Jump to content

where does the traffic go?


Keith Smith
 Share

Recommended Posts

This is a continuation from the FNO thread. It seemed like it was pretty far from the original topic, but something really worth talking about.

 

The current debate appears to be centered around whether 'staff it and they will come' works. I somewhat agree with Ernie on this one...if you staff a destination which is fundamentally popular among pilots, or POTENTIALLY popular, they will show up. Beyond that, however, it's hard to get traction. Case in point, when Oakland staffs up a few nights in a row, their traffic appears to increase substantially. ZLA experiences the same thing (generally speaking). It even worked at Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D fields when Don Fiveash started staffing up a Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D night after night, he tapped into a market that had a demand.

 

All that said, it won't work everywhere. Fundamentally there just aren't many pilots on the network flying around VATUSA to provide interesting levels of traffic in EVERY ARTCC at once.

 

Places of 'marginal' popularity live and die by staffing. A few weeks of non-staffing and they become ghost towns. Ernie, that's how ZAB seems to work. I do not agree that you need to staff 110 hours a week to keep it alive, though, and such an effort doesn't work over the long term. ZLA staffs about 50-60 hours per week on center. It's not hard for us to do because we spread the load across many controllers, a luxury we can afford because we have the staff.

 

It's somewhat of a chicken and egg problem, but a short term commitment to some reasonable staffing levels should bring SOME traffic in places that are adjacent to 'automatically popular' destinations (ie, zab/zla). The presence of that traffic might bring more controllers online more often, to the point where staffing 40-60 hours a week on ctr is no longer an effort, it just happens. Pilots get used to it and WILL start flying short haul routes in and out of your ARTCC.

 

Now, if you're a less popular ARTCC, surrounded by less popular ARTCC's...I actually don't know what the solution is. It's hard to make pilots fly somewhere that doesn't currently have their attention. One possible idea would be to hold interesting events (poker runs, relay races) with prizes to get pilots' attention and then follow it up with consistent staffing for days after the event while the location is still fresh in pilots' minds.

 

Between that and Karen's frequent flyer program, hopefully we can see some more even traffic distribution.

 

It's also worth mentioning that on some nights, there simply aren't many planes flying, period. I worked LAX_CTR for a long stretch a few days ago and it was virtually dead for the first 2 hours. More pilots would be awesome, period.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 53
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Thanks Keith! I was just thinking of this and was wanting to start a new thread about it, but you beat me to it!

 

I think a lot of this also stems from what Brett (I think it was Brett that said it) said regarding the "conga line". While certain routes are popular, they do get monotonous and boring. From a pilot's perspective, it gives them all that they need: traffic from departure to destination.

 

But for those lesser used sectors, it's a bit of a bear, because there is less of a conga line to and from certain airports, outside of a longer flight. But as a pilot it takes breaking out of that monotony and flying to lesser used fields (Like the Southwest effect), or more exotic fields that can accomodate the pilots' preferred aircraft. This is what I've been doing lately, like SAF-PSC, RAP-RIF, SPS-HND, JLN-LMT, PQI or HUL-OMA, and the like.

 

They don't have to be outlandishly/obnoxiously unusual places, but just something to break out of the mold. Now, don't get me wrong; those popular routes didn't get popular for nothing. They are good routes to fly. Just that there are more fields than just the popular routes.

 

It also doesn't help that while the bulk of us know a lot about general aviation, we all still look up to our commercial airliner heroes/heroines, and want to do what they do. And since they fly to the commercial airports, we want to do the same. unfortunately that's just how things are. We (pilots) just need different information (about other airports). As a controller, it keeps us on our toes to know procedures at those airports outside of sending them to CTAF and get them out of our hair.

 

I know this is going a bit off another tangent, but it does fit in with this. It comes down to not only ATC staffing, but also pilot choice for where to fly. We can't tell the pilot where to fly; only encourage. But IMHO, therein lies the problem.

 

BL.

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

27

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try sponshorship from payware companies. That will draw a crowd.

 

This would NOT be a good idea. Why would a less popular sector need to entice someone with some product to fly their airspace, when other sectors don't use anything except their airports and other amenities?

 

Plus, this would/could mean that a given payware company could potentially have a stake in the network, which could lead to some pretty nasty consequences. That should be avoided.

 

BL.

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

27

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ZLA staffs about 50-60 hours per week on center. It's not hard for us to do because we spread the

load across many controllers, a luxury we can afford because we have the staff.

