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Competency-based training means you are signed off as competent when you provide evidence that you possess all of the required knowledge and skill.

 

Hmmm Roland,

 

would you agree to the fact that possession of all the required knowledge and skill comes from:

 

* practical training

* proper education

* accompanying self-study

and (emphasis added)

* experience from practice???

 

Or, to ask the other way around: How can you gain skill if you have no experience, and no practical training?

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

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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?

Your rationale above Paul equates HOME to be the *sub-division* whereas by default it is to a *division*.

 

However, if VATUSA structures itself as a number of vARTCC sub-divisions, where each is somewhat independent in terms of training and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment, then this could be recognized with local intra-division visiting controller rules, as described earlier.

 

Effectively that would turn VATUSA into something the notionally looks like 20 divisions; and that's OK. Let’s take that as being the case in my following examples.

 

On the other side of the pond (Pacific), Australia has two FIRs, Brisbane and Melbourne. There is no segregation because controllers are expected to move around more freely to cater for the pilots that are on-line; wherever they might be. The only telltale sign of there being two FIRs is the BN or ML part of the CTR name.

 

Bruce, an Aussie controller, wants to operate at KLAX. With VATUSA sub-divided Bruce must deal with ZLA. It is ZLA who will induct Bruce into their facility as a visiting controller and provide him with all of the necessary resources and competency checks. The team at ZLA would do the same for a visiting controller from ZAU. If Bruce also wants to operate out of San Francisco he’ll go through the same process again with ZOA. C’mon Bruce, be reasonable ….. you can’t do all 20 US facilities and still fulfil the basic obligation to your HOME division.

 

 

Joe, remember Joe from KBOS ... he now wants to control in Australia. Joe completes the orientation and competency checks with VATPAC and the whole of Australia is now one big division in which he is a visiting controller. If there are any major locations in Australia then Joe will have to deal with these in exactly the same way as he did back home in KBOS.

 

 

I’ve kept it sweet and simple but the key is really in terms of how a division structures itself.

 

 

Roland

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Competency-based training means you are signed off as competent when you provide evidence that you possess all of the required knowledge and skill.

Hmmm Roland,

 

would you agree to the fact that possession of all the required knowledge and skill comes from:

 

* practical training

* proper education

* accompanying self-study

and (emphasis added)

* experience from practice???

 

Or, to ask the other way around: How can you gain skill if you have no experience, and no practical training?

Everyone starts off with no knowledge, no skill, no training and no experience.

In VATSIM, we don't want a person to also start off with no hope.

 

Training for a real world controllers takes 18-months of gruelling theory, simulation and testing. The course is tough, standards are high and many don't make it through. Training centres have all of the resources, staff and facilities to put such an elaborate scheme in place and, given the consequences if a controller stuffs up, we wouln't expect the training to be anything less.

 

That's the real world.

 

VATSIM is a simulation. There are no lives at stake, no jobs on the line, no loss of rank, no loss of pay and no recency requirements. It is a hobby where we are meant to relax, enjoy and have FUN.

 

Training and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment must be geared toward the hobby environment. There are minor locations purposely to ease a person into the on-line role.

 

Evidence of knowledge and skill can be gained though a variety of [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment types and methods, including being on-line with an OBS rating.

 

Given all of the above, which basic TWR compentency are you unable to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ess Martin?

 

 

Roland

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Everyone starts off with no knowledge, no skill, no training and no experience.

In VATSIM, we don't want a person to also start off with no hope.

 

Good point, seconded by me. I want to get them on quickly, so they can gain experience and skill from practice.

 

Evidence of knowledge and skill can be gained though a variety of [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment types and methods, including being on-line with an OBS rating.

 

No, you´re plain wrong here. That´s why people learn to drive on the street before they are handed out their drivers license. To demonstrate competency you need all of these aspects. And experience and skill are integral parts - you can´t subtract them from the summary.

 

Given all of the above, which basic TWR compentency are you unable to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ess Martin?

 

I don´t wanna hear someone reading theory from a sheet of paper, or clicking multiple-choice questions in an online test. Such stuff can be one part of a training concept, but it cannot replace practice and experience. To judge someones controlling competency, I need to watch him controlling. As easy as that.

