By Joel Richters 891193
#516301 It is with great pleasure and anticipation that the Executive Committee announce our intentions with regard to Voice UNICOM / CTAF.

At the Quarter 2 Executive Committee Meeting held yesterday, it was approved and with in principle agreement to implement the function of Voice UNICOM / CTAF on the VATSIM Network. The process from here will be one of consultation with the client developers and other stakeholders to ensure our vision can be made a reality; which is currently underway.

We have been given a clear message from senior leadership that this process should move ahead without delay, and we look for your support and feedback in this venture. You should expect to hear more from VATSIM leadership in the coming months as we make this change to better support and modernise the network you love.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to touch base with us via email or the forums. You may also contact me directly at [email protected].
By Sean Harrison 870618
#516303 Thank-you. Looking forward to developments, but hoping FSInn remains an option.
By Joel Richters 891193
#516304
Christoph Reule 1379750 wrote:How will this work? I mean, is it an "addition" to the currently existing UNICOM (aerodrome independent) or more an aerodrome-based feature on specific frequencies (CTAF, MULTICOM or however you call it)? :)

Christoph, we have an initial idea that we are putting to the developers which will be moulded to achieve the outcome. The definition of Voice UNICOM / CTAF which is in the initial document defines it as "a facility that allows pilots to communicate their intentions within the vicinity of an airfield without air traffic control" via voice.

More information will come out soon enough to alleviate speculation... however how would you like to see it work? We would like to hear your thoughts?
Last edited by Joel Richters 891193 on Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
By Callum Strawbridge 1179882
#516305 This is fantastic news, Joel! I can't wait to see this implemented on the network.
Last edited by Callum Strawbridge 1179882 on Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Christoph Reule 1379750
#516306
Joel Richters 891193 wrote:Christoph, we have an initial idea that we are putting to the developers which will be moulded to achieve the outcome. The definition of Voice UNICOM / CTAF which is in the initial document defines it as "a facility that allows pilots to communicate their intentions within the vicinity of an airfield without air traffic control" via voice.

More information will come out soon enough to alleviate speculation... however how would you like to see it work? We would like to hear your thoughts?


Sounds for me like I supposed (something like aerodrome based CTAF/MULTICOM), which is indeed a great addition. :D

Personally I would love to see to have the possibility (for the ATC department) to define specific frequencies for aerodromes (maybe not all, perhaps selected/busy ones) with a limited range (e. g. 25 NM) where pilots can state their intentions when no ATC is present at such airfields. For others maybe remain on 122.80 but with limited range (around the pilot's position).

Just my thoughts... :)
By Joel Richters 891193
#516307
Christoph Reule 1379750 wrote:Personally I would love to see to have the possibility (for the ATC department) to define specific frequencies for aerodromes (maybe not all, perhaps selected/busy ones) with a limited range (e. g. 25 NM) where pilots can state their intentions when no ATC is present at such airfields. For others maybe remain on 122.80 but with limited range (around the pilot's position).

Just my thoughts... :)

I think you will be pretty happy then :)
By Harry Sindle 1324025
#516308 Great idea! One question: How do you propose that his frequency will be used for its intended purpose, and not be abused by trolls like many frequencies are now?

Will you provide training for pilots who do not know how to use UNICOM, especially a voice UNICOM? I think this is a great idea, but these hurdles should be accomplished first, in my opinion.
By Joel Richters 891193
#516309
Harry Sindle 1324025 wrote:Great idea! One question: How do you propose that his frequency will be used for its intended purpose, and not be abused by trolls like many frequencies are now?

Will you provide training for pilots who do not know how to use UNICOM, especially a voice UNICOM? I think this is a great idea, but these hurdles should be accomplished first, in my opinion.

As this development progresses, we will work with all the stakeholders such as our divisional staff, ATOs and other areas of the network to support this change. Misbehaviour will no doubt be handled the same way it currently is. Supervisors are able to join any voice room they like so monitoring them if needed shouldn't be a concern.

What would you propose that ensure that the voice channels are used for the intended purpose?
By Harry Sindle 1324025
#516310 I think that offering basic training (at least) which all pilots must take before being allowed to talk on the UNICOM frequency. This training should include information about how to structure the broadcasts and how to listen out for other's broadcasts.

This could be done with a simple powerpoint or Moodle online. A test may or may not be required, depending on how the training is given, to allow the pilots to have at least a basic knowledge of how the UNICOM system actually works. e.g. When and when not to use it, what frequency to use for major airports, etc.

Of course, this is my opinion and totally up to you guys to decide how to run the new UNICOM system :)
By Joel Richters 891193
#516312
Harry Sindle 1324025 wrote:I think that offering basic training (at least) which all pilots must take before being allowed to talk on the UNICOM frequency. This training should include information about how to structure the broadcasts and how to listen out for other's broadcasts.

This could be done with a simple powerpoint or Moodle online. A test may or may not be required, depending on how the training is given, to allow the pilots to have at least a basic knowledge of how the UNICOM system actually works. e.g. When and when not to use it, what frequency to use for major airports, etc.

Of course, this is my opinion and totally up to you guys to decide how to run the new UNICOM system :)

This is great feedback. Do you think a bit of promotional educational video that we distribute to everyone to watch?
By Layth Al-Wakil 1304151
#516314
Joel Richters 891193 wrote:
Harry Sindle 1324025 wrote:Great idea! One question: How do you propose that his frequency will be used for its intended purpose, and not be abused by trolls like many frequencies are now?

Will you provide training for pilots who do not know how to use UNICOM, especially a voice UNICOM? I think this is a great idea, but these hurdles should be accomplished first, in my opinion.

As this development progresses, we will work with all the stakeholders such as our divisional staff, ATOs and other areas of the network to support this change. Misbehaviour will no doubt be handled the same way it currently is. Supervisors are able to join any voice room they like so monitoring them if needed shouldn't be a concern.

What would you propose that ensure that the voice channels are used for the intended purpose?


I think introducing a way to see who is actually transmitting on frequency may help, we currently are able to see who is in a voice room, on Euroscope, but on busy frequencies when someone may be trolling or may just have a stuck mic it is tough for the controller to find out who the actual culprit is. This would make it easier for supervisors to deal with these issues both on a CTAF and on a normal frequency.
By Deon Mathews 1188217
#516316 Just to confirm...

Until further notice, Unicom will remain a text only frequency?

Another factor to consider will be the language when it officially goes to voice, will it be an English only channel?
By Nathan Elliott 1278737
#516317 If no supervisors are online , CTAF should be disabled during that time.

Pilots should only be able to tune into Unicom voice for their specific departure and arrival airports, meaning if someone has filled for an arrival to Newark they shouldn't be able to tune into a nearby aerodrome such as LGA. but that might be complex to implement?

The voice CTAF worked well in the Vatpac region in the past but they used this feature at real world uncontrolled aerodromes only where-as giving voice uni-com to Heathrow is subject to abusers , thus this option should only be available to smaller aerodromes or aerodromes that rarely get ATC RW and/or vatsim.