A weekly award for high controller staffing on VATSIM
By Mark Richards 811451
#547177 VATSIM is proud to announce the 2019 Golden Mic Awards.

Golden Mic recognises the top 50 ATC facilities for online time during 2019 and shows the number of combined Controller hours and the percentage of the year that the position has been staffed.

Congratulations to:





Code: Select allTop 50 Iron Mic Winners (APP/DEP scoring, 1 pph per facil)
From: 2019-01-01 00:00:01    /    Until: 2019-12-31 23:59:59
 #   ID      Facility (airport) name          Uptime    Up %
--   -----   ---------------------------   ---------   -----
 1   NY      New York                      2227:40:32   25.4%
 2   LGAV    Athens-Venizelos              2058:26:20   23.5%
 3   SEA     Seattle-Tacoma Intl WA        1982:36:09   22.6%
 4   ATL     Atlanta Hartsfield Intl GA    1884:25:32   21.5%
 5   EGKK    London-Gatwick                1714:49:36   19.6%
 6   LOWW    Vienna                        1455:13:27   16.6%
 7   EDDF    Frankfurt                     1322:28:08   15.1%
 8   PDX     Portland Intl OR              1291:30:50   14.7%
 9   EGLL    London-Heathrow               1164:21:21   13.3%
10   CLT     Charlotte- Douglas Intl NC    1100:55:37   12.6%
11   BOS     Boston Logan Intl MA          1012:10:11   11.6%
12   SCT     SoCal APP                     969:06:19   11.1%
13   EDBB    Berlin                        963:03:47   11.0%
14   LPPT    Lisbon                        944:19:38   10.8%
15   CYYZ    Toronto-Pearson               935:49:26   10.7%
16   EGCC    Manchester                    932:56:47   10.7%
17   SY      Sydney Intl                   863:24:03    9.9%
18   EIDW    Dublin                        816:02:53    9.3%
19   LMT     Klamath Falls Intl OR         783:32:51    8.9%
20   OMDB    Dubai Intl                    768:40:51    8.8%
21   EVRA    Riga                          740:45:28    8.5%
22   ESGG    Goteborg-Landvetter           739:25:39    8.4%
23   VABB    Bombay-Santacruz              734:03:58    8.4%
24   RKSS    Seoul-Kimp'O Intl             725:26:19    8.3%
25   ML      Melbourne Intl                720:39:00    8.2%
26   WIII    Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta        711:16:03    8.1%
27   REG     Dallas-Fort Worth Intl TX     702:59:58    8.0%
28   SVMI    Caracas-Maiquetia             678:25:31    7.7%
29   EDDH    Hamburg                       677:22:50    7.7%
30   SBXP    Sao Paulo                     666:31:20    7.6%
31   EKCH    Copenhagen                    662:17:04    7.6%
32   PHL     Philadelphia Intl PA          655:42:13    7.5%
33   EPWA    Warszawa-Okecie               641:26:31    7.3%
34   TPA     Tampa Intl FL                 630:08:51    7.2%
35   SBWJ    Rio de Janeiro                629:29:41    7.2%
36   ESSA    Stockholm-Arlanda             611:17:47    7.0%
37   MEM     Memphis Intl TN               588:23:50    6.7%
38   ENGM    Oslo-Gardermoen               587:02:08    6.7%
39   DEN     Denver Intl CO                576:38:34    6.6%
40   CYUL    MontrÄal Pierre-Elliott-Tru   573:34:22    6.5%
41   EFHK    Helsinki                      566:20:58    6.5%
42   CYYC    Calgary                       559:58:47    6.4%
43   SCEL    Arturo Merino Benitez Int     542:43:40    6.2%
44   EDDL    Dusseldorf                    531:30:02    6.1%
45   CHI     Chicago-O'Hare Intl IL        531:24:15    6.1%
46   EDDM    Munich                        530:27:45    6.1%
47   WMKK    Kuala Lumpur-Subang           516:36:42    5.9%
48   SAN     San Diego Intl-Lindbergh Fi   480:17:10    5.5%
49   MSP     Minneapolis-St Paul Intl MN   462:53:03    5.3%
50   BWI     Baltimore-Washington Intl M   457:03:10    5.2%

Previous winners can be found here - https://www.vatsim.net/air-traffic-cont ... rd-winners
By Anastasios Mpithas 1313126
#547210 First of all congratulations to all vACCs / ARTCCs for the hours they put on each year lighting up their airfields.