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

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To judge someones controlling competency, I need to watch him controlling.

 

Martin,

 

There are 120+ signups a day. Elsewhere you have said that EUD is about 20% of VATSIM, equating to 24 new members a day for your Division. Given that potentially all of those could decide to take up controlling, thats 1 per hour every hour. Realistically its still one per day.

 

Are you going to watch them all?

 

As easy as that.

 

An interesting choice of words. Ultimately, just how hard is it to clear somebody to land or take off? Outside of a theory test, just what is it you propose a tower controller should be tested on to be deemed competent?

Norman

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Hi Norman!

 

To judge someones controlling competency, I need to watch him controlling.

 

Martin,

 

There are 120+ signups a day. Elsewhere you have said that EUD is about 20% of VATSIM, equating to 24 new members a day for your Division. Given that potentially all of those could decide to take up controlling, thats 1 per hour every hour. Realistically its still one per day.

 

Are you going to watch them all?

 

Nope. My division consists of 26 vACC, and 23 ACC training departments. That means - if we stay within your figure - one trainee every 23 days for a TD. But in fact, 98% of new signups start as pilots, the number of new members wanting to start directly as ATC is neglectable. So your figure would be even lower.

Luckily for us the numbers are somewhat higher. Speaking from my experience at VACC-SAG, we had 1-2 new trainees per week in our FIR, and we were 5 mentors to handle them (VACC-SAG consists of 7 FIRs).

 

An interesting choice of words. Ultimately, just how hard is it to clear somebody to land or take off? Outside of a theory test, just what is it you propose a tower controller should be tested on to be deemed competent?

 

Well, to give you an example: My division is made up 100% from non-native speakers. So, one further hurdle is to learn the phraseology. Another thing you can only see during controlling is stuff like priority management, even in a very basic form. Does he know that a landing clearance has priority over issuing an enroute clearance? How long does it take him to issue a clearance? Does he work ahead in some way?

 

Norman, we may debate hours about semantic differences, and interpretation of terms. It all boils down to the fact that I want to make a difference between someone who is in a learning phase, and someone who has mastered that phase. An [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment makes only sense to me at the end of such a learning phase, as I can then judge about the success in learning. This is simply not possible at the beginning of a learning phase.

 

To speak with these ratings, and S1 is someone who is in the learning phase of TWR knowledge. When he mastered that he is [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essed, certified, and awarded S3 rating to reflect this certification. And as S3 he starts his APP learning phase ... and so on, and so on.

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

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Martin,

 

Once again an interesting choice of words. You mention that you want to see somebody master a given phase. By this do you mean you want them to be word and position perfect before being let loose? By your last sentence it would appear so. Why then do you think that real world controllers are left solo when they are safe and master their craft over a period of time in the job operating solo?

Norman

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By this do you mean you want them to be word and position perfect before being let loose? By your last sentence it would appear so.

 

No, sorry for being unprecise here. The term "mastering" should be used within the scope of certain criteria that should be checked when executing an [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment.

 

*RemindingMyselfthatNormanHasAlowerReplyDelayThanAnyoneElse*

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

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Actually.... Laughing

 

The number is not 20% it is roughly 12%.

 

Not to debate about the last digit, but there are a significant amount of members who haven´t indicated a division. The number of members who have themselves [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned to my division is around 15000 (if I´m not mistaken), but there is an additional number of members who have just choosen the region, but not the division ...

 

The 20% figure was an estimate derived from these facts, so don´t nail me down to the last digit .

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best regards,

 

Martin Georg

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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.

 

This is something that still doesn't make sense to me at all. Isn't it just a rating...a number of sorts? How would it be more difficult for any facility to accommodate a scheme? Don't you just change the ratings to match? I.e. if the smaller division has S3's working Center, bam...all of the sudden, they are C3's, because they are center rated. I honestly don't see the issue. Isn't that basically going to be what's happening anyway? I.e. if we allow S3's to work Center at ZLA, on January 1st, aren't they "automatically" going to become C1's...the new rating for Center-rated controllers? Wouldn't it be just as easy to do the same thing to C3, C4, C20, whatever other ratings might come into existence? I'm just not understanding why it would be any harder to accommodate for one scheme vs. another.

