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Messages - Manuel Manigault

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News / Re: Welcome the new ZTL Senior Staff Members
« on: August 26, 2023, 03:57:53 PM »

News / New VATUSA Division Director Selected
« on: February 04, 2023, 06:53:56 PM »
I'm pleased to announce Brandon Barrett as the next VATUSA Division Director!  Brandon has been a VATUSA member since 2011.  He has held numerous staff positions such as ZHU ATM, VATUSA Deputy Division Director for Training and VATUSA Deputy Director for Air Traffic Services.  Recently Brandon became a Supervisor.  He has a good rapport with VATUSA members and staff.   I am confident he will assist me with online activity growth, ATC provisioning, and ATC training within VATUSA.


Thank you Anthony for your contributions as VATUSA Division Director.  You have provided a good foundation for Brandon to build off of.  I look forward to continuing to see you on the scopes and in the community!

News / Re: Denver's New Air Traffic Manager!
« on: January 20, 2023, 04:58:51 PM »

NOTAMs / POSITION POSTING: United States Division Director, VATUSA1
« on: July 17, 2022, 12:00:05 PM »
POSITION VACANCY: United States Division Director, VATUSA1

Applications are now being accepted for the position of Division Director for VATUSA.
The Division Director is an important link between the "front line" of the network and the VATSIM Americas Region. The duties listed below are intended for further delegation, in part, but ultimate responsibility lies with the Division Director. A Division Director is expected to be able to commit to at least 2 years to the job, and should take this into consideration before applying.
REPORTS TO: VATSIM Vice President - Americas, VATGOV3
RESPONSIBLE FOR: Management of the VATUSA Division, including but not limited to, the following duties:
 - Providing strong leadership, direction and vision to Division staff
 - Monitoring, reviewing, and enhancing all existing Division programs, including training and membership
 - Inviting applications and appointing qualified personnel to fill vacant staff positions
 - Work to improve the infrastructure of the Division, including the website and social media
 - Regularly reviewing ATC progression, and ensuring that upgrade recommendations for qualified candidates are acted on promptly
 - Ensuring that an online presence of ATC is maintained which encourages maximum coverage, looking for growth opportunities
 - Establish and maintain partnerships with Virtual Airlines, developing relationships for continued collaboration
 - Ensuring that events are arranged regularly, both within the division and in cooperation with adjacent Divisions and Regions
 - Compile quarterly Division reports to the VP - Americas Region
 - Other tasks and projects assigned by the VP - Americas Region
MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: The successful applicant will meet the following minimum standards:
 - A familiarity with United States ATC operations and regulations
 - Held a previous leadership position on the network; demonstrated leadership skills in previous staff roles
 - A familiarity with pilot operations and programs
 - Minimum of C1 rating, and be in good standing within the VATSIM Network
 - No major suspensions or suspension involving questionable morals or integrity
 - A commitment to maintain a strong online presence throughout their appointment
 - The ability to communicate clearly and professionally through various mediums to people of different experience levels and cultures
 - An active member of the network
 - Fluent in the English language
 - Excellent problem solving skills
Please email your CV including relevant real-world experience, elements of your VATSIM history, including any staff positions and cover letter to m.manigault[at]

Applications will be accepted until 2359Z on 24 JULY 2022. Any applications received after this deadline will not be considered.

I am excited to congratulate Ray Salvagnini on his selection as the new Central Region Deputy Division Director.  Ray has been a VATSIM member since 2008.  He has almost five years of ARTCC senior staff experience including 2.5+ years as ZDC ATM.  He has a strong grasp on issues facing the Central Region, and he presented an Action Plan that is in alignment with the Division.

I wish to thank all those who applied.  We had a strong pool of candidates to choose from.  The level of interest in this position was encouraging.

Please join me in congratulating Ray on his selection!

USA Division Updates / From the Desk of VATUSA1
« on: May 29, 2022, 11:28:10 AM »
Hi everyone.  In February, I shared with you VATUSA's 2022 initiatives.  Here is an update on our progress.