It seems that on these Golden Mic awards, all New York Approach positions (JFK,EWR,PHL) were summed up to one "big" position, called NY "New York".
NY_JFK_APP covers JFK airport, NY_EWR_APP covers EWR airport etc.

On all previous Golden Mic and Iron Mic awards (from 2010 till 2018 - and on all Iron Mic awards), all these positions were counted separately:

NY_JFK_APP would be shown as KJFK_APP

NY_EWR_APP would be shown as KEWR_APP etc.

NY positions were summed up again on one Iron-Mic 2016 (Week 50), and mr. Richards even stated back then that there was a bug with the script.

Why did this happen again?

All of the controllers and staff at HvACC are waiting for an official response from VATSIM staff regarding this matter.
By Anastasios Mpithas 1313126
#547228 Hi Andreas,
Thanks for your very valuable input.
I am raising the issue because:
a) HvACC controllers were planning on getting the award throughout 2019, and we accomplished that following what was valid the last decade
b) It is unfair for other vACCs to combine on the award seperate stations manning seperare airports. NY_EWR isn't covering top-down NY_JFK for example.
By Karl Mathias Moberg 908962
#547279 Speaking from the point of NYARTCC, I agree that changes in how the hours are counted should be announced. However, let me counter with this.

NY_NWK_DEP and NY_ARD_APP _could_ cover JFK and LGA depending on how the controller is certified. In fact, for the vast majority of our students, they are certified for two or three facilities. The same with NY_CAM_APP and NY_KEN_DEP covering LGA and EWR as well.

Additionally, NYARTCC has four major GRP airports, which makes a huge difference for students, as they have to go through a very hard training program for each one.

With that said, I do agree that a consolidation of the fields should be public information.
By Andre Almeida 1333905
#547414 This does seem unfair.

If in each weekly award they were counted separately then they should also be counted the same way on the final award, seeing as the final award is nothing else then the sum of all weekly results.

Otherwise we could as well group the London airports together, and Gatwick+Heathrow would take the first place.

Regardless of it being important or not, it is a prize nonetheless, and if the Greek vACC worked for it, and were counting for the airfields to be counted the same way they always were - seeing as there was no announcement to the contrary - they're right to be annoyed over it. I know I would if I had spent many hours working for a specific goal, only to not achieve it due to rules being changed without announcement or prior notice.
By Alex Ying 1357036
#547456 Here's a question about an analogous situation: How are hours for London Control (the en-route facility, not the terminal facility) counted? From what I know about their setup, they regularly open sub-sectors of their airspace on their own. Are hours only counted when the entire airspace is open/controlled?

As Karl mentioned above, at N90 (New York TRACON, which covers EWR, LGA, JFK, and satellite facilities, NOT PHL though, that's a separate facility), controllers can control the entirety of N90 or multiple sectors if they are certified for it. Unfortunately, you can't tell from callsign alone whether someone is only covering JFK or covering all of N90 just from the callsign (NY_CAM_APP for example). One way of counting (distributing to individual airports only) under-counts the service at N90 on both an airport/sector and facility level. The other way (combining all into a single "New York" tally) over-counts the service if you're looking at it on an airport or sector/area basis, but is accurate if you're looking at just facility service.

The last time this come up for discussion, there was input from controllers at ZLA and ZOA about SOCAL and NORCAL TRACONS and how they get counted. They also have consolidated callsigns. Another good questions there is how to distribute hours when someone logs on as SCT_APP vs SAN_APP. Does San Diego get hours from someone logging on as all of SOCAL approach?

