If you are planning to apply to get ranked as official then you should really now take some time to read this because you will learn invaluable things about managing and growing the community. This is not just about getting the ability to kick and do ATC running your own course or how experienced you are at ATC or piloting. There are many things you need to know and you actually have many duties on a regular basis and this guide will be the easiest way to understand how it all works, and for you to best function in it as it can be complex to understand and the problems start when someone is not understanding what is going on, therefore we must press the importance of acquiring this knowledge to ensure that you will not only have fun doing ATC on our server, but also be a resource to us and functional for the pilots and users in general. Our policy next after being a open community is for the staff to enforce what we know in the core so the pilot does not have to put so much effort into it thereby making it way more easy to be a user on our server, the best way to do it is for you to acquire and possess the knowledge of how to act in certain situations and set a standard for things so all know what to do and what not to do.. The first thing you should take a good look at is the rules for the community and the staff rules.
The Staff Rules:
The rule and spirit of the server is that everyone is welcome, however naturally with some exceptions, to maintain the order of the server we have to use and enforce rules and you are the one that must do it. This must be done with care as you are dealing with humans which can be somewhat unpredictable, you will ALWAYS use the rules with discretion and will use them in the best interest of the users and other ATCs alike, you will be hearing this allot, be patient!
Remember that you are working under the name of this server and therefore a representative of this server, and that there will always be someone listening in, sometimes it’s better just to keep your mouth shut rather then sharing your bellyaching with everyone, your attitude reflects your thoughts, if your having a bad day, come back when you don’t c”,
#1 Be patient.
We cannot stress this enough, you are acting under our name be patient and polite at all time. We all started somewhere, so remembering this, if one is not up to par with their skills either pilot or atc….please HELP them, and be patient.
#2 Remove unwanted elements.
Remove any not listening, this is a ATC server and for those intending to use the ATC. Again use your “power” with discretion.
#3 Offer the best service able.
This is natural, if you are having a bad day, go off-line, we will be listening in and others to, don’t make us have a bad day to because you are having one.
#4 Communicate with other ATCs and Administrators
You may be asked to setup somewhere else if your airport is too far from the other active areas. Make sure that you talk to the others and actually put some thought into where you are setting up, and if you are not certain what`s best, or if someone moves in on your area without asking and your not OK with it, don’t be afraid to tell and make sure you do it before you get crossed and grumpy. Communication is the key.
#5 Respond and check flightstrips chat.
Some very important messages come through there, but keep personal chat private to not continually trigger the alert, and annoy users not part of your chat, which may cause them to mute the alert therby making it useless.
Rules are not meant to be used as a whip, but ensure order and the quality of the experience for all, keeping the noisy and clowning kids out, those who not understand English at all and many other examples with it, keep in mind, we will not be able to satisfy all, follow the rules of the community and general rules of what most would consider normal behavior and have little to worry about, this is not complex or technical. We cannot satisfy all!
All English/American speaking from birth must remember to show respect for those trying to speak the English language and technical terms, they do not intent to butcher your language and harden the understanding for you, if you give them your time, patience and understanding, they may become the most regular users you will ever see, we have many examples on this, people starting here speaking poorly English, almost no understanding, we gave of ourselves and now are as usable as the rest of you, the moral, it`s them speaking two languages, you must respect that fact and honor that they are trying, they can only improve.
Is somewhat similar to the one you find in real life inside a real airspace, however because of the limitations on crew and how many positions we in fact have to fill up, because of that fact we need to think a bit differently to create a function-able airspace for the pilots. As the ATCs are the foremost effective measurement to keep control over the chaos that can abrupt when someone or several do not obey the rules of a controlled airspace, the ATC then most of all should know what is going on and what is the practice for solutions in most cases, we will point out some that will make it easier to understand and practices we all should use.
Please rank yourself correctly in the flightstrips system, the lower the rank, the smaller the airport and responsibility at a large one, make sure you follow these rules please so the most experience are operating the most pressured positions. Divide yourselves by communicating with the other active controllers and supporting them!
Let`s refresh the hierarchy order of a airspace, Clearance\Delivery, Ground, Tower, Departure/approach, radar, Center. You can do the math yourself and see this will be hard if we are supposed to have more then one airport open, so to ensure you understand we will point out to keep it easy, it`s no point of over-complicating it for either you nor the pilots.
It all depends on how many you have available, at one airport:
One Controller – Ground/Tower/Radar and Spawning (118.75) frequency, tower frequency to operate on and 118.75 to check for spawners\starters and backup-com.
