By Harry Sugden
Unfortunately, I have now had enough. I have tried so hard over the last 5 months to pursue other avenues. This forum post is genuinely the last thing I wanted to write on a network that is built by and sustained by volunteers. But at the top of VATSIM UK and above it, it is clear that it is nigh on impossible to get anyone to care. Perhaps it is just me? Nope, I know - and I’m not asking you to speak up publicly, I’m happy to do it - that there are others who are fed up of being ignored.
From the moment a new Division Director was appointed in the UK, I was waiting for an Operations vacancy to open up. I was actually the first Operations Manager (it was called then), before losing interest in VATSIM as I moved on to University. I was excited to come back and contribute in something that I know I’m good at, so as soon as lockdown began, I enquired as to the plan. There wasn’t one. As you may have noticed, I’ve been back for a while and I just can’t get enough.
The thing that’s missing though is an Operations department to thrive. Our previous Division Director has told me that they had enough to do in that role alone. Being a leader is about delegating. It is about encouraging people to contribute, the glue that holds the division together strategically and into the future. But where is ours? A leader doesn’t hog, on a volunteer network. A leader doesn’t keep an I3 badge when they don’t have time to instruct. A leader says hello sooner than 3 weeks after their appointment. A leader involves themselves in events and day-to-day division life. But how does our current one manage 4 roles at once (5 if you include the DDD!)?
I don’t think they can. My tickets, emails and PMs are invariably ignored, responded to months later - sometimes Slack even archived them before they were replied to! Myself and others have waited weeks and weeks to even be given approval to start on a new document. We contributors often wait until the night before AIRAC release to have our Pull Requests reviewed for the sector file, leaving no time to make changes in time for release. I struggle to receive even an acknowledgement that a document has been received and is in the queue for review.
I genuinely love Ops and this division. I’ve tried putting my absolute all into document creation, Spotlight posts, the like, with absolutely no reward other than the odd thanks. That’s fine - I don’t want a reward. But when I offer to help more formally, it falls on deaf ears. An email where I, in effect, formally complained got a response just under 4 weeks after I sent it. I was reassured by the Region Director that Ops would be appointed ‘soon’ - this was now over a month ago. An email I received nearly 4 weeks ago from the DD promised a more regular line of communication to discuss procedures and documents. I replied within days saying that sounded like a great idea! Guess what... no reply since!
Yet, I receive a review on a pull request, 3 months after it was submitted, last night?!
Let’s wrap this up. Active suppression of volunteerism is what this division is now about apparently. Not everywhere, of course. All staff - including the DD - put their all into this place. Training, Web, Marketing and Member Servcies should all be applauded for what they do - at times we all disagree with things, but they are volunteers who quite frankly deserve more praise.
But our DD doesn’t recognise when it’s time to let others help. I’ve sent my blueprint for Ops to them, because I have ideas to get YOU involved - the airfield info update project, which I’ve just started without ‘approval’, is the first of them. I don’t even want to be on the DSG (powerless ‘Manager’ would be fine), and I wouldn’t even mind if someone else got Ops Director... as long as it meant I could get a reply from them!
This isn’t what the network is about. I’m tired of 5 months of offering to help, of waiting. It shouldn’t be like this, and I’ve tried so hard via the UK and Europe. I’ve run out of steam. And so I wanted you to know about it.
(P.S. If I’ve blown my chances of being ‘respected’ by the ‘old boys club’ management, then of course I’m sad, but not surprised. I love this network and have only ever tried to help. May this be my last attempt!)
By Yakov Dlougach
Real-world EGLL AIP does not explicitly prohibit fixed-wing VFR traffic:
However here on VATSIM VFR in the Inner zone is only allowed for helicopters. Any reasons for that?
By Richard Keen
Just like to say well done to all the controllers tonight for another fantastic Mid Week Gatwick event, really enjoyed the short flight from EGHQ .... although I did scare the TMA controller who thought I was holding wrong when infact the Aerosoft A330 flew it correctly which was parallel entry into the hold. They must have improved the Holds in the latest patch lol ....can't wait till the next event.
Thanks again all roll on the next one
By Joe Dobson
Posting this as I can't use the feedback form (requires individual CID and the controllers are all offline now).
Thanks for a great event. Special thanks to EGPH and EGCC controllers, MAN and Scottish Control North of Edinburgh. Bounced around EGCC, EGPH and EGPE in a KA350 and it was very good fun.
By Alex Hodgkinson
Would it be possible for individual members to see all their feedback that has been written against them? Both positive and negative?
Reason? I believe there is a significant amount of feedback that’s not being seen by the membership probably because no-doubt each piece of feedback needs individually actioning by an individual to then be seen by the member to which it relates. If we could review our own feedback then surely we can take it upon ourselves to improve?
I understand there will be some people who won’t want to see their negative feedback so perhaps an opt-out feature could be installed where the member won’t automatically be able to see their feedback unless it was given to them by the vatsim uk team? (As is the current process now aiui)