VATUSA 2021 New Year Resolutions

Manuel Manigault

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VATUSA 2021 New Year Resolutions
« on: January 02, 2021, 12:44:43 PM »
Happy New Year!

2020 was a very eventful year!  Active controllers increased 18% year over year.  If you do not count the first quarter, active controllers increased on average 27%!  Controlling hours were also in an uptrend year over year.   More than likely a significant part of the growth was due to the COVID pandemic.

My goal for 2021 is to continue to grow the Pilot and Controller communities plus grow the number of controlling hours by:

• Strengthening VATUSA’s relationship with the Network at large:  Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to Gunnar Lindahl - VATGOV1 for the first time one on one as VATUSA Division Director.  His focus is to make VATSIM more accessible, to place the Network in a more prominent position on the Flight Simulation stage, and to streamline training.  He believes that more active controllers result in more active pilots.  I support Gunnar’s goals!

VATUSA is a Division of VATSIM.  We are not on an island; we are part of something larger.  I encourage everyone to read VATSIM's New Year Message found here:

One small way ARTCCs can strengthen ties is for ECs to market their events on the VATSIM Events Calendar. This will increase our visibility to the rest of the Network, and it is important to the Board of Governors that we advertise our events in the myVATSIM Portal.

Federico has been supportive of VATUSA.  He has regularly reached out to make sure we have what we need to be successful.  He has held one Americas Regional Meeting so far.  I enjoyed meeting my Regional Teammates.  Divisions in the Americas Region share similar concerns.  I’ll bring back any best practices I learn to VATUSA.

• Strengthening ZHQ’s relationship with the ARTCCs:  Now that all the Region Managers have been hired, their workload should be more manageable.  Their visibility within their Regions should be high.  They should be maintaining controlling currency within their Region.  They should be holding Regional Town Halls on a regular basis.  I should not be seeing “I don’t know what my Region Manager is doing. I never see him/her around….” type of messages.  I have full confidence that Ryan Parry, Paul, Ryan Pitt, Cody, and Brandon will not allow this to happen!  The lines of communication between them are strong.  They’re competitive and strive for their regions to be the best they can be.

I have given ATM/DATMs the opportunity to review and provide feedback on every Divisional Policy I have rolled out thus far.  Their feedback has been helpful.  ATM/DATM policy reviews will continue to be standard operating practice.  Anthony and Meg have been in constant communication with the TAs to solicit feedback on training policies and practices.

Wes has built out a project management application that is keeping management on track.  His FAA Supervisory experience and discipline has been invaluable!

• Retaining New Members and C1s:  If VATSIM is successful with making the Network more accessible to new members, we should receive a sizeable number of new members.  Anthony and Meg are extremely hard at work reviewing quizzes, procedures, etc. to break down barriers to learning. 

I have been pleased with the TMU rollout.  I wish to grow the ACE Team and NTMO Team into an elite squad that will develop Tier 1/Tier 2 awareness.  These teams will be an avenue of progression for those who do not wish to become staff members or Instructors.   Ryan Geckler’s FAA-ZMA experience and Jeremy’s FAA Command Center exposure lends immediate credibility to this program.

• Building out capabilities of the VATUSA Website:  We are migrating to a different web hosting service to support the Centralized Training Record database, TMU integration, and future projects.  Thanks Blake and Brayden for your hard work!

• Strengthening ties between the Pilot and Controller community:  I plan to advertise a Pilot Liaison type of position Q1 2021.  The more we can support the transition from offline-exclusive pilot to online pilot, the more effective we will be in faithfully simulating the vNAS.  Strengthening ties with our pilot community – especially those with real world pilot experience will open the door to sharing of best practices that will make the hobbyist controller more effective.

Here’s to a prosperous 2021 for VATUSA!   My door is always open if you wish to share suggestions and feedback.