 

The EUD concept on the other hand focusses on training and examination, rather than on positions. It´s driven by the principle that learning and training should be done "on the job" - i.e. while staffing the position. The controller exam should be the finishing step to a learning phase, and should prove that the candidate has successfully mastered the requirements for the position he was trained on. The rating, which is gained through the successful exam, therefore indicates the successful completion of the prior training phase.

 

In my conversation with Roland today he described this concept as similar to accquiring a drivers license, and I agree with that description. Of course such a model can only work if there is a successful mentoring scheme established. "Training on the job" means that the trainee needs [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istance and guidance by a mentor - otherwise he would be lost, and successful learning would not happen.

 

VATEUD has established such a mentoring system for a long time now, and is using it with great success. If you go through the forums you will see that the quality of European ATC is higly applauded, and among the highest quality standards seen on VATSIM. Also, it accounts for successful staffing - the amount of ATC presence by EUD controllers easily equals or extends their share from the total of the VATSIM ATC numbers.

 

In summary, we consider our system to be proven, established and successful.

 

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.

 

This is not true. At the time the EC voted on the subject there was no proposal from EUD available to the EC. All the EC got was input from some personal conversations dated February, March and May 2005 (please note that the discussion inside EC was still ongoing at that time, despite Rolands statement that EUD´s input was considered in February. How can input be considered in February, when it was actually made in March and May???). Prior to the first internal publication of the policy, which happened on June 6, 2007.

Following that internal publication VATEUD announced that it would forward a proposal to EC for a revision of the new ratings policy. This proposal is what Roland and others were talking about. So, to sum it up - an EUD proposal was not available to the EC before July 3rd, when it was filed.

 

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.

 

What disappoints me about this statement is, that the EC considers a decision, which is against the interest, against the explicit expressed discontent, and against a proven concept of a division representing roughly 20% of VATSIMs membership to be "in the best interest of VATSIM". They may think so - but by my best understanding I cannot follow this argumentation.

 

What I had hoped for was a policy that would suit the needs and wishes of all divisions, and would be based on consent. It´s very bad that this obviously was not a significant goal. That´s another reason for our proposal - to open the discussion again with the goal to achieve a consent across all divisions.

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

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Help me understand how the situation for the CTR guy is materially different if I as a pilot launch myself from HFD using a routing (non preferred, or even dangerous) I pulled from some dark smelly place, or if that routing came from a newbie TWR controller who hadn't learned the position as he should have before logging on?

 

Do you mean from the perspective of (let's use ZBW again) BOS_CTR? It boils down to trust and smoothness of operations (for both the controllers AND pilot). If the pilot files the plan he got from ACME flight service, Center will catch it (if it's CTR that issues the clearance) if it's incorrect (using an N90 arrival as an example). However, if HFD_TWR is online, and has no idea that HFD V229 JFK EWR at 5,000 is a bad thing and launches the aircraft with that clearance, CTR needs to fix it real fast before the handoff to NY_APP. From that point on, every IFR release out of HFD_TWR is suspect and needs to be double checked by CTR (or APP).

 

I don't know about you, but as a pilot, I wouldn't be too happy with "N21200 radar contact, climb and maintain 6,000 turn right heading 360 to keep you in my airspace. I have a reroute for you, advise ready to copy". Especially if I just received what I filed about 3 minutes ago with TWR/GND/DEL, and even worse launching into IMC alone.

 

As Richard Jenkins pointed out (at least from what I understand), the new policy (in conjunction with the new ratings standards) will ensure a base level of competency. This is a good thing. And requiring visiting controllers to become familiar with local procedures (which would alleviate the above example) still exists. So if a facility requires their permanent party staff to know that a inter-facility LOA exists and to read and understand it, that means that the visiting controller will be required to as well.

 

Again, my fear is that by the shear nature of a rating, a controller can go "visit" anywhere (commensurate with their rating) that isn't cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ified as "major", without so much as having to at least demonstrate they can point to a map and say "I am here".

-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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Help me understand how the situation for the CTR guy is materially different if I as a pilot launch myself from HFD using a routing (non preferred, or even dangerous) I pulled from some dark smelly place, or if that routing came from a newbie TWR controller who hadn't learned the position as he should have before logging on?