 

So along those lines (and I realize a decision has already been reached, so this really doesn't matter anymore), but the whole C3 thing is still perplexing. Richard made a very good explanation as to how it's going to be used, but I think it's the why that's still confusing me.

 

I understand that C3 can be used for Mentors. As I previously brought up, we have Mentors of every variety, including current tower-rated S3's. So basically, an S1 (under the new system) can/should be promoted to C3 because s/he is a Mentor? Instructors: We already have a rating for that...2 in fact. Staff Members: Yeah, I imagine ATM's and DATM's and Division Heads and such could be made C3's, but why?

 

Back to what makes sense to me:

 

S1 - Brand new controller, training to become tower-certified. They get this rating upon signing up to be an ATC on VATSIM

S3 - Tower certified

C1 - Approach certified

C3 - Center certified

I1 - Instructor

I3 - Training Administrator / Uber Instructor / whatever

 

That makes perfect sense to me and gets rid of the confusing C3 rating.

 

Thanks again for the answers Richard and Roland and everyone else as well! To echo what everyone else is saying, this is by far one of the most productive discussions I've seen here in a very long time. Hopefully a new trend?

Bryan Wollenberg

ZLA!

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I personally would prefer to see any "outstanding" type ratings just get toasted all together. Why do we need to give "recognition" to people for a rating. All the ratings should do is specify what you are certified to do - nothing more nothing less.

 

I'm happy with Four levels:

 

Pilot

Tower

Approach

Center

 

I'd be happier to have 3 booleans [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ociated with each certificate:

 

Instructor

Supervisor

Administrator

 

I'd imagine that it's common knowledge that the Instructor and Supervisor ratings have absolutely nothing to do with controlling ability. It's a different role.

 

I have to agree with Bryan on two points - I don't see why people are going to have a problem implementing the new rating schemes, and I don't understand why we need to have the C3 rating.

Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

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Back to what makes sense to me:

 

S1 - Brand new controller, training to become tower-certified. They get this rating upon signing up to be an ATC on VATSIM

S3 - Tower certified

C1 - Approach certified

C3 - Center certified

I1 - Instructor

I3 - Training Administrator / Uber Instructor / whatever

 

 

Makes sense to me too BW......

DPE / CFI / CFII / MEI (Gold Seal)

CP-ASEL, AMEL, IA, GLIDER, E170/175/190/195, CE-500

VATSIM Supervisor

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Hi Roland,

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

Firstly, my use of the word HOME was purely in a descriptive sense while dealing with the sub divisional layer in VATUSA, apologies for any confusion in that regard.

 

However, if VATUSA structures itself as a number of vARTCC sub-divisions, where each is somewhat independent in terms of training and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment, then this could be recognized with local intra-division visiting controller rules, as described earlier.

 

Effectively that would turn VATUSA into something the notionally looks like 20 divisions; and that's OK. Let’s take that as being the case in my following examples

 

Over here(VATUSA), that's pretty much how it's done. Basic competency exams(rating exams) are handled on the divisional level, while the ARTCCs apply this and include their own, local training programs that focus more on advanced local procedures and basic competency levels for their next rating.

 

By the way, looking at your quote, I need to ask the question. Are you possibly saying that the way VATUSA handles itself sub-divisionally could change?

 

Now, purely speaking from a VATUSA point of view as that's pretty much all I'm aware of(Please correct me if I'm wrong here):

 

The S1, S3 and C1 tests are applied at the divisional level whilst the practical/theoretical training for S3/C1 only is handled sub-divisionally.

 

Since the S1 competency test will be applied on the divisional level, this means that a new S1 will not have to approach an ARTCCs training program if they do not wish. Of course there are conditions to this(Minor tower facilities only).

 

The S3 will be roughly the same. The difference here will be that he would have gone through the ARTCC training program and received his basic competency training for S3 aswell as competency training for any major positions on Tower. However, if the S3 wants, they can then pull out of the ARTCC training program and handle minor approach facilities only and any tower position within the ARTCC.

