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Messages - Matt Bromback

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The Control Room Floor / Re: VATUSA Traffic Management Unit: Launch
« on: August 28, 2020, 06:51:36 AM »
Excellent questions asked Evan. I agree with you 100%

Lets be honest with ourselves here...TMU won't really fix anything if ARTCC's don't have the staffing, or the proper training, or poorly designed events. I have seen time and time again ARTCC's staff up for a bordering FNO and even with 3 to 4 controllers still go down the tubes because the controller(s) working the traffic were not trained properly on those type of traffic levels. Conversely I have seen ARTCC's plan and host events into airports that the AAR is so low that FNO level traffic is nearly impossible to fit in there.

I think overall a TMU program is great to have for VATUSA but take it with a grain of salt. Much better time and resources should be spent helping the ARTCC's deal with staffing, training issues and event planning. Perhaps a one or 2 man national TMU person can oversee an entire event such as FNO, big picture eyes on the system type of thing.

General Discussion / Re: Changes to FNOs for the time being
« on: April 13, 2020, 09:07:58 AM »
I do hope that VATUSA takes a bigger stake at this issue of FNO's. You will hear a lot of "Let the ARTCC's decide what is best for us..." Well unfortunately its been that way for years and one ARTCC might do a good job, while another one does not resulting in many fluctuations of users experience from pilots to ATC. We are in a unique time period right now for us and we need to adapt, even if its temporary. I think sometimes we forget we are here to provide a service to the pilots (ATC) and we should all try and work together to make sure of a good pilot experience.

Looking forward to what you all come up with.

General Discussion / Re: Changes to FNOs for the time being
« on: April 11, 2020, 09:46:55 AM »
Hot take: lets just get rid of FNO. I've been on this network for a long time and the story is always the same, some FNO got jacked up, people are mad, how do we fix it, we don't, rinse and repeat. We bang the same drum every so often and nothing fixes it, what's the point? We've done regional FNO's, we've had crossfires, here we still are, it's not a solution. Either accept that these events draw a lot of traffic and something bad is bound to happen or get rid of it. It's that simple. Until we have the right traffic management tools and policies, and dare I say training, FNO will always be an unorganized free for all that leaves somebody with their panties in a twist.

Honestly....your right. The FNO is outdated, unorganized, and right now IMHO it is impossible to come up with a workable solution to the traffic levels. Cancel/postpone them to June 26th which will allow time to come up with a long term solution to this problem. Let the entire country staff up every Friday from now until then and just the pilots fly where they want to fly. I bet the traffic will spread out immensely, mini light up america every Friday.

The Control Room Floor / Re: ACARS - CPDLC
« on: December 26, 2019, 07:04:34 AM »
How are facilities handling ATC codes for now? In the RW its one logon for the entire country, KUSA. However for VATSIM purposes are we doing same thing?

Events / Re: [22 Nov 2019 2400-0400z] Boston-Detroit Turkey Trot FNO
« on: November 02, 2019, 07:19:10 AM »
Keep it carb free.  Turbines and fuel injected recips only!

Someone find me a Sailboat!

New York (vZNY) / Re: [N90 OTS] Brandon Humbert’s (BH) N90 OTS
« on: August 26, 2019, 10:20:31 AM »
Is there a play on words I am missing here?
Or is this statement accurate?

All of N90 will be closed for this two hour period


Events / Re: Atlanta Real Ops (KATL) {6/29 2200z-0300z}
« on: June 27, 2019, 10:25:42 AM »
Are you a XP11 simmer and suffer with low frame rates?? (unable to maintain 20FPS)

Do you want to fly in the event and not effect spacing of other aircraft!??

Well download this plugin!

Miami (vZMA) / Re: Miami Mega Ball 2019 Event Statistics
« on: May 15, 2019, 04:43:31 PM »
So while you all discuss bookings, slots, etc...This event basically created a denial of service to certain traffic, which is exactly what Brin pointed out what should not or can't happen.

Be careful going down this path, once you start there is no turning back. Next event that does not offer "prizes, or money" you will see less and less traffic. Why would anyone want to fly in your event if your not giving away stuff for free? This is a very slippery slope, tread carefully.

Miami (vZMA) / Re: Miami Mega Ball 2019 Event Statistics
« on: May 13, 2019, 08:29:01 AM »
Do you have any data on ZTL delays? We had insane, almost un-workable amount of traffic leaving ATL for this event. I ran some quick numbers and came up with 122 departures vs 41 out of IAH.

I wish we had someone who could in real time determine putting aircraft on other routes into ZMA since the traffic load was so heavily on ATL vs IAH (which you don't know until the event is in action). We fall into these traps of "preferred routes, or event routes" It appears almost everytime this comes back around to actually NOT work.

My focus was on MIA so I don't have any data.