 

Kyle,

 

I'll take it you're not being serious in this question...it truly doesn't warrant a dignified response in light of the valuable insight and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istance Richard has provided.

Gary Millsaps

VATUSA1

 

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

guaranteed."

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Hmm, OK HFD doesn't cover my question well because of the CTR situation there. How about if I take off from an airport with no controller anywhere, maybe on the edge of the Boston airspace? I would have a wrong routing and CTR would correct it. CTR would take exactly the same action if that clearance was issued by a noob TWR controller, I think. He might also need to let the noob TWR guy know what is right or otherwise address the mistake, but the situation of an aircraft entering the airspace on the wrong routing is the same.

 

Serious as a heart attack, Gary.

Kyle Ramsey

 

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Ernie,

 

You never really answered my question, though it was answered in subsequent posts. I understand that new controllers (particularly visitors) will make mistakes. And yes, this is a learning environment. My specific question though was:

 

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?

 

What happens when people come to the larger ARTCC's (since the smaller ones won't be affected...nobody is going to chase traffic where it doesn't exist) doing nothing more than chasing the traffic? Richard or Roland or somebody explained that there are still going to be local restrictions in place. This is a good thing!

 

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.

 

Again, nowhere did I mention beginners. I was talking about people who have absolutely no regard for local policies or procedures.

 

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).

 

I don't think it's part of the problem at all. I think it's a great thing to have pride in the reputation your ARTCC has built over years and years of hard work, and the rapport such work has built with the pilots. Is it not possible to have a great reputation, and allow newcomers and visitors? I'm going out on a limb here and saying we probably have more training hours than anyone on the network. While I'm sure there are some bigger facilities out there that had exclusionary visiting controller policies, do you really think it's fair to equate reputation to intolerance?

 

 

Richard and Roland, I do have a few more questions:

 

The policy states somewhere that

where a graduated location scheme is essential then there can be considerable local rule as long as it is necessary, fair and reasonable, and also allows individual progression in order to retain controller interest
.

 

What exactly does this cover? Is it more or less the intention of the BOG that all controllers be graduated to the new privilleges within the next 6 or so months, between now and Jan 1? I.e. our S3's are allowed to control Tower, our C1's Approach, C3's Center. Am I correct in [Mod - Happy Thoughts]uming that generally, we need to get our S3's up to Approach control ability, our C1's to Center ability, etc. by the deadline?

 

Secondly, I'm sure current C3's will be grandfathered in, and not be demoted to C1's?

 

With the "exceptional controllers" being promoted to C3, whose responsibility is it to determine exceptional controllers? I know it talks about Mentors, and other instructional staff, etc. Wouldn't the instructional staff be promoted to I1? The mentors (at least at ZLA) currently come from all our ranks, S3 - C3. Obviously, a tower-rated Mentor isn't going to be upgraded to a C3. The whole C3 part seems a little vague in all honesty. Some clarification would be excellent!

 

Thanks guys!

Bryan Wollenberg

ZLA!

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Hmm, OK HFD doesn't cover my question well because of the CTR situation there. How about if I take off from an airport with no controller anywhere, maybe on the edge of the Boston airspace? I would have a wrong routing and CTR would correct it. CTR would take exactly the same action if that clearance was issued by a noob TWR controller, I think. He might also need to let the noob TWR guy know what is right or otherwise address the mistake, but the situation of an aircraft entering the airspace on the wrong routing is the same

 

Serious as a heart attack, Gary.

 

 

OK, I think I see what you’re trying to get at. In your above example, there is a significant difference between a pilot departing from a non-controlled origin entering controlled space with a bad flight plan, and departing out of a controlled field, cleared by a noob TWR controller.

 

With a TWR controller online, there is a service level expectation by the pilot. If a pilot frequently has to be re-cleared when they depart from that field (or controller), what are the odds they will return? It’s really a local area familiarization issue. The new VATSIM policy (which I agree with its intent) will cover the fact that the visiting controller knows not to launch a C150 immediately after a B753 on the same runway. If they don’t, they need to go home and get some additional training from their “homeâ€

-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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What happens when people come to the larger ARTCC's (since the smaller ones won't be affected...nobody is going to chase traffic where it doesn't exist) doing nothing more than chasing the traffic?

 

Bryan,

 

This is addressed by the 'minor' designation.