 

Now since divisional policy cannot be more restrictive than Global policy, this means that an S1 visiting controller coming to vZBW from inside the division, will not have to go through any further competency testing at vZBW to man any minor tower facility there.

 

Same for a inter divisional visiting S3, they will not have to go through any further competency testing for any minor approach position in their visiting ARTCC.

 

Are all of these [Mod - Happy Thoughts]umptions correct?

 

Or could an inter-divisional visiting controller policy state that an ARTCC can check for basic competency levels, even at the minor facilities?

 

I need to make sure I am understanding the application of these new policies correctly.

 

Cheers!

Paul.

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Paul,

 

What I have been saying from the outset is that there will still be local staff all doing the same jobs as before with the same structure and similar local rules and none of this is being made to change. The only change is that the three types of Air Traffic Service are being directly linked to a corresponding rating and this is being adopted globally. This will certainly affect training departments and those undergoing training.

 

Division staff may choose to change the division structure or its processes and procedures; that is their prerogative. A division is permitted to do this quite independently of the global rating standards; that's how divisions became structured the way that they are now. A division should only change if it suits them and has some distinct advantage for pilots and controllers.

 

If a division chooses to sub-divide into vARTCCs, vACCs or FIRs, then it may suit them to have common on-line theory tests and empower sub-division staff to carry out all other aspects of [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment more locally. Having standardized ratings and tests make that step more readily achievable but hey! … it is their patch and their judgement call in achieving the goals.

 

I’m happy to provide advice or give examples to anyone seeking these as long as these are not taken to be VATSIM telling you exactly how you must structure or run your airspace. It should be needs-driven in terms of pilot and controller needs.

 

There will still be a need for local rules to make sure that services can be provided without compromise. I’m also happy to provide advice or [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istance in the development of local rules to ensure that they uphold the true spirit of VATSIM.

 

We are all volunteers and an integral part of the VATSIM spirit is that we place a lot of trust in others and do not do make excessive demands of them, place excessive requirements on them or unduly restrict them. We must trust them and empower them, and that should be the backdrop to everything that we do.

 

Here is what I said about VATSIM at its begining:

 

VATSIM is a community that is part of the much larger world Flight Simulation community. The primary role is to support the needs of its members; that is its on-line pilots and controllers.

 

In creating VATSIM we inverted the pyramid and put pilots and controllers at the top since they are the most important part of the VATSIM community. In this “upside-down pyramidâ€

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Back to what makes sense to me:

 

S1 - Brand new controller, training to become tower-certified. They get this rating upon signing up to be an ATC on VATSIM

S3 - Tower certified

C1 - Approach certified

C3 - Center certified

I1 - Instructor

I3 - Training Administrator / Uber Instructor / whatever

 

The EC looked at the 4 level scenario and came up with some conclusions about it:

 

1. The Sr. Controller rating is not used extensively outside of VATUSA.

 

2. Sr. Controller promotions for calendar year 2006 showed moving people to that rating could be overly burdensome on divisions who would have to revamp training and testing regimes to accomodate it. Granfathering was not acceptable to the divisions. The current EC proposal is using the C1 CTR notion based on some results we received from the Scandinavian ACC. They required their ATC to move to C1 to control at CTR. It took them some time to complete the fast tracking, but the results were impressive. One would have to consider that it would be more achievable to move up one rating instead of two, especially taking into consideration the stats on Sr. Controllers for 2006.

 

Sr. Controller Promotions 2006:

 

Africa /MEA

 

Gulf = 2

N. Africa = 3

S. Africa = 0

Israel = 0

 

Asia

 

Rep. of China = 1

Southeast Asia = 2

Japan = 0

Korea = 0

 

Central America/Mexico/Car

 

Central America = 1

Carribbean = 7

 

Europe

 

Europe = 17

United Kingdom = 4

Russia = 4

 

 

North America

 

Canada = 0

United States = 80

 

South America

 

Brazil = 1

South America = 3

 

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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Hi Roland,

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

It is good to know that we can still apply policy at the divisional and sub divisional level to ensure that all our members (Pilots, established controllers and new hires) can have an enjoyable, but not too restrictive time. We all agree on that.

 

I look forward to talking to you in the future about aspects of policy that you and the EC/BoG will find acceptable and fair under these policies.