Ultimately, this goes back to the core philosophy of the award. Until we agree on what the award is actually for, you can't come up with a way for tallying progress toward it. To me, it seems a bit strange that for a terminal facility award, things are tallied by airport when terminal facilities serve multiple airports (and in some cases, multiple major airports).
By Anastasios Mpithas 1313126
#547462 Alex,

As far as the enroute facilities, all subsector hours count to one facility, but this happens WITH ALL vACCs/ARTCCs, not just NYARTCC.

Athens Approach covers 6 airports, one of which is major. Approach Hours from the remaining 5 airports are not counted towards LGAV_APP.

We are working with what's valid since 2010. These are the data we have. Also, in 2016 (last time this went into discussion) it had been decided that NY hours will split - check week 50 Iron Mic 2016 if you need proof.

Since that merging (in APP level) happens only in your ARTCC (New York), it is completely unfair for other vACCs/ARTCCs that have just one position for the approach service.

If VATSIM BOG want to change the way hours are counted, that should happen after a public announcement, and not without prior notice, like now.

Even on 2020 Iron Mics, NY APP is still being split, showing that the rule hasn't been yet changed.

For some people the award might be "just to get pilots to join ATC". For some others, like our vACC it is a very big event and a very big goal that we enjoy doing.
By Alex Ying 1357036
#547480 FYI, I'm not even trying to argue one way or another whether NY should be combined. My last post was all about providing some information about the setup at NY and elsewhere in the US and asking questions I had.

I'd like to hear from Mark or whoever actually operates the programs/scripts that compile this on how exactly hours get combined. I skimmed through "The Rules" thread which seems to be the closest thing to documentation on how the contests work and it doesn't quite address what I was asking in my previous post. I'm all for consistency, but it's not clear that we have consistency even in the current iteration of the weekly awards (where the 3 major N90 airports are counted separately). Counting SCT_APP hours to San Diego for example or NCT_APP hours to San Francisco or Oakland. Does that happen? It's not clear from what's publicly available.

As for the general use of subsectors, it's also not clear to me why the philosophy on sub-sectors is different between en-route facilities and terminal facilities. They're more similar to each other than towers. They're (mostly radar) facilities that cover larger areas and multiple airports vs. towers which are explicitly tied to a single airport at a time. We count en-route facilities as one for counting hours. Why do we have to tie terminal facilities to a single airport when there are many terminal facilities that are not designed like that (both in real life and on VATSIM)?

I guess if I had to boil it down to a single question, then it's this: Are we trying to count service availability at terminal facilities, or are we trying to count terminal services available at airports? Those are similar but not the same thing and I don't see an answer to that anywhere on the forums. Until there's an answer for what the real goal of the contest is, it's kind of silly to be debating the minutiae of how to count the hours because we could be talking about two *different* contests and we don't know which one is the actual one being run.
By Andreas Fuchs 810809
#547495 We seem to have serious issues... the world is going bankrupt due to shutdowns and we are arguing about a bloody virtual award. I just do not get it.

PS: have you sent an e-mail to Mark, enquiring about this? The forum is definitely not the right place.
By Anastasios Mpithas 1313126
#547504 Andreas,

I still don't get why you keep commenting here and being ironic from your first post.

Why don't we also cancel the Golden Mic altogether, because "do we really spend so much time online for an award"?

I also don't get how this is related to the ongoing epidemic? Shall we shut down VATSIM entirely and start crying non-stop then because of it?

I probably still don't get what you are saying because I (and possibly all Hellenic vACC controllers/staff) have "serious issues".

However thanks again for your input.
By Trevor Hannant 1240481
#547531 [quote="Andreas Fuchs 810809"]We seem to have serious issues... the world is going bankrupt due to shutdowns and we are arguing about a bloody virtual award. I just do not get it.[/quote]


Edit: No idea why BBCode has been disabled - makes the quote look like I'm an imbecile at posting...