A suggestion would be to brief facilities on FYI routes that could be implemented dependent on a specific trigger like >15MIT passbacks from ZJX or >15min delays on ___ STAR. We utilized this during BOS FNO parking a JERES route for Potomac TRACON in the event that ROBUC became unavailable (which it did, and we implemented the route).

Another thing you could do is briefing and authorizing coded departure routes (CDRs) for quick flexible route options out of ATL. The thing to note, though, is the effect of the reroutes on the airspace (i.e., if ZMA is saturated, reroutes will not be effective if the enroute time delivers traffic too quickly to the Center).

Of course, all of these require (simple) coordination beforehand with all facilities involved.

I believe ZTL utilizes their STMC and ESP (Enroute Spacing) positions to handle CDRs, etc. ZNY uses a Departure Coordinator and the PIT to manage tactical reroutes; N90 has a Departure Coordinator TMC to manage N90 departures.

Thanks for the input!

So heres the thing with CDR's, they are great and expedite traffic flow out of a airport. We could of used some for this event, but who is to determine how many we issue? What is going to be the merge point for existing route (if any). How much MIT for either route(s). As far as I know we don't have any technology available for the network to deal with this. Talking about arrival aircraft rates, filling holes, etc...

As a example I was running TMU for a short time during the event, the times we issued some "STOPs to ZMA" for enroute saturation, it resulted in 40-70nm GAPS in the MIT. Plus we had some other internal issues that need to be addressed, but my point is I think its extremely hard to predict without software.

Unless are we OK with 30-40 A/C lines for takeoff at a airport like KATL for this type of event? resulting in 30-90 minute departure delays?

The summer is almost fully here and I can only expect this trend to continue in high traffic loads for events.

Miami (vZMA) / Re: Miami Mega Ball 2019 Event Statistics
« on: May 12, 2019, 11:35:54 PM »
Do you have any data on ZTL delays? We had insane, almost un-workable amount of traffic leaving ATL for this event. I ran some quick numbers and came up with 122 departures vs 41 out of IAH.

I wish we had someone who could in real time determine putting aircraft on other routes into ZMA since the traffic load was so heavily on ATL vs IAH (which you don't know until the event is in action). We fall into these traps of "preferred routes, or event routes" It appears almost everytime this comes back around to actually NOT work. 

Just make it so every controller can control anywhere per their GRP rating all across VATUSA. Then if you want a major airport checkout you seek out a instructor at that facility.

Frankly with the increased effort of the VATUSA training department, I think this is something that needs to be considered. I'd like anyone to show me valid information as to why an S2 in xxx ARTCC shouldn't be able to work a minor field in YYY ARTCC with a written SOP and a copy of airport charts in hand?

It's been suggested, but there are always a handful of vocal facilities that insist that their minor field is SO much more complicated that it couldn't possibly be worked without weeks of training. Maybe it's not a terrible idea if Division would take that under consideration with the training standardization and mandate minor field compliance with GRP...

In a perfect world all ratings would be equal, same knowledge, same experience, etc...
We both know this is not the case. I agree with you in principle but practically speaking it’s not that easy I believe.

The only issue I have heard about certain minors being “harder” then others is where complex airspace exists around the minor field. So in SOCAL/NORCAL and N90 are great examples of this just to name a few. It’s not necessarily working the tower position that is different, it’s underdtanding the airspace that surrounds it. Who do I have to call for release? What altitudes keep VFR traffic clear of a Bravo, etc...It’s much different then a minor airport with just a class C surrounding it that’s not busy, or a Class D airport with just center above. Everyone is so quick to say that would be a GRP violation but in my mind it’s not at all, there is some sense of local knowledge required for every position you work.

If my idea of work anywhere per GRP some serious thought needs to be put into what it takes to get a rating.

The Control Room Floor / Whats up with all these visiting agreements?
« on: April 30, 2019, 08:57:01 AM »
So recently in the past year I have seen the visiting agreements start to spring up everywhere all over VATUSA. Some of them go as extensively as allowing transfer of "Major Airport Certifications", others are just agreements for minor fields.

What is the point of being a member of a ARTCC then? If you can join one and visit 9 other places? Is this being used as a recruiting tool to say "hey join my ARTCC!!"??

I guess I am little old school in this but I say revert it back to the way it was done for years....
Just make it so every controller can control anywhere per their GRP rating all across VATUSA. Then if you want a major airport checkout you seek out a instructor at that facility.

New York (vZNY) / Re: Spring Break in the City: JFK FNO Debrief
« on: April 04, 2019, 01:06:42 PM »
Cool stuff Jeremy!

For my 2 cents here...

Everyone LOVES to focus on MIT into events...while that is important its not the be all / end all. I watched the time-lapse video and I can tell exactly what went wrong. Start at 2:20, first 7 seconds it seems manageable...Watch what happens at 2:27 - airplanes start going through localizer, missing instructions, etc...followed by look at 2:35-2:45 arrivals keep pouring into the TRACON from the NW and S. After this point you can start seeing the holds build up, and probably happening at the center level also.