Training Services: The Academy is successfully weeding out those who may not have the appetite for the work that is involved in transitioning from an OBS to a S1 and beyond.  2022 YTD OBS growth is -15%.  2022 YTD S1 growth is +15%.  OBS30+ population shrunk by 18% 2021 YE and is currently flat.

Work continues on a process to give new members multiple options for their initial ARTCC choice.  ATMs are working on ARTCC descriptions to aid new members in making informed decisions on their initial choice.

Support Services: Congratulations to Brandon Wening on his selection as Deputy Director - Support Services.  Congratulations to Shane Friedman on his selection as Staff Development Manager.  Congratulations to Alexandria Robison on her selection as Technical Manager (formally Data Services Manager).  VATUSA Events Manager interviews are in progress.  Second half FNO bidding process should be beginning soon.  We are considering piloting some Single Facility FNOs.

Air Traffic Services: ATM Advisory Board is in pilot.  First meeting was successful, but it pointed out that we need to further nail down the structure and responsibilities of the Board. We will be meeting monthly to start in order to properly set up the process.  Once the process is established and we work through the backlog of issues, Board meetings will be probably be reduced to bi-monthly.  My first impressions are that the Board will become an established part of the Division.  I'll know more for sure after the next meeting or two.

With the Board in pilot and based on feedback from ATMs, General Members, ZHQ Staff Members; I have decided to terminate the Region Manager concept, leave the VATUSA General Manager (VATUSA2) position unfilled, and reduce the number of regions to three (Western/Central/Eastern).  Region Managers are now known as Deputy Division Directors - Air Traffic Services.  Their currency requirements have been reduced to match other ZHQ Staff Members. The DDD - ATS's as a group will be overseeing Air Traffic Services.  As their positions become more strategic, day to day tactical decisions will be passed on to the ATMs.  If this process is successful, the ATMs will feel more invested in the Division.  They will be able to confidently champion the Division's vision to their ARTCC members because they will have a direct hand in developing that vision.

With the reduction of regions to three, Cody Cochrane and Paul Semeran will be leaving ZHQ.  Both of them did a great job as Region Manager.  They just got caught in the change of direction that Air Traffic Services is experiencing.  The position is no longer the same position they signed up for.  I have no doubt that either or both of them will be back at ZHQ in time if they so choose.  I would like to see a well-established VATUSA ATM with demonstrated results apply for the open DDD-ATS Central role.

Effective June 1, 2022  Air Traffic Services will be structured as follows:

Western Region - Rick Rump
  • PCF
  • ZLA
  • ZOA
  • ZSE
  • ZLC
  • ZDV
  • ZAB

Central Region - Open
  • ZMP
  • ZAU
  • ZKC
  • ZID
  • ZFW
  • ZHU
  • ZME

Eastern Region - Brandon Barrett
  • ZOB
  • ZBW
  • ZNY
  • ZDC
  • ZTL
  • ZJX
  • ZMA

In closing, I wish to thank you all for taking in so much change in such a short period of time.  Change can be unsettling.  Anyone who has been with VATUSA for a significant period of time, fully understands the issues the Network and the Division are facing.  They have been established issues for many years.  I am attempting to be bold in my proposed solutions.  Time will tell if these solutions are effective or not.

Even with all of these changes, there are some bedrock principles that I rely on in my decision making process:

  • A new member's controlling journey leads to a personal relationship between the member and a Mentor/Instructor.  I still fondly think of my relationship with my first Instructor.
  • A controller's enthusiasm for VATUSA/VATSIM is greatly influenced by their Air Traffic Manager.
     Are you in a lively and enthusiastic ARTCC, or are you in an inactive ARTCC where you feel alone and isolated?
  • In a top down environment, the C1 and S3 rated members are the most valuable.  They can provide the most air traffic controller services.  We have to strive to be top heavy in S3s and C1s to meet the growing online pilot demand.

Have a Happy Memorial Day weekend!