 

Where is this traffic they will chase ? its almost always in the areas that surely will be designated as 'major'.

 

I don't see many of the minor areas being a real attraction for these traffic chasers because they don't

like to stay in one place and wait for traffic, which is pretty much required to work in a minor area even in a large ARTCC.

 

Regards.

Ernie Alston

Albuquerque ARTCC

Vatsim Supervisor.

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Thanks for the clarification. Your reply also brings up a scenario whereby Joe Bob (apologies to all Joe Bobs out there) and six of his buddies who just found VATSIM all decided to plug into minor airports during a fly in event thereby acting as a multiplier for issues a CTR might have to deal with. One more thing to keep an eye out for during events but certainly not a show stopper.

 

The 'expectations for a level of service' idea is real, I'll admit. Some are more patient than others. But the concept of tolerance for people trying to learn (ATC and pilots) holds true too and we must find ways to balance those, while also balancing the quality/quantity side too.

 

I paraphrase George Will when I say the future has a habit of arriving unannounced. This helps me understand what help you folks may need as this implements, thanks again.

Kyle Ramsey

 

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Richard and Roland, I do have a few more questions:

 

The policy states somewhere that

The Policy wrote:

where a graduated location scheme is essential then there can be considerable local rule as long as it is necessary, fair and reasonable, and also allows individual progression in order to retain controller interest

.

 

What exactly does this cover? Is it more or less the intention of the BOG that all controllers be graduated to the new privilleges within the next 6 or so months, between now and Jan 1? I.e. our S3's are allowed to control Tower, our C1's Approach, C3's Center. Am I correct in [Mod - Happy Thoughts]uming that generally, we need to get our S3's up to Approach control ability, our C1's to Center ability, etc. by the deadline?

 

Secondly, I'm sure current C3's will be grandfathered in, and not be demoted to C1's?

 

With the "exceptional controllers" being promoted to C3, whose responsibility is it to determine exceptional controllers? I know it talks about Mentors, and other instructional staff, etc. Wouldn't the instructional staff be promoted to I1? The mentors (at least at ZLA) currently come from all our ranks, S3 - C3. Obviously, a tower-rated Mentor isn't going to be upgraded to a C3. The whole C3 part seems a little vague in all honesty. Some clarification would be excellent!

 

Thanks guys!

 

Lets see if I can do justice to some of these.

 

I'll let Roland explain the text you quoted, since he wrote it.

 

Second Question:

 

There will be no demotions. It has been the practice of some divisions to demote people for various reasons not directly related to their skill level and we hope that this new policy will also curtail that practice. It is my opinon, it is inherently unfair to take a rating from someone after it has been earned based on reason that fall outside of their demonstrated ability. I have had discussions with several division directors about granfathering some ATC that were operating as CTR who for whatever reason are still S3's. The response was not that encouraging on that happening. Personally, I feel if the member has been operating successfully in the position, for some time, then why not give him/her the rating since they are obviously ready.

 

Third Question:

 

This will have to be specified by you and the division. I could see many different criteria for the C3. You are correct about the instructional staff being moved to the I1-I3 ratings, while they are actively involved in teaching. In the past, many divisions used the instructional rating as recognition of skill, even though the controller was not actively instructing. We would certainly like to see that practice stop and the instructor rating revert to a role much like the supervisor, where once you are done with the job, you go back to your previous rating.

 

Hope this helps...

 

Richard

Richard Jenkins

richard(a)vatsim.net

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

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Hi,

 

I'd also like to say thanks to Roland and Richard for aiding in the clarification of a lot of the confusion and concerns some of us have.

 

I have some more things that need some clarification since they were posted. I hope you don't mind the imposition.

 

Roland, thank you for clarifying the visiting controller policy for me. It's good to know we can apply a policy at divisional level also.

 

I was wondering though if you could look into my concerns that I voiced about the fact that there was no discussion about these policies whatsoever within the sub-divisional level in VATUSA? I don't doubt that you may have received a submission by either VATUSA or VATNA. However, there was no discussion that myself or the previous ATM at vZBW were aware of or were invited to take part in and the ATM forum has no mention of any discussion even though there were promises of such.

