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discussion Keeping the S1s interested

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Kirk Christie
On 4/1/2018 at 01:25, Simon Kelsey said:

Then the BOG decided they knew best and enforced this ridiculous one size fits all policy. 

The GRP is an EC policy and therefore acts on the power of each region director. The BOG had nothing to do with it.

The GRP has nothing on major airport training either... it only talks about training for the basic ratings
 

Edited by Kirk Christie

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Sebastian Wheeler
1 hour ago, Kirk Christie said:

The GRP is an EC policy and therefore acts on the power of each region director. The BOG had nothing to do with it.

The GRP has nothing on major airport training either... it only talks about training for the basic ratings
 

So, (And this is directed to more senior controllers/management) could we not then do what is done in other places, and have S1's allowed to man some but not all tower positions/AFISO/AGO so they can get experience on the low traffic, low stress positions, with a moodle course/optional sessions to assist, and then have all other fields (Bar LL) unlocked after being fully mentored for S2? 

Just another crazy thought, but could this work? I'm not saying it should be done, only that it could be done.

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Simon Kelsey
1 hour ago, Kirk Christie said:

The GRP is an EC policy and therefore acts on the power of each region director. The BOG had nothing to do with it.

The GRP has nothing on major airport training either... it only talks about training for the basic ratings
 

To be honest I don't really care which part of the VATSIM bureaucracy came up with it. The point is it needs scrapping.

I'm not talking about major airport ratings. I'm talking about the removal of the ability of local divisions to make sensible decisions and the overall additional level of restriction GRP has has added. 

For example, pre-GRP I could have logged on to several APP positions as an S1. Is that still possible?

Pre-GRP I could log on to most TWR positions as an S1. Is that still possible? 

Pre-GRP I did one single exam on a TWR position and this subsequently gave me the equivalent at the time of an S2 and access to all TWR positions and all but the busiest and most high profile two or three APP positions.

Pre-GRP I then did an APP exam, got the equivalent of a modern S3 rating, and got access to all APP positions and TMAs.

In the modern world I now am restricted to GND only as an S1 per central policy. I then have to go through an S2 process to get access to ANY TWR. Likewise for APP. And if I want to control Heathrow I have to go through another process on top of that.

Essentially: in the past, local divisions had the flexibility to restrict only the most demanding positions based on rating. The result was a much more open and permissive system then we have now, where the default position is that nobody can do anything.

The power should be back in the hands of local divisions. Why should the EC decide that an S1 is incapable of opening, say, TWR or even APP at a minor airfield?

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Kirk Christie

Simon, the EC is made up of each region director, it was the regional directors that created and implemented the GRP. Your region director and mine in Oceania, and everyone elses around the world. It was a global decission, not some bureaucracy.

 

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Simon Kelsey
1 minute ago, Kirk Christie said:

Simon, the EC is made up of each region director, it was the regional directors that created and implemented the GRP. Your region director and mine in Oceania, and everyone elses around the world. It was a global decission, not some bureaucracy.

 

Kirk,

I remember it at the time. I also remember that most divisions, including the UK, were very strongly against it because they already had a perfectly adequate system in place. However, these objections were simply steamrollered.

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Callum McLoughlin

Moreover the European Region Directors have never had more than a passing interest in UK and Russia for that matter. It’s always been with EUD solely in mind.

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Sebastian Wheeler

Perhaps now would be a good time to ask @Simon Irvine or @Andy Ford for some more input, as, from what I gather, with all due respect, this has turned into a history lesson. Let's ask instead, "What is going to be done/being done now to deal with this problem at a divisional level (We pretty much know the answers) but also at a regional level?"

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Connor Faulder
56 minutes ago, Simon Kelsey said:

Why should the EC decide that an S1 is incapable of opening, say, TWR or even APP at a minor airfield?

I know you're aware that there'd have to be some training changes for this to happen, but based on my recent experiences there are some S1s that struggle to open a ground position, nevermind tower!

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Sebastian Wheeler
4 minutes ago, Connor Faulder said:

I know you're aware that there'd have to be some training changes for this to happen, but based on my recent experiences there are some S1s that struggle to open a ground position, nevermind tower!

As an S1 myself, I might get hit for this, but observing my peers recently, sometimes, even S2's do...

Furthermore, this would require  lengthy moodles, for 13 year olds to be allowed to control some fairly "minor" fields, but ones which still have some weird + wonderful, and sometimes tricky procedures, Farnborough for instance! I'm not saying that 13 year olds shouldn't, but looking at some people, and even people older than 13, they, as mentioned, would struggle, and unless it was regulated, in my opinion, it would be carnage if it went wrong...

Edited by Sebastian Wheeler

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Trevor Hannant
1 hour ago, Simon Kelsey said:

For example, pre-GRP I could have logged on to several APP positions as an S1. Is that still possible?

No and quite rightly so - that's a car crash waiting to happen...

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Simon Kelsey
2 minutes ago, Trevor Hannant said:

No and quite rightly so - that's a car crash waiting to happen...

Of course it's not. 

Why are modern S1s so incompetent? What has changed? Was it a 'car crash' pre-GRP?