 

Your're right Keith, but its no accident the ARTCC's with the most popular destinations tend to

have some of the largest rosters. Though in general Keith I believe you have grasped the problem.

 

I think what is needed is some sort of a 'metering' system.

 

A system where we set minimum goals for arrivals and staffing for the ARTCC's. Then compare them

with the actual traffic and staffing every day.

 

The goal would be for the pilots to see who is behind their goals traffic wise and make more flights

to those locations to meet that goal. And the controllers to look how their ARTCC's is doing to meet

their staffing goals and if they are short be online more to meet their goals.

 

With both sides working to meet there respective goals it becomes possible for every ARTCC to get the minimum

number of arrivals to keep them interested enough to continue staff their positions. And with the ARTCC's

meeting their staffing goals the pilots will reap the benefit of more ATC positions being staffed giving

them more choices where to fly with ATC services.

 

The goal here is not to make everyone equal, that is impractical. But to give each ARTCC a minimum number

of movements (excluding overflights). Enough to encourage them to staff their positions more regularly.

 

I think what Brad is suggesting is also something to consider. Emphasis on more regional type flights

and de-emphasing the long 4/5 hour transcontinental flights. Instead of JFK to SFO fly JFK-ORD-SLC-SFO

then 4 ARTCC's have traffic to work from the same pilot(s) instead of 2.

 

Regards.

Ernie Alston

Albuquerque ARTCC

Vatsim Supervisor.

alcsig1b.png
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Keith, in that events are the best way to draw attention to an ARTCC which doesn't have "popular" airports, or is not close enough to major airports to draw traffic by [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ociation.

 

I think it would be difficult to organize competition events, with sponsor-donated prizes, often enough to make a lasting impact on traffic levels. However, I also don't think that there needs to be prizes to attract traffic. There just needs to be a well-organized event with adequate staffing, and just as importantly, adequate "marketing". I personally think that event advertising is one area where VATUSA (and perhaps VATSIM) has the most room for improvement. Perhaps VATUSA and/or VATSIM can help out from a technology perspective. In other words, perhaps we need a better event calendar and notification system?

 

Personally, whenever I see a forum post or web site news post advertising an event, and I want to fly in that event, or provide supporting ATC coverage, I add that event to my own personal calendar. This system works pretty well, but I know there are events that I just never find out about, that I would like to participate in. I'd love to see a technological solution to this problem ... perhaps some sort of categorized database for VATSIM-wide events, where members could "subscribe" to their areas of interest. For example, I could tell the system that I was interested in events within the USA, and I want email notifications sent when the event is first added to the system, and an email reminder sent 2 days prior to the event, or whatever. I think that such a system would be great for advertising events in a uniform manner, and would make sure that pilots found out about all the events they might be interested in. ZLA does this for their events, and I love the service.

 

Anyway, just thinking out loud. If there's enough interest in such a system, I'll do what I can to help make it happen.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

vroute has a list of events on the front page so why not try to utilise this

 

I knew somebody would mention vroute. The answer is that because for various reasons, not everyone uses vroute. I don't. However, everyone does use email.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two thoughts:

 

1) Part of the problem attracting traffic to less busy areas is that it takes some effort to fly there. I'm used to flying in Boston and New York. If I see Jacksonville open up, I have to go and get a flight plan, get charts, etc. By the time I do this I could be airborne out of JFK. Here are a couple of thoughts on how to deal with that:

a) Give advance notice of when you will be staffed. This way I can be all set ahead of time.

b) Have an easily downloaded "packet" on your website for popular and convenient routes involving your ARTCC. (e.g.: for ZJX, ATL-TPA) The "packet" could include a flight plan is FS200_ format (and perhaps others), charts, etc. This way, I could get everything I need with one click of the mouse.

 

2) An event that is just based on staffing won't draw a large number of people. If ZAB hosts an event, but ZNY is also staffed, what incentive do I have to fly ZAB? I'm glad that you've staffed up, but so has ZNY. So where's the incentive to me, the pilot. I'm a big proponent of having some sort of meaning to an event. (For example, when I was Events Coordinator at ZOB, we had a Superbowl event where every pilot got to "vote" for their favorite NFL team by departing from that city. It was a very successful event.) Make a friendly competition, have a prize, have unique approaches, open up difficult airports... just make it have more significance to the pilot than any other random flight. There has got to be some sort of hook.