 

This has made me realise something that has been downplayed in previous posts. Yes, there is actually a reputation at stake. I would hope that everyone involved in this discussion can understand that we're all looking after and are concerned about VATSIMs reputation and if we can all work together with a common unified goal, we can make this the place to be for the ultimate, realistic online FS experience.

 

Lets hope that our goals are the same

 

Cheers!

Paul - Happy and Proud in the service of VATSIM/vZBW

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This is something that still doesn't make sense to me at all. Isn't it just a rating...a number of sorts? How would it be more difficult for any facility to accommodate a scheme? Don't you just change the ratings to match? I.e. if the smaller division has S3's working Center, bam...all of the sudden, they are C3's, because they are center rated. I honestly don't see the issue. Isn't that basically going to be what's happening anyway? I.e. if we allow S3's to work Center at ZLA, on January 1st, aren't they "automatically" going to become C1's...the new rating for Center-rated controllers? Wouldn't it be just as easy to do the same thing to C3, C4, C20, whatever other ratings might come into existence? I'm just not understanding why it would be any harder to accommodate for one scheme vs. another.

 

So along those lines (and I realize a decision has already been reached, so this really doesn't matter anymore), but the whole C3 thing is still perplexing. Richard made a very good explanation as to how it's going to be used, but I think it's the why that's still confusing me.

 

I understand that C3 can be used for Mentors. As I previously brought up, we have Mentors of every variety, including current tower-rated S3's. So basically, an S1 (under the new system) can/should be promoted to C3 because s/he is a Mentor? Instructors: We already have a rating for that...2 in fact. Staff Members: Yeah, I imagine ATM's and DATM's and Division Heads and such could be made C3's, but why?

 

Back to what makes sense to me:

 

S1 - Brand new controller, training to become tower-certified. They get this rating upon signing up to be an ATC on VATSIM

S3 - Tower certified

C1 - Approach certified

C3 - Center certified

I1 - Instructor

I3 - Training Administrator / Uber Instructor / whatever

 

That makes perfect sense to me and gets rid of the confusing C3 rating.

 

Thanks again for the answers Richard and Roland and everyone else as well! To echo what everyone else is saying, this is by far one of the most productive discussions I've seen here in a very long time. Hopefully a new trend?

 

Bryan,

 

I've quoted you in order to address some common questions so please don't feel that I'm attacking you or your comments. As you say, the EC has made its decision and the real task now is to look at the implementation issues. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to explain some of the reasoning.

 

A basic misunderstanding in some of the comments is that they [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume that there is already some sort of ATC standard that relates to ratings. This is simply not the case and one of the reasons why it took so long and made the final decision so much more difficult.

 

Let’s look at S3; this is still hard-coded as the minimum for CTR.

In some cases S3 is a person fully certified to do TWR (S1 was GND or something else). Let’s call this S3 “Type Xâ€

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Bryan,

 

I've quoted you in order to address some common questions so please don't feel that I'm attacking you or your comments. As you say, the EC has made its decision and the real task now is to look at the implementation issues. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to explain some of the reasoning.

 

No offense taken at all. Thank you again for taking the time to answer our concerns!!

 

A basic misunderstanding in some of the comments is that they [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume that there is already some sort of ATC standard that relates to ratings. This is simply not the case and one of the reasons why it took so long and made the final decision so much more difficult.

 

Right, and I certainly agree that this will help simplify things, i.e. a S3 no matter where s/he is from has proved to somebody somewhere that s/he is competant to work approach somewhere in the world. That does simplify things greatly.

 

 

Looking now at S1.

This is a controller rating therefore a person must be able to get on-line and control once they have an S1 rating. In the 4-rating scheme above, just what is an S1 permitted to do. It seems that they are only permitted to learn. This is not acceptable and when this happened last year it was quickly overturned.

 

Yes, I remember that. S1's would certainly be able to control, they just wouldn't be considered "competent on tower." They would be able to work DEL/GND, whatever. Upon completion of a successful "Tower Competency Program" they would be promoted to S3 and be certified tower controllers.