 

Richard,

At this point the only responsibility ZBW would have for training this new person, would be making the local procedures available to him/her for review before taking the qualification exam for the position. It is not the responsibility of ZBW to teach the person basic concepts or terminology. What ZBW must do is make the local procedures easily available to the visiting controller for review, and hopefully have someone available to answer any questions this person may have before any OTS. In short, a visiting controller will have to meet the same standards as an [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned controller must meet for the position. Very much as it is now.

 

Now under the new policy we can surmise the following (HOME is used to designate that the controller belongs to the ARTCC/FIR):

 

Within their ARTCC/FIR;

1) A HOME S1 can control at any minor tower facility without any further checkout except for his basic ATC/S1 competency exam(Applied at divisional level).

2) Under the same reasoning, a HOME S3 can control at any minor approach position, with no further checkout as he has reached the basic competency level for approach with his S3 rating

3) To control at any major tower facility the S1 must partake in the ARTCC/FIR training program and receive certification for that position. The same for the S3 at any major approach position.

 

Since the HOME S1 is not subject to any any further testing after joining the ARTCC to control at a minor tower facility, we cannot subject the visiting S1 to any further testing if they wish to control at a minor tower position as this would be viewed as more restrictive under the new policies.

 

Therefore, am I right in thinking that a visiting S1 will not require any competency testing for a minor tower position in the ARTCC/FIR they wish to visit?

 

The same for a visiting S3. Will they not have to take a local competency exam at a minor approach facility since one cannot exist for the HOME S3?

 

Once again, thanks for taking the time to do this.

 

Cheers!

Paul

vZBW - ATM

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I had a question in my mind about something that was said, and wanted to double check what I thought was said. I knew it was in this thread, but not sure where. So, as a consciousness VATSIM member, I packed a bag and a few trail bars and went looking for the fact in my mind.

 

Anyway, starting at the first post, and reading to the last, I’m thoroughly impressed with the civility and professionalism of this thread. It’s been calm and basic facts have been discussed and intelligent questions posed and answered. Personally this is quite out of character for your typical VATSIM discussion which revolves around an organizational policy (including civil and logical responses by BOG members).

 

I’m not sure whether to say thank you for everyone keeping the last 8 pages civil, or say that this is unsat and let’s move it to the VA forum..

 

Seriously, thank you for the calm and civilized discussion around which is a very hot topic.

-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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On a side note and I say this with full sincerity. Reading the past 7 pages, there have been quite a few excellent questions posed and answers provided by you and Rolland. There are some pretty intelligent people here, which are outright indicating that they are confused with this new policy and its intent and wording. There are even people here who are reading the policy and interpreting things in different ways. Perhaps the policy and intent isn’t as clear in words as what VATSIM is trying to accomplish. I’m not advocating a rewrite of the policy, but rather put together some examples of this new policy and its use, to clear things up. As I said, we have some very intelligent and experienced people in here who are having questions, and this is just in the VATUSA forum. You’re probably going to get these same questions over and over again once policy becomes more disseminated and people start reading it.

 

Dan,

 

I think Roland and the EC tried to do this policy in less formal language than we would see in the CoR and CoC. We have had many complaints in the past, mainly from areas where English is not the main language that the VATSIM docomeents are too complicated and legalistic for members to understand. Like you, I come from a world where any policy or SOP comes in language that requires a law degree to understand. So, yes, this docomeent is definetly casual.

 

Questions are expected and encouraged. The worst thing that can happen is for staff to go off and try to implement this policy based on speculation and conjecture. I think it would be a great idea for divisions to create an example for facilities to use as a guide. If it saves me some typing I'm all for it ! !

 

Richard

Richard Jenkins

richard(a)vatsim.net

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

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Guys,

 

I have to take a day off from the forums and pay some attention to my real job and catch up on my VATSIM email! Lets all remember this doesn't have to be resolved by Friday, we have until 2008.

 

Paul, I talked to Roland and he said he would respond to your last post. My suggestion on designating major/minor locations is to be exiguous.

 

In regards to your concern about communication between ARTCC and the division and VATNA. I would say well over 6 weeks ago ( I would have to look for the exact date) I sent an email to the EC asking for verification that all divisions had been contacted and that any concerns or questions had been addressed and resolved. I also know that the last 3 VATUSA division directors were aware of the coming policy. I was copied on the email that notified Jeff Turner, Matt Temple chatted me several times about it, and Dennis and I have discussed it on the phone. What I can't verify is the depth of those conversations with staff or if the DD carried the discussion outside of division staff to the ARTCC.