 

I'd also consider having some sort of award for the pilot that makes the most flights each month in your ARTCC.

 

Just some thoughts...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would love for Vatsim to have more traffic, so I think this is a great thread; however, I'm a pilot and can offer no advice with the ATC side. I wish I had more suggestions, but I just don't know how things work on that side of the mic.

 

One aspect of traffic that I'm suprised I haven't read about on these forums is the east coast/west coast problem. By the time evening flights are departing from the west-central and west coast zones the east coast zones are shutting down, for good reason, as it's bedtime. I, and many other pilots I'm sure, would love to fly east but by the time I'm planning or departing I know the arriving ATC in the east will be shutting down soon. Last night I made it a point to try to depart from the east as I had never done this before (I said I'm new!) but by the time I was loaded up and had my planning done, Tower was logging off. I don't see anyway around this.

 

1) Part of the problem attracting traffic to less busy areas is that it takes some effort to fly there. I'm used to flying in Boston and New York. If I see Jacksonville open up, I have to go and get a flight plan, get charts, etc. By the time I do this I could be airborne out of JFK

 

Kyle brings up a good point, and this point lends more credence to the 'staff it and the will come' aspect. As a pilot, I try to fly whenever I can. If I see an hour opening in my schedule in the evening, I'm going to try to get a flight in and I'm going to be quick about it. This tends to happen 3 or so nights a week when I'm busy, like I am this time of year, leaving only a couple of nights a week for a flight with full time devotion. Unfortuneatly, I don't have time to properly plan a flight for these 'quickies' so I fly my known routes which happens to be the flights to the FIR that's been staffed most often most recently. Even if it's not staffed at the moment, I'll fly there for the traffic. 'Staff it and they will come' will not fix everything, it is not the cure-all. It think it does help, significantly, but it has to be done over a long period of time. You can bet your rearend that if I see ZAB starting to be staffed more and more, I'll be planning more regular flights that direction.

 

I knew somebody would mention vroute. The answer is that because for various reasons, not everyone uses vroute. I don't. However, everyone does use email.

 

I don't use vroute either, Ross.

 

The goal here is not to make everyone equal, that is impractical. But to give each ARTCC a minimum number

of movements (excluding overflights). Enough to encourage them to staff their positions more regularly.

 

How do you force a minimum number of movements, though?

 

I think what Brad is suggesting is also something to consider. Emphasis on more regional type flights

and de-emphasing the long 4/5 hour transcontinental flights. Instead of JFK to SFO fly JFK-ORD-SLC-SFO

then 4 ARTCC's have traffic to work from the same pilot(s) instead of 2.

 

I've been trying to plan my flights to be about 1-2 hours long. If they are longer, I'll find an airport int the middle and land there, then continue on so it breaks it into two separate flights. I do this to provide more traffic to the ATC and to provide more ATC to me! Unfortunately, there's no way to convince all the pilots to do this.

 

 

There's a reason I'm a pilot and not an ATC'er. I don't have the time at this point in my life with kids and a wife. I admire any controller that can commit what is necessary on this network and donate their time for everyone to enjoy. All of my comments pointed at ZAB are in no way meant to be rude or direct jabs at them, they just happen to be where my home airport is. Everytime I've dealt with a ZAB controller they've been very professional and good to deal with, especially Ernie. Sometimes I hear Ernie and feel like I'm listening to RealATC!

 

As far as the chicken and the egg goes, it's obviously arguable from either side. In my humble opinion, none of the ATC would be around if there were no pilots, but some of the pilots would fly without ATC, as long as there were other pilots around to provide traffic. So, increase the number of pilots. I wish I knew how.

 

I didn't really proof read this mess.

 

Corey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two thoughts:

a) Give advance notice of when you will be staffed. This way I can be all set ahead of time.

 

I think this is a very important was of increasing traffic. When planning a flight I tend to look where ATC is planning to be and arrange a flight accordingly. Now as based in Europe there are plenty of bookings for today in Europe and the UK visible in VRoute and Servinfo (using the Eurobook/VatBook settings -which I prefer as can plan >24hrs in advance). These can be made by VRoute but I know it picks up the VATSIM-UK bookings directly. Looking at bookings in North America for the next 2 weeks the only bookings I can see are in KZLA and a single tower session in KZOA over the next 2 week period. Now if I'm planning to stay up late and fly in the US where am I likely to fly where I know there will be ATC. With events I can plan flights to other areas but other times I find it very hit and miss predicting what ATC I can plan to find online as I can't find a way of finding out whats booked easily.