 

Under the new system, how are we to tell if a S1 is actually competent on tower? If I recall correctly from earlier in this thread, it's more than just a written test that will prove competency? They need to be checked out and certifed locally at their home ARTCC/FIR/etc. right?

 

So if everyone from a brand new sign-up to a "certified tower controller" is an S1, how are we ever to tell what somebody is really certified to work, when it comes to visiting controllers, transfers, etc.?

 

Learning can actually be done whist still an OBS; that’s really the main reason why we have OBS.

 

The only thing they can be tested on as an OBS is written material right? They can't be certified on tower locally and from a practical standpoint. Which is why as an S1, they would be training toward their tower rating (S3).

 

I'm sure everything is going to work itself out in the end. It's just a matter of getting everything clarified.

 

Thanks again!!!

Bryan Wollenberg

ZLA!

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Why then do you think that real world controllers are left solo when they are safe and master their craft over a period of time in the job operating solo?

 

Norman, with ALL due respect, controllers here in the USA, and I would bet pretty much elsewhere are not "put solo" without being fully trained. IF they are put solo, they are signed off and it is their butt on the line, (along with the lives of those he or she is controlling), if they screw up. We never master the "craft", no, but before he/she is signed off and allowed to be totally responsible for the position, this includes all aspects of controlling, including phraseology, they are as you said safe, as in knowing what you are doing. I never mastered the craft totally because you are learning constantly, but I sure had to KNOW what I was doing before I was cut loose.

 

If I misunderstood your meaning, please except my apologizies.

 

Alan Hensley

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Back to what makes sense to me:

 

S1 - Brand new controller, training to become tower-certified. They get this rating upon signing up to be an ATC on VATSIM

S3 - Tower certified

C1 - Approach certified

C3 - Center certified

I1 - Instructor

I3 - Training Administrator / Uber Instructor / whatever

 

That makes perfect sense to me and gets rid of the confusing C3 rating.

 

Sure does make sense, maybe too much. That is the way ZME has, (as others have), been doing it for a long time

 

 

Alan

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Richard/Roland, another thing just came to mind.

 

While it hasn't been defined what a major and minor airport will be, I will [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume that major airports (in the U.S.) will be Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B and maybe a few select Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] C airports that see tons of traffic.

 

I imagine that the "major" status doesn't protect the airports underlying this airspace. That is, Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D, etc. airports underneath the Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B airspace, would not be protected under the Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B's "major" status.

 

Take for instance the general LA Basin (and I use this as an example because that's what I'm familiar with...I'm sure it's the same pretty much everywhere). The San Diego Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B area is just as bad:

 

[Click Here for Image]

 

Imagine the mess if somebody with absolutely no knowledge (as far as local procedures) was allowed to hop on say TOA, or LGB, or HHR (which is 3 miles from LAX!!!), or SMO, let alone during something like a major event.

 

At the same time, I would love to see every single one of our Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D airports staffed around the clock. Heck, with enough visiting controllers, that could happen.

 

I would be absolutely ecstatic if the BOG would consider some sort of comprimise on the issue of minor fields. If I could have a session with somebody before turning them loose, and go over things like general traffic flow, where to find things like TEC routes (which are SO important in Socal), etc., I would be MORE than pleased to turn over the keys to the Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D/minor towers.

 

Heck, as it stands right now, that's all you have to do to control Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D towers in ZLA, and the Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] C certification isn't that much harder. You apply for visiting controller status, you take a written test or two (open book) to demonstrate knowledge of local procedures, you have a session with a Mentor/INS, and you're signed off to work any Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D tower in ZLA. That even gives you clearance to work GND/DEL at even our major airports.

 

It's not a difficult process, and we truly have an open-door policy for visiting controllers. Since I've been at ZLA (on the staff anyway), I don't ever remember turning a visiting controller away. Same goes for transfer and new controllers. It just doesn't happen.

 

Now I understand that this might lend to abuse, with facilities never checking out visiting controllers and such for whatever reason, but in those instances, it's easy to step in and stop it if/after you receive complaints. For those who do cooperate and have an open visiting controller policy, I think it would be a nice touch, and would ease some of the reservations I have about allowing anyone to step in and control without having knowledge of local procedures.

 

Thanks again guys! Thoughts?