My point is nobody says anything until its to late, it usually goes "Hey im swamped hold the traffic!" but after you watch this video you can clearly see this coming. I am sure you had a dedicated TMU person, but usually because of staffing they are either working something, or trying to look at big picture. This becomes very easy to miss the small stuff, in this case the TRACON situation.

For your next event I would (if you can) have a few people working TMU, one for Center, another for TRACON. Utilizing ground stops and MIT won't fix bad pilots, or go arounds, or any of the other daily issues we all face when working event traffic. They certainly help but don't overlook what is happening or what is about to happen in the TRACON. From my experience even the best controllers won't say anything to TMU until its to late.

General Discussion / Re: New Nassau/ZMA Airspace Agreement
« on: February 03, 2019, 08:45:54 AM »

Thank you Matt.  You did touch on a couple of them, although it sounds to me that you guys are playing it by ear for the moment - sort of making it up as you go along.  I will tell you that I disagree with your assessment of the Special Center arrangement; the fact that the three of you decided it wasn't warranted so there is no reason to have to follow those procedures just doesn't seem right.  But it is what it is and if someone with a higher pay grade than mine doesn't make an issue of it who am I too?

I will add something that I left off my other message because i didn't realize it until the FNO Friday night, but you seem to have picked up some of the Miami domestic airspace as well.  Is that correct?  I know I was handed off from ZMO to Nassau and back to ZMA for my decent and I don't remember that ever happening before. Is that true?

Yea like I said I am not sure about the special use airspace or exactly where it came from. All I know it is there and in my opinion not sure if its actually needed.

The FNO this week created some insights to the new airspace arrangement and some errors were found. I am in talks with ZMA in order to make the necessary changes so that the end result is the best for everyone, controllers and pilots.

General Discussion / Re: New Nassau/ZMA Airspace Agreement
« on: February 01, 2019, 11:08:17 AM »
Hi Matt.  Interesting stuff.  Can I ask a few questions?  Miami Oceanic is listed as a Special Center in the Global Ratings Policy, thereby requiring separate certification prior to being able to control there. The Letter of Agreement doesn't say that Miami will be providing that training, so how will Nassau controllers work that airspace?  Did you and Fady work that out yet?

Also, doesn't the Miami SOP require CTR certification prior to being eligible to staff ZMO?  If so are Nassau controllers going to be required to go through the ZMA training program in its entirety?

On the administrative side of this change, doesn't a Letter of Agreement between Divisions need to be signed off on by the Regional Director?  So I am guessing that Mark and Leemar have sent it to Nic for his approval?  The copy you posted doesn't have any signatures on it so I couldn't tell.  I know that he knows that the Global Ratings Policy falls under the jurisdiction of the Executive Committee's Letters of Agreement involving Special Airspace so he will have to send the Letter of Agreement to the Executive Committee for their approval. Or has all of this been done already? 

Lastly, has this been coordinated with NY ARTCC at all? Judging from the map it appears as if we will have to change approach procedures into what was domestic ZMA airspace but now belongs to Nassau. I'm guessing there will be new frequencies  and hand off points as well since you have taken over a good chunk of the airspace east of KMIA. This looks like it will also affect flight planning for the next Cross the Pond, should KMIA be selected, but we can deal with that when the time comes I guess.

Anyway, I guess a "good luck" is in order.  I hope the answer to my questions help bring a little clarity to what is happening.


Great questions!
First let me link you to the exact LOA signed off by both divisions here

Correct per GRP the ZMO Oceanic Sector is listed as a "special center" which is the equivalent of a Major Endorsement. It is my understanding this was done for the reason of ZMO_CTR working a large area and being able to provide ENROUTE services only (FL180-FL600, no top down service for Nassau or islands). To be honest I am not sure why it is even considered a Special Center since it is just enroute operations, perhaps ZMA can answer why it is a special center. After discussing this issue with Mark and VATCAR leadership we concluded that to work enroute airspace holding C1 rating per the GRP as standard that should suffice. Since Nassau Controllers would actually receive more training then ZMA controllers would, thus satisfying any doubt about the special center. Nassau Controllers are trained to work top down service, while ZMA controller's do not.

As per training the ZMO airspace is literally just a really big radar enroute environment, not a traditional "oceanic airspace" even though its called that. ZMA still owns, delegates, and controls that airspace. Just as the LOA states Nassau controllers only work it when ZMO is OFFLINE, thus providing in theory more ATC services for pilots when ZMO is offline, when they come online we automatically give airspace back to ZMO.

I am awaiting some talks with ZMA for a more detailed LOA to be made to address concerns of routing, altitude assignments, bordering FIR/ARTCC agreements, etc...But simply for now Nassau controllers are required to reference ZMA Enroute SOP's for their sector 58 and 62 which are the Oceanic sectors.

Hope this answers some of your questions for now.

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