 

Phillip

 

By coincidence my past couple of flights in the US have happened to be with Ernie Alston staffing KZAB but this has only because he happened to be online when I fired up flightsim

VATSIM UK Divisional Instructor

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At present, a pilot wanting to maximize their chances of finding ATC in VATUSA would have to visit 22 ARTCC websites or over 90 VA websites to figure out who is doing what, and when.

 

I am pushing to get every single event that is going on in VATUSA, no matter the size, to be listed on the VATUSA calendar so that pilots can have one central place to look for "who's planning to be staffed up tonight". If the pilots don't know about your event, they are not likely to fly in it.

 

VATUSA Events advertises all over the place on the VATUSA and VATSIM forums, sends notices to all the ARTCCs and VA's, and posts the weekly schedule on vroutes and SkyBlueRadio. Pilots who want a weekly "digest" type email about the VATUSA Events going on this week can sign up for our vatusa events mailer at http://mail.vatusa.org/mailman/listinfo/vatusa-events.

 

Our new Events website (to be released later this week) has a whole page dedicated to flight planning tools to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ist pilots in easily locating charts/radar/ATC online, etc.) for VATUSA.

 

As I said in the other thread, I'm open to reasonable suggestions, so email me if there's something I'm missing.........

Karen Dunbar

Events Director

VATUSA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kyle - good suggestions.

 

b) Have an easily downloaded "packet" on your website for popular and convenient routes involving your ARTCC. (e.g.: for ZJX, ATL-TPA) The "packet" could include a flight plan is FS200_ format (and perhaps others), charts, etc. This way, I could get everything I need with one click of the mouse.

 

There already are websites dedicated to this sort of thing where you can do exactly that - get a route, get charts, file your plan, and download flightplan files in various formats. VRoute, VatRoute, and SimRoutes come to mind.

Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you force a minimum number of movements, though?

 

Hi Corey,

 

Well we can't force anything, but we can 'ask' for cooperation between the Pilots/Virtual Airlines and Controllers.

 

If we asked you to when you were considering a flight this week to check the proposed metering system.

To see if any areas are a behind the goal this week that you could help out with a flight to one of those areas

a little behind the goal for say on average one out of every 4 or 5 of your flights ? would you be willing do it ?

 

I think a lot of pilots would do this and some VA's would help too if they thought that over time more ATC positions

may be staffed as a result of this occasional pilot deviation from the norm giving these controllers in the less

popular areas, some additional traffic to keep them active enough to keep staffing those positions.

 

If controllers in these less popular areas thought they might see a some increase in their regular daily traffic

I'm sure a few would plug-in just in anticipation of this.

 

If more ATC positions were staffed more regularly I think we would see an overall increase in traffic.

 

Regards.

Ernie Alston

Albuquerque ARTCC

Vatsim Supervisor.

alcsig1b.png
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing I think would work to get the pilots flying more would be to create a VATUSA or perhaps VATSIM pilot certification center.

 

Our very own KS cleverly designed, developed and coded the ZLA Pilot Certification Center, to address two issues. 1) Provide some material and testing to pilots that want to sharpen their IFR skills, hence making the experience more enjoyable to both ends of the mic, and, 2) Attract more traffic at some of our less frequented airports.

 

Although I can't provide "hard numbers" as to it's effect on traffic levels, the PCC has been a tremendous success with us. My thought is through voluntary sign ups from both controllers and pilots, ARTCC's could designate certain airports of their choice to be used for "pilot certifications", and to dangle the carrot, create "pilot ratings" that members can upgrade on a VATUSA scale (similar to our local certifications we give participating pilots, I1 - I7).

 

I think this would stimulate pilots to "promote" themselves up the VATSIM ladder, just as we as ATC do, making the addiction to fly on VATSIM even more appealing.

 

Finally when you consider the real world, pilots are getting trained at almost every airport, and here in VATSIM the new pilots joining us either, jump on and start on their own, learning as they go along, or some choose to join a VA, which may or may not have any training structure in place. I think this would be a good incentive for the entire network.

 

Cheers!

Edited by Guest

Gerry Hattendorf

ZLA Webmaster

VATSIM Supervisor

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I seldom post in these forums, but do manage to read quite a lot. While there are many excellent comments in the theads WRT FNO, few seem to be from the VA perspective.