Farnborough is a perfect example. I have just looked and there have been 15 departures and 5 arrivals since the start of the year. What is the point of restricting that? Who wins? Who cares?

I'm not saying that people should be allowed to do Gatwick or Heathrow Director etc, and indeed in the past all the TMA approach positions were C1 (=S2) except Heathrow (C2 = S3). to ensure that there was some level of experience on such positions. Those ratings might need to be revised based on the modern traffic flows. But the point is that it should be a local division decision, not some faceless .Net committee.

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Trevor Hannant

You really want to put a GND controller on an APP position with limited/no training or limited TWR only training?   

Edited by Trevor Hannant

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Sebastian Wheeler

My answer to Q1, would be......... Microsoft Flight Simulator X... Steam Edition.

the readily available software has caused an influx of people who are not mature enough, but still believe they have the given right to control LON_S whenever, as an S1. It's unfortunate that that happens, but such is life today.

 

EDIT: See above... Cheers Trev!

Yes, I'm an S1, and agree there should be more leeway, but not without a short amount of testing/mentoring/and/or an extensive moodle course.

Edited by Sebastian Wheeler

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Kirk Christie
5 hours ago, Simon Kelsey said:

In the modern world I now am restricted to GND only as an S1 per central policy. I then have to go through an S2 process to get access to ANY TWR. Likewise for APP. And if I want to control Heathrow I have to go through another process on top of that.

The use of the S1 rating is optional at the Division level, some divisions do not use it, instead training their incumbent ATC at DEL/GND/TWR and issuing an S2, the same system that was in use prior to GRP.

S1 has no competencies, a member can be issued to anyone and they can log in as TWR and start controlling, S1's are not restricted to DEL/GND under the GRP. If they are in VATSIM UK land, then that is a local policy that VATSIM UK has implemented, nothing to do with the EC or the BOG. 

 

Why was the previous system better?

I was trained under the old system, and there were basically 2 ratings, S1 for TWR, and S3 covered APP and CTR, I was not allowed to control either APP or CTR until I had completed my full S3 training. 

Edited by Kirk Christie

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Simon Kelsey
5 hours ago, Kirk Christie said:

Why was the previous system better?

Perhaps because more decisions about who can staff what could be made at local level rather than by a Region Director who rarely if ever engages with the rank and file members?

9 hours ago, Trevor Hannant said:

You really want to put a GND controller on an APP position with limited/no training or limited TWR only training?   

If the APP position averages two movements a month, why would we be bothered?

To put it another way, why on earth would we want to treat Farnborough (245 movements last year) in exactly the same way as Gatwick (51,500 movements last year)? Surely that is absolute madness?

As I say - the real issue is that we can't even have this debate, because as Kirk is so keen to point out it's all decided by a Region Director who no one has ever spoken to or heard from.

Edited by Simon Kelsey

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Michael Benson
1 hour ago, Simon Kelsey said:

it's all decided by a Region Director who no one has ever spoken to or heard from.

I had to go look up who it actually was... never heard of the bloke.

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Oliver Parker

Probably just all crack on with flying and controlling instead of arguing about historic nonsense. They haven't changed the voice codec for as long as i've been here (ever?) what makes you think any of this stuff will be reviewed/updated?

I realised that trying to fathom reason re Vatsim and it's nonsensical hierarchy was a pointless exercise. The place is immune to change and it's a shame. We have a pretty good division in reality given the ridiculous steps it seems you must take to change anything. 

I know it's easy for me to say that given I'm a C3 and don't have to train anymore but it really is true. Once we step up and improve training times and then hire a firing squad to shoot people who don't turn up for event slots* then we will be just about set.

 

*I'd have been shot a number times

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Simon Kelsey
3 hours ago, Oliver Parker said:

They haven't changed the voice codec for as long as i've been here (ever?) what makes you think any of this stuff will be reviewed/updated?

I suppose the argument is that changing the voice codec requires someone to actually technically create and implement it: in a voluntary organisation one can't just snap their fingers and get someone to code it. 

Changing a policy decision like this, however, requires a mere stroke of a pen/peck on a keyboard. Shame that the RDs will never bother reading this though. Ivory tower much? 

Edited by Simon Kelsey

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Oliver Parker
1 minute ago, Simon Kelsey said:

Ivory tower much? 

amen

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Anthony Lawrence
4 hours ago, Oliver Parker said:

Probably just all crack on with flying and controlling instead of arguing about historic nonsense. They haven't changed the voice codec for as long as i've been here (ever?) what makes you think any of this stuff will be reviewed/updated?

 

59 minutes ago, Simon Kelsey said:

I suppose the argument is that changing the voice codec requires someone to actually technically create and implement it: in a voluntary organisation one can't just snap their fingers and get someone to code it. 

Just to give them credit where it's due, I did once test the new voice codec and it worked really well.  The issue is the fact it's a voluntary organisation and getting it rolled out and deployed properly was where the lengthy processes began.  At least one of those individuals has since moved on, so I'd like to think the new VPs of Tech/Web/Servers reinstate this project and push forward!

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