News / POSITION VACANCY: VATUSA Deputy Division Director - ATS
« on: May 28, 2022, 08:04:49 PM »
Applications are now being accepted for the position of Deputy Director for Air Traffic Services (Central Region)


RESPONSIBLE FOR:  Management of the Central Region consisting of ZAU, ZFW, ZHU, ZID, ZKC, ZME, ZMP


  • Assists the Division Director with identifying, developing, and implementing strategic goals and initiatives, and general support and supervision of all staff members within VATUSA-ATS
  • Maintains an active online presence within the Division, Region, and on the VATSIM Network
  • Supervises operations at assigned ARTCCs
  • Coordinates with adjacent DDD-ATSs on inter-regional operations and issues
  • Administers the selection of ARTCC ATM candidates using established guidelines
  • Ensures assigned ARTCCs comply with Division Administrative Policies
  • Coaches and mentors the subordinate ARTCC ATMs at assigned ARTCCs
  • Functions as a VATUSA staff member and attends meetings as necessary
  • Reviews the VATUSA Forums, VATUSA Discord, and VATUSA Social Media Channels regularly


  • Active member of the network in good standing for at least 12 months
  • Considerable experience and success in an ARTCC Senior Staff Role (ATM/DATM/TA)
  • Ability to effectively lead in a team environment
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • No significant disciplinary record or history of unprofessional behavior
  • Minimum rating of C1


  • A minimum of twenty-four months current VATUSA ATM Experience
  • Demonstrated project management skills
  • Demonstrated possession and utilization of a high degree of energy, commitment, and dedication
  • Demonstrated qualities of understanding, patience, and maturity

To be effective, the successful candidate must devote a considerable amount of time to the position. VATUSA Staff Members must spend 9 hours minimum per calendar quarter connected to the live network in any capacity as a Pilot, Controller, Mentor, Instructor, or Supervisor. Candidates must commit to devoting the time required. Only those who fully understand and meet the requirements and will make the appropriate commitment should apply. Candidates can expect an initial evaluation of their application after which they may be contacted for a comprehensive interview.

Interested members should submit their application via this link by Tuesday June 7, 2022 2359z

News / Re: VATUSA selects new Technical Manager
« on: March 31, 2022, 08:56:03 AM »
Congratulations Allie!!

News / Re: New Events Coordinator at ZME
« on: March 28, 2022, 01:46:26 PM »

News / Re: Washington has a new DATM!
« on: March 28, 2022, 01:46:04 PM »

News / Re: Oakland selects new DATM
« on: March 28, 2022, 01:45:40 PM »

News / Re: New ATM at ZOB
« on: March 28, 2022, 01:45:12 PM »
Congrats Aidan!

USA Division Updates / Division Meeting Minutes Jan 31, 2022
« on: March 14, 2022, 08:18:37 PM »
Meeting minutes from ZHQ January 31, 2022 meeting are attached.

News / Re: New DATM at ZSE!
« on: March 05, 2022, 10:55:15 AM »

News / Please Welcome our New Division Support Manager!
« on: February 25, 2022, 05:25:07 PM »
Please join me in congratulating Brandon Wening on being selected as the new VATUSA Support Manager (VATUSA4). Brandon has previously served as the Fort Worth TA, both the Denver DATM and ATM, and most recently as the Events Manager and Pilot Community Manager for VATUSA. During his time in VATUSA, Brandon has been able to improve the event planning process by redesigning how FNOs are scheduled, created and fostered a collaborative environment for all the VATUSA Events Coordinators to interact with each other in, and has created division partnerships with pilot organizations committed to improving the user's experience on the network.

Brandon has plenty of great ideas on how to improve the division's communication with its members and staff, fostering a professional and more collaborative environment within the division, and how to continue developing the relationship between the division and pilots. This position will oversee and manage the VATUSA Support Services team, in addition to acting as the central point of contact for communication from the division. Brandon's drive for success and continued willingness to improve foreshadows a bright future for the VATUSA Support Services team.

Please join me in congratulating Brandon on his new role!!

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