 

Most VA's are all about flying a realistic schedule, no matter where it may take pilots. And VA's typically have a good feel about when their membership prefers to fly. Some have survey data which firmly establishes member preferences.

 

Another consideration for many VA's is selecting departures/destinations which allow large numbers of their members to participate. So, multiple departures/destinations are planned in order to provide the greatest participation and most closely simulate a real world airline schedule.

 

Have no idea what percentage of the VATSIM membership is from VAs, but it must be significant. Perhaps VATSIM VAs should be consulted, if that has not already happened.

 

Just some thoughts from the Crow's Nest from the guy who created The Saturday Scramble .

 

Jim Harnes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe it would help increase traffic to less popular destinations if a pilot knew in some way how long a position was going to be staffed on non-event nights.

 

When I first started flying online i would take a look at how long a controller had been online and try to choose my destination accordingly. While this does not always work, I had good results with it. Then I found ZLA's controller sign-up page. A quick glance and i knew when a position would be staffed and go fly. Granted not all controllers at ZLA use the sign-up page and sometimes the controllers that do use it don't show, but the chances of the position being staffed during that time are better than average. I think if a less traveled destination could communicate that it would be open for a set time on say, a monday night for example, the traffic would increase. Some will argue that regional night serves this purpose, i beg to differ. I tried to fly to some of the less frequented locations on their regional night only to find no atc online. It would help if there were one place that a pilot could go to find out an anticipated controller lineup so he could plan his flights.

ZLA Director of Pilot Relations

 

 

CS13_Sig_D.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You guys all have very valid points. Just want to throw a slightly different perspective. You as ARTCC's are looking to draw individual pilots. Another possibility is to draw VA's. If you could find a way to motivate VA's, then you've found a way to motivate groups of people instead of just individuals.

 

Just a thought.

 

Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Corey,

Hi Ernie!

 

 

If we asked you to when you were considering a flight this week to check the proposed metering system.

To see if any areas are a behind the goal this week that you could help out with a flight to one of those areas

a little behind the goal for say on average one out of every 4 or 5 of your flights ? would you be willing do it ?

Absolutely I would look at that. Provided that ATC was up when I was planning my flight (or I knew it would be up shortly) I would definetly do that. I would probably plan about 50% of my flights to help out those areas.

 

 

I think a lot of pilots would do this and some VA's would help too

I would like to hope so, but I'm not so sure.

 

 

If more ATC positions were staffed more regularly I think we would see an overall increase in traffic.

Complete and total agreement here. I don't think many people would argue against this.

 

 

Maybe it would help increase traffic to less popular destinations if a pilot knew in some way how long a position was going to be staffed on non-event nights.

It would almost definetly increase traffic. But inorder to have it work, you would have to have one central location that all pilots could look to see all of VATUSA controllers intentions. It's too hard to look at each individual ARTCC website to see if: A) they have any type of booking process for their controllers and B) there are any controllers planning to control that night and finally C) do they even take advantage of the process at that particular ARTCC. With the current options controllers have to "book" future times, I very rarely see any of them being used for VATUSA controllers.... maybe I'm looking at the wrong software/places. Maybe all the ARTCC websites and vroute type software consult the same database when booking controller times, I don't know, but the process does not seem to be currently working.

 

I've already mentioned that the reason I'm solely a pilot is that I don't have the time to be a controller. I continues to amaze me how much time controllers regualry set aside to control their areas. Not only am I usually short on time, but I'm slow and methodical in my flight planning. To be honest, if I know I'm going to try to fly one evening, I try to plan my flight that afternoon when I have a break at the office. I have to guess at which ARTCC is going to have the best chance of offering me ATC and I'll plan on flying there. If I can't plan ahead and I'm rushed to get a flight in, I usually fly a route that's common to me whether they have ATC or not as I don't have time to plan a new flight to a new area that's got ATC. If I had one place to go that afternoon before my evening flight, one single place that would show me some possiblities of the ATC coverage that night, it would help out tremendously. Not all controllers could plan that far ahead, of course, but those that were able to would help draw traffic I bet. It's an interesting concept, but it would have to be one centrally located spot that is heavily used on a regular basis and those two reasons, I am afraid, is where this plan goes to heck in a handbag.

 

It would be interesting to see what percentage of controllers know they will be controlling 6-12 hours in advance.

 

*bleh* I'm tired.....

 

Corey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If we asked you to when you were considering a flight this week to check the proposed metering system.