 

What I am thinking of doing is setting Saturday aside just for VATSIM and schedule TS or Skype meetings for staff to meet with me and discuss any concerns or answer any questions they might have. Will need to see how my schedule is going.

 

Richard

Richard Jenkins

richard(a)vatsim.net

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

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Richard,

 

Thanks very much, I appreciate your input and interest in this. I also look forward to maybe chatting with you on Saturday, though I won't be back from my own job till maybe 0300-0400z. If you're still around, maybe we can sort some time out.

 

Cheers!

Paul.

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The policy states somewhere that
where a graduated location scheme is essential then there can be considerable local rule as long as it is necessary' date=' fair and reasonable, and also allows individual progression in order to retain controller interest[/quote']

What exactly does this cover?

When writing generic global stuff you have to allow for different situations/possibilities. This is such a case and the finer points must be determined at a local level.

 

Let's [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume KBOS is formally designated as a major location. That's a fair bet!

 

Joe, a new S1, is able to operate as a local controller at any minor location in the area and now we have to consider Joe's progression to KBOS. There can be "considerable local rule" in relation to this but there is a requirement to be "fair and reasonable".

 

Local training staff, in consultation with the Division Director, decide that, due to the complexity of KBOS, Joe should first successfully complete their KBOS Orientation package before being signed off as KBOS_DEL/KBOS_GND.

 

OK, now we have Joe at KBOS doing DEL/GND and mixing with the experienced KBOS crew. This is where Joe really starts to learn. He has already demonstrated the basic knowledge and skill to get him started and now the repeated application of that in the company of experienced crew will allow him [and them] to perfect his craft.

 

Joe now wants to do TWR and, you guessed it, there's a KBOS Tower package; and the whole process repeats.

 

Is this too restrictive?

Is it fair and reasonable?

Are we keeping Joe interested or putting him off?

Could it have been done with ONE orientation package and go straight to any KBOS local position?

Are pilots being adequately catered for?

 

There is no VATSIM rule on this; other than the one quoted above.

 

In the new order of things local staff must carefully consider all of these aspects before local rules or restrictions are implemented.

 

Nothing is set in concrete (unless you upset the mob! ) so it may take a bit of trial and error to get what you want.

 

I hope this helps?

 

Roland

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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.
Roland, I am feeling a little dense about this, so could you spell it out to me exactly why this is a problem? So what if CTR is not until C3?

Firstly a bit about competency-based training!

Competency-based training means you are signed off as competent when you provide evidence that you possess all of the required knowledge and skill. There is a direct alignment of rating to job or role. A pilot gets a PPL after he or she p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]es the test. It is the same with CPL or ATPL. In the EC model this concept is supported with 3-ratings and 3-roles; starting from the first controller rating, S1:

 

S1 = Competent as a Local controller (DEL/GND/TWR)

S3 = Competent as a TMA controller (APP/DEP)

C1 = Competent as an Enroute controller (CTR)

 

Currently there are many different schemes within the training departments. None directly align with the above but they all have S1 doing TWR.

 

VATSIM wants controllers to be able to get on-line with a suitable basic level of knowledge and skill and then perfect their craft. A controller should be able to reach CTR (C1) within a few months rather than years.

 

If a controller has demonstrated basic knowledge and skill in order to get a C1 rating then it follows that there needs to be opportunity to recognise progression beyond just the basic level; and that is what Senior Controller (C3) is used for. Senior Controller (C3) is therefore kept beyond the global rating scheme and exactly how it used is for local determination. A Senior Controller is a C1 who has progressed and undertaken some exceptional role or task. The C3 rating is a means that can be used to give recognition of this, albeit only within the local context. No matter how C3 is used locally, it remains as a Senior Controller rating and title.

 

Returning to the EC model. You have to step back and think globally. Many of the smaller divisions have S3 as CTR and could not readily accommodate a scheme where CTR = C3. The task before EC was to consider all of the issues and decide on a model that was appropriate, workable, and within easy reach of ALL divisions. It was incomebent on EC to consider the needs of VATSIM rather than the wishes of certain divisions. The result of their work is the model above that was determined by the EC as being the most suitable for the purpose. It achieves all of the stated goals.

 

 

Roland Collins

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