Two Controllers – Controller one: Ground frequency \ Spawning (118.75) Controller two: Tower frequency and Unicom (122.80)
Three Controllers – Ground see option 2, Tower see option 2, Radar\Controller frequency \ Unicom (122.80)
Four Controllers – Same as option three and add Center for area.
Do note that http://skyvector.com/ also provide with a frequency for most airports, however since there is not much room for it they have opted to use the most commonly used for the airports to use, you will also find this frequency where several available normally on your list of frequencies available in the controller-station. Please make sure your frequency correspond for the convenience of the users.
Use the airspace as intended, as only 1 controller, use the radar airspace for the airport and divide it naturally as intended when other ATC’s come in to help as marked on the map with lines in your radar-scope, either red or blue depending. Center take what is outside the ordinary airspace but if there is no center, widen you airspace to at least 50+nm or more outside the airport when it`s a big one, 30+nm on a small one.
NEVER list 118.75 as active frequency – use this as backup for reaching aircrafts not responding, there may be one and another that actually do not know how to operate the radio yet that may be valuable material for the server older people have trouble understanding computers, you may even get lucky and pick up a pilot not especially bright on computers and fsx.
You are the one that has to enforce that people don’t stomp on each-other when using the communication, first using the break command and then break-break to when fashionable to make your users understand, if they don’t however make them aware that they have repeatedly stomped on others transmission and ask for patience, do this while you are still not crossed and grumpy as most will have no problem with this said in a polite way if really needed.
If it’s several controllers on-line on active night, start setting up alternative airports, you will naturally do this close to the other active airport to ensure the ATC on duty and the pilots they will have options, not because YOU as a ATC personally favor another airport and setup 1000nm away making it impossible to work with either as ATC or pilot from the other point that`s active, take initiative, so when one day you choose to setup an airport other ATC’s join in around you instead of running their own course, make sure you offer your service, come in a open up far away after a ATC already is active and you just look stupid! c”.
Naturally there is no rule that says hierarchy first, it`s rather the other way around, options first, open up airports rather then have priority setting up the full hierarchy to service a airport with little or no traffic, then it`s better to create option, do this at your own discretion as there is no certain recipe how to manage it, adjust yourself and be patient enough to set-up a small airport for the pleasure of the pilots. Have the patience to have a small airport open close to the active one for the small-airplane pilots as this is not just ATC for airliners, we look upon this as a great act to offer this service also not only the large hubs and never-ending taxiways.
This is not a competition, support other ATC’s and build the structure around them or open up alternatives around them anything over 300nm is really not a point given many facts, disconnects, fsx freezing, etc..
Do not expect traffic to come running in at your airport the first hour you are open unless you are at one of the few that sees that much traffic focused on one spot, this is a game of coincident and numbers so one time you are doing duty you will experience more traffic then other, the important thing is to remember the traffic on-line when there is little traffic there to, setup and it may suddenly join in more traffic when more people discover it`s a live ATC on duty, even better with two some distance apart for departure and destination, maybe also back again, don’t make it to far, most people tend to do no more then 300nm it`s wise to keep under that, 150nm to 80nm is great for a optional airport. It does not even have to be big to receive traffic, just make sure the runways are long enough to at least support 737 and your usually good. The best way to get traffic at all is to be patient, there may suddenly come a wave that have discovered you and that your close by, they have to plan their route, set things up and get there to. Be Patient!
So who to kick and who do we ban?
It`s important to understand when to kick, do it as rare as possible and at the same time effectively keep those you do not want there out of the session for several reasons, one of them being order the other server capacity, about 2\3 joining through of randoms have no intentions using the ATC, do not understand English or have the general knowledge enough how to even operate the radio, please do not be afraid to kick some as they can rejoin, you should almost never use the ban function because of this. We`ve had people that after some time come back in again and have learned how to use the radio. We can’t teach all, we can’t reach all, we can’t be there for EVERYONE, as they has to be willing themselves outside the boundary of not understanding English. This is not a free flight server, when there is active ATC people should start joining within a reasonable time to the area the ATC are at, those most definitively not interested in what`s going on, remove to save up resources.
Those who are not listening in at all and thereby respond to the ATC, not responding is the first, most common and also most important people to remove, that being said, this is most common on ground traffic. The less common is those creating problems intentionally, those we ban, if they create circus on the radio, acting out and being kids spoiling the fun for others. We kick those who are not responding, we give them time to respond, if they move around on the ground without clearance, get them out and they can come back in when they want to contact you. There is also another group of users, those just listening in.. Make sure you keep note of aircrafts just staying on the ground for very long time after they joined in or those setting up in the tower without doing ATC, we really don’t need them here and there is only our administrators who should listen in here and thereby save capacity therefor this especially applies under event nights and active evenings, remove all that are just here to listen in and thereby leech bandwidth.
