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Messages - Shane O'Neill

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Events / [07/06/2024] Cross the Americas: Northbound 2024
« on: February 12, 2024, 04:40:38 PM »
This event blocks out July 6 from 1400z to July 7 at 0500z.

News / VATUSA Events January 2024 Update
« on: January 21, 2024, 04:42:35 PM »
VATUSA released the following update after recent events in the division:

Hello everyone and happy Sunday,
I wanted to provide an update on the current state of events in the division and some steps that we will be taking moving forward.

First and foremost, the changes moving forward are mainly a result of one thing: record traffic numbers in the division. We have seen this both for events and in weekly movements in 2024. Between 2020 and the end of 2023, VATUSA traffic numbers exceeded 30,000 once in a given week. In 2024, the weekly traffic count exceeded 34,000 every week thus far. This also represents a 20% increase year-over-year. To clarify, January and February are already the busiest months of the year, but this year is an additional 20% on top of that.

The division, specifically me, apologizes for not better forecasting the increased traffic levels and the harm they would cause to events. I erred on the side of being less cautionary, which set some facilities up for failure.

Due to these incredible numbers, and the unlikelihood that they will return to a 2023 level, the division must take action. This action will mainly affect Friday and Saturday events. Specifically, all FNOs for the first half of 2024 will be analyzed weeks in advance, and events that will likely result in problems for controllers (at both the home facility and supports), pilots, and/or TMU personnel, will be modified. Saturday events will also be analyzed, mainly to ensure they do not burn out facilities. For example, facilities who schedule a Saturday event the day after their tier 1 has an FNO should expect their Saturday event to be moved.

Additionally, the division will work closely with facilities to ensure their FNO is set up for success in the weeks leading up to the event. The division will solicit subdivision input for the future of FNOs in April prior to bidding and any DP003 revision.

The division is also recommending that ECs reconsider their facility's events calendar for at least February and March. We encourage ECs to cancel events if they have more than two scheduled for a given month, especially if you see that a tier 1 has a big event that you need to support.

Please remember: with traffic levels as high as they are, facilities do not need to post events to the calendar as much as they have in the past. Staffing up can provide high volume periods while ensuring your tier 1s are not overworked. This is true for the indefinite future, not just January through March. We must prioritize quality over quantity; the community does not need an event every Saturday or Sunday, for example.

The division also understands that as of late, the DCC Discord, specifically TMR discussions, have not been conducive to a productive work environment. As such, we will no longer be having TMR discussions after events. Instead, I, or the NOM, will collect statements from all ECs, controllers, any pilots who wish to make themselves heard, and all TMU personnel involved will post the quotes (with minimal to no edits) in a post event report that will include data and statistics. There will be no discussions or commentary for the post event report in a public medium; all comments or questions should be sent directly via private means.

I appreciate all of your support as we work to adapt with the current state of traffic levels and events in the division. Please remember, we are here to support you, and I encourage you to come to me with any concerns. I am always available to assist with event planning or strategy.

Thank you all,
Shane O’Neill VATUSA5


There are so many airports with commercial service in the United States, but pilots often focus on the large hubs, such as Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, or Chicago. On February 18 from 2300z to 0300z (6pm - 10pm ET), we're going to feature some of the airports around the US that have plenty of commercial service, but are often neglected. VATUSA is proud to partner with SimWorks Studios for this edition of Hidden Gateways. SimWorks Studios will be giving away two aircraft to pilots who fly into or out of an event field during the event duration, and one aircraft to a controller participating at an event field (or the overhead center) for more than two hours. Giveaway terms are below.

Featured Fields:
  • Charleston (CHS)
  • Corpus Christi (CRP)
  • Fresno (FAT)
  • Spokane (GEG)
  • Green Bay (GRB)
  • Indianapolis (IND)
  • Macon (MCN)
  • Norfolk (ORF)
  • Chicago/Rockford (RFD)
  • Fort Myers (RSW)
  • Santa Barbara (SBA)
  • Springfield (SGF)

Giveaway Terms and Conditions
There will be two airplanes created by SimWorks Studios given away to pilots who participate in the event. Participating in the event is defined as making a full stop landing or a takeoff at one or more airports listed as featured in this posting. Flying into more than one airport will not increase the amount of entries into the lottery, nor will it give a pilot a better chance to win. To win, the pilot must use their real name to connect while flying in the event so that the user can be located. Discord will be used to contact the winning pilot, and to claim the reward the pilot must supply SimWorks Studios with their email address associated with their FS2020/Microsoft account.
There will be one airplane created by SimWorks Studios given away to a controller who participates in the event. Participating in the event is defined by controlling at an event field for at least two hours on DEL, GND, TWR, APP, DEP, or by controlling at the overlying enroute facility (CTR). The controller must connect to the network with their real name to win so that the user can be located. Discord will be used to contact the winning controller, and to claim the reward the controller must supply SimWorks Studios with their email address associated with their FS2020/Microsoft account.

Events / [03/02/2024] 24 Hours of VATSIM
« on: December 17, 2023, 01:34:24 AM »

The first 2024 edition of 24 Hours of VATSIM will be held on March 2, 2024. VATUSA will have three legs featured in the event.

Leg 7: CYVR->KDEN departing 2300-0100z (6-8pm ET)
Leg 8: KDFW->KPHX departing 0000-0200z (7-9pm ET)
Leg 9: PHTO->PHLI departing 0000-0200z (7-9pm ET)

Slots will open on February 18 at 1700z.

Events / [06/28/2024] ZDV FNO
« on: November 28, 2023, 09:53:14 PM »
ZDV FNO featuring DEN

Events / [06/21/2024] VATUSA FNO
« on: November 28, 2023, 09:52:54 PM »

Events / [06/14/2024] ZHU FNO
« on: November 28, 2023, 09:52:16 PM »

Events / [06/07/2024] ZMP, ZSE
« on: November 28, 2023, 09:51:52 PM »

Events / [05/17/2024] ZSE, ZOA, ZLA, ZDV FNO
« on: November 28, 2023, 09:50:24 PM »

Events / [05/10/2024] ZID, ZME FNO
« on: November 28, 2023, 09:49:55 PM »

Events / [05/03/2024] ZAB FNO
« on: November 28, 2023, 09:49:28 PM »

Events / [04/12/2024] ZAU FNO
« on: November 28, 2023, 09:46:45 PM »
ZAU FNO featuring ORD

Events / [04/05/2024] VATUSA FNO
« on: November 28, 2023, 09:46:20 PM »

Events / [03/29/2024] ZLC, ZDV FNO
« on: November 28, 2023, 09:45:52 PM »
ZLC, ZDV FNO featuring SLC and DEN

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