Bryan Wollenberg

ZLA!

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Thanks for your response Bryan.

 

S1 is a controller rating therefore a person must be able to get on-line and control once they have an S1 rating.

S1's would certainly be able to control, they just wouldn't be considered "competent on tower." They would be able to work DEL/GND, whatever. Upon completion of a successful "Tower Competency Program" they would be promoted to S3 and be certified tower controllers.

In our hobby environment it is appropriate to keep the scheme fairly well streamlined. The model that most suits our needs is one that contains the three different types of real world controller roles; these being Local, TMA, Centre. This is pretty much the EUR model since they do not favor splitting off a separate GND rating from a TWR rating; they don’t have the need for it and besides, a TWR can provide a better coverage.

 

Under the new system, how are we to tell if a S1 is actually competent on tower? If I recall correctly from earlier in this thread, it's more than just a written test that will prove competency? They need to be checked out and certified locally at their home ARTCC/FIR/etc. right?

 

So if everyone from a brand new sign-up to a "certified tower controller" is an S1, how are we ever to tell what somebody is really certified to work, when it comes to visiting controllers, transfers, etc.?

There is no real concept of a "new sign-up" since they have no on-line role. A new ATC recruit joins a division and starts the self-study to become a Local Controller. This is a very efficient way to cover this stage. All S1s are up on-line as a "certified tower controller". Each S1 has p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed the Local Controller competencies and these form a very portable package of knowledge and skill.

 

The only thing they can be tested on as an OBS is written material right? They can't be certified on tower locally and from a practical standpoint. Which is why as an S1, they would be training toward their tower rating (S3).

In the new scheme an S1 has been signed off on all of the TWR competencies. From now on you will probably think of them as a Local Controller instead of an S1. The division training model in achieving this goal will vary. Mostly it will contain well-written resource material and accompanying well-written on-line theory tests.

 

A person wishing to become ATC should be able to join a HOME division and work through the study material and tests at their own pace, while at the same time being on-line as OBS. Most of the S1 material can be examined with cleverly-written self-paced tests.

 

After successful completion of the self-paced theory there is opportunity for an [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essor to link up with the 'student' while they are still OBS. This would most likely be at sub-division level, in other words, exactly where they are going to start.

 

At this time there is opportunity to check their theoretical understanding and have them apply it on the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essor in a role-play before final sign-off as a fully competent S1. Role-play can cover any of the instructions provided by a Local Controller, including clearances. The interactive role-play session should last about 20-30 minutes.

 

This method has been used quite successfully in a number of divisions.

 

 

Roland

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Roland,

 

in regard to your description on how the start into S1 should happen, let me please ask a question: You´re describing the step from OBS to S1, and you state that "an S1 has been signed off on all of the TWR competencies". To my understanding he´s now allowed to control at least independently, and without further restrictions (mentoring etc.) on minor TWR positions (or on all TWR positions when there is no distinction between minor and major positions locally).

 

Lets [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume that this distinction between minor and major positions does exist. According to the EC policy, an additional [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment is recommended before signing off the S1 for major positions.

 

Now the question: Should this [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment target additional controlling competencies , or procedural (i.e. local) knowledge only?

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

3500.png

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Bryan,

 

The Standard Local Controller competencies includes items such as:

 

  • Role clarity
    Airspace awareness
    Service delivery awareness
    Local altimetry
    Verifies routing as preferred ATS route
    Follows guideline for local preferred runway modes

These have been plucked from the basic or generic list of items.

 

If a facility, such as ZLA, wants to include an awareness of the vARTCC overview as a local competency item then that is their preogative. A visiting controller would be subject to that same competency item.

 

As I have mentioned before, we really must become clever at providing the support that our controllers, local and visiting, need in order to carry out their tasks. For example, have a look at the ATC [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ist and Pilot [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ist resources on the VATPAC web pages. Chose the "open in new window option" and you can size the windows.

 

These tools provide a service to pilots and controllers regardless of their rating; they simply satisfy a need.

 

It is always going to be up to local staff to look at the issues that concern them and devise suitable solutions. I'm sure that there are also plenty of opportunities for idea-sharing between regions and divisions.

 

Roland

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