To see if any areas are a behind the goal this week that you could help out with a flight to one of those areas

a little behind the goal for say on average one out of every 4 or 5 of your flights ? would you be willing do it ?

Absolutely I would look at that. Provided that ATC was up when I was planning my flight (or I knew it would be up shortly) I would definetly do that. I would probably plan about 50% of my flights to help out those areas.

 

I think that's fair, often these areas are staffed but pilots just don't fly there.

 

This then turns off the controllers in these areas who eventually either staff their positions less often

(if at all), or transfer to one of the a more popular areas.

 

For some system of cooperation to work we probably would have to limit the minimum ARTCC movements goals to peak times, probably evenings between 7-11pm local times.

 

With the controllers anticipating a minimum number of flights during peak times in their ARTCC's I believe they would

staff more often during those times. And pilots anticipating better overall ATC staffing during the same peak times

I believe would make more flights overall.

 

If such a system of cooperation were to work we could end up with a situation where most of the ARTCC's are

regularly staffed during peak times.

 

Regards.

Ernie Alston

Albuquerque ARTCC

Vatsim Supervisor.

alcsig1b.png
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just happend to look on ServInfo and it reminded me of this thread.. "Staff it and they will come is getting more and more hard to believe. Dustin has been on Center in Memphis and has 1 plane. There is nobody on in ZLA, but they have 8 planes.. 8 to 1 ratio... Also check out ZHU. Blayne has been on almost an hour and still not much. Same thingIn ZSE we used to have unappreciated airport night once a week. It went on for a while, but never got any traffic. Example be we may have had Center, MWH_APP, adn MWH_TWR up, but might get 1 plane, over the 2-3 hour period. Its a proven fact. The more popular destinations get more traffic. But I think there are ways to turn it around. I just havent figured it out yet.

zlazmejv7.jpg

zlazme2ep3.jpg

VATSIM Supervisor

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Staff it and they will come is getting more and more hard to believe. Dustin has been on Center in Memphis and has 1 plane. There is nobody on in ZLA, but they have 8 planes.. 8 to 1 ratio... Also check out ZHU. Blayne has been on almost an hour and still not much.

Well, in my opinion, "Staff it and they will come" implies consistently staffing at weeks (or more) at a time, not hours. You are correct in that staffing an ATC position for for several hours will probably not increase the traffic very significantly, but I don't think that's ever been the argument.

 

The more popular destinations get more traffic.

That will almost always be the case, because said destination is more popular. The problem is the traffic on VATSIM is disproportionate to the popularity of the destinations.

 

Corey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just happend to look on ServInfo and it reminded me of this thread.. "Staff it and they will come is getting more and more hard to believe. Dustin has been on Center in Memphis and has 1 plane. There is nobody on in ZLA, but they have 8 planes.. 8 to 1 ratio... Also check out ZHU. Blayne has been on almost an hour and still not much. Same thingIn ZSE we used to have unappreciated airport night once a week. It went on for a while, but never got any traffic. Example be we may have had Center, MWH_APP, adn MWH_TWR up, but might get 1 plane, over the 2-3 hour period. Its a proven fact. The more popular destinations get more traffic. But I think there are ways to turn it around. I just havent figured it out yet.

 

The ironic thing is, as far as destinations are concerned, it kind of does parallel the real world. If you think about it, There are more real world aircraft operations per day on average at LAX and LAS than IAH, MEM, and SEA. LAX has 1781, LAS at 1696, IAH at 1650, MEM has 1076, and SEA has 931. These figures are listed at AirNav. I'm not saying that it is fair, but that I can see the parallels betwen here and the real world.

 

I still think it comes down to getting the pilots to think about flying to not just smaller fields, but fields that aren't those majors like LAX/ORD/JFK/ATL, that can accomodate the same aircraft they fly. there has to be some way to get them out of their complacency (lack of a better word) and look at other fields. Yes, it may take time to grab charts, plan a route, etc. But that's what got them to fly to LAX or ORD in the first place.

 

This is going to sound bad, so just bear with me!

 

Perhaps the popularity of places like Simroutes and the like is coming back to bite us. Don't get me wrong, IE and the others working on Simroutes and other places is great! But ease and convenience could be causing us our problems. Like McDonald's: driving through to get a cookie cutter-made burger that is made the same all the time for the sake of speed and convenience makes someone forget how making an original (ingredients) hamburger really tastes.

 

See what I mean?

 

BL.

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

27

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...