There is several ways to spot these users that you need to remove, some of those are obvious but here are some tips to remove those who are not that apparent, the first one would be to check the session info list combined with your radar information and check what frequencies they are using, the second would be to check flightplans on the Internet and the third to check the live world map. If they are to far away from your radar station they will not show up on the session list, therefor make a habit checking the live world map for those staying far outside the controlled space (2500nm+), they should not be there at all, and they obviously do know how to spawn other places.
So how about other ATCs?
If they are not listed as official, not qualified, too young or simply not acting seriously enough you will naturally have to act, the way to do it is to thank the person for their initiative and simply explain they are not experienced do be on this server as you will be have to at least class three with the understanding of ILS and second you will have to be over 15 years old, speak understandable English and show a level of maturity making you able to handle most users without any clashes. If they however should not respond, remove them by force, especially if not following our rules and fall under these practices mentioned here. We will enforce the practice of making -any- non-listed ATC to have to ask for consent for any of the staff before setting up in the future.
Use your discretion because this is where we pick up most the ATCs, make sure they feel welcome if they are someone that may be material for this server and you as a staff always have a responsibility not only promoting the server but also pick up new ATCs and give the direction properly where to contact us, like in the become staff page.
Staff don’t correct other staff, period. You can ask them for their cooperation but you never enforce, kick or ban another staff, that`s not acceptable. The administrators correct staff, contact those listed as administrator or use the form for complaints on staff if there should be anything you would like to share that is not caused by personal issues but rather because they are breaking our rules and thereby acting out badly towards our users in our name, we urge people to use this practice to keep the staff aware of the fact that we put our users first. Do not worry however as this has rarely every caused someone to get demoted and yes we can spot kids just our to burn you, no worries. For those wanting to complain about something, think through it please, so we don’t use our time on minor issues not really needing to be addressed, however we do appreciate if someone reports staff breaking rules who are supposed to be the ones enforcing them when needed.
The only exception is when they act up on the communication demanding you to act.
The Chat Box
Don’t be afraid to monitor the chat box and help those in need, but beware some will not respond due to not listening, or not knowing English, or not having a mic ,but please refrain from ATC’ing from the chat box. That being said keep a eye on the chatbox no matter and use it when it`s silent enough for it, if not don’t get hung up in it and if a pilot has no mic we then have to warn them they must come back next time with a mic, very important that they get this message as this is a ATC server but also important to try make someone a regular by being friendly and welcoming. It’ s wise to warn you about how you can mistake kids for material worthy of this server so be advised, you may waste your time c”.
It`s no use really saying something like, the airport: information ********** is open in the chatbox as it is spammed every 1th minute by the reminder of what frequencies are active let the bot do it`s job and you do yours, be patient enough to wait for the traffic and do not push them into using you as soon as your opened up. Let`s trust that the time all people understand our system that you are the first to practice as the standard.
If you are ready?
Maybe you think that was a bit to much information? No worries, you will get used to the system we have setup here and hope you enjoy it as much as we do. So where do you go from here? Well if you are not yet cleared by any staff you should start at that point, are you cleared and on the waiting to be approved list then you can go ahead and start by setting up airport, it`s not given you must setup at the starting airport, but we suggest to setup nearby, use http://skyvector.com/ to find a suitable position, it`s almost never wise to setup from the starting point or the other active airports,( work with what you have, support the other ATC’s) like running your own course setting up a small airport in Dubai when the other two is setup in Netherlands, it`s simply too far to be sensible. You should put thought into it so the user does not have to, making this server as user friendly and fun as possible when you have acquired live ATC and our concepts keeps moving everything around so we don’t get stuck in a rut. Remember to be there for the users and offer service to all that asks question when you have a chance to, be patient! Be of service and practice ATC, remember not to compete with any other ATCs but rather be of support and offer options for the users, create traffic for other ATCs if it`s silent. Have fun challenging yourself, we`ll finish this of with a tip:
The best, most valuable and most appreciated ATC’s is those who are patient enough to setup a small airport and be satisfied with some traffic throughout the evening rather then being the traffic hungry, impatient one that must have traffic to even be here, that leaves when the traffic go to other active, do not, this is simply a numbers game, you will get traffic back, this evening it may be you who get less, next time it may the other way around, you may curse the silence then but when it`s hell loose on a big airport you wish yourself back to it.. The patient ones that build traffic during the day for the guys that come in on the evening, awesome, keep it going for those coming in after you! Do NOT open up a position unless you have plans for certain to stay for a while. To bail here is like the kids faking emergency for priority. Let people get some time to understand you are actually open and then they have to fly there too, patience!