A .PDF downloadable version of this is also available HERE.


1.1 Document Information

Document Information
Department Winnipeg FIR Staff
Type Publication
Version of Document 1.0.0
Issue Date 26 May 2020
Identification 2020 Spring Meeting Minutes

 

1.2 Revision Records

Revision Date Description of Change Author(s)
1 26 May 2020 Initial Creation NP

 

1.3 Attendance

Position Name Initials
FIR Chief (ZWG1) Nate Power NP
Deputy Chief (ZWG2) Kolby Dunning KD
Events Coordinator (ZWG4) Luke Wightman LW
Facility Engineer (ZWG5) Dario Marnika DM
Webmaster (ZWG6) James White JW

 

1.4 Apologies

Ethan Mason, FIR Chief Instructor (ZWG3) – EM.

 

2.1 Welcome

NP opened the meeting at 2000 EDT. The meeting was held on the official VATCAN TeamSpeak server. It was mentioned that this was the first staff meeting for the current Winnipeg FIR Staff.

 

2.2 Web Update

JW has been working on the tech-side of the new Winnipeg Site, while KD works on the front-end. The new Winnipeg FIR website uses CZQO Core, but is being modified to work more effectively for an FIR versus an Oceanic region. JW plans to add specific functionality for specific roles (eg. FIR Staff adding and removing members.)

 

2.3 Event Coordination

LW has been in the position for a handful of events now, and is continuing to plan future ones. Along with the nationwide event on June 6th, there is also current coordination with Virtual Air Canada.

NP suggested contacting ZLC/ZMP regarding crossfire events for the future, also suggesting an inter-FIR event like a Fly-In to Winnipeg requiring no other FIR/ARTCC coordination. Noted to schedule events on non-typical days (Fridays, Saturdays) to avoid competition with other events like FNOs.

KD also mentioned the feasibility of creating/reviving a weekly event, “Winnipeg Wednesdays”. NP mentioned that this event would likely not require sign ups as this event would be so frequent it could be based on ability day-of. Controller numbers are now at a point where this may be possible and the FIR Staff will begin looking into the possibility of a regular FIR-wide event.

 

2.4 Chief Instructor Notes / Student Training

EM sent a memo to the FIR on his behalf, noting specifically:

Winnipeg current has the following student numbers:

  • 7 Student 1
  • 4 Student 2
  • 4 Student 3

The FIR has also promoted three (3) students to the C1 rating since the beginning of 2020.

EM’s goals for the FIR is to have all students currently awaiting instruction to start their training as soon as possible. Noted that Winnipeg recently received a new I1 rating, and KD has taken on instruction of new students to assist in the workload for the current few instructors with time to teach. 

There are currently five (5) students in the Winnipeg FIR training queue, as well as a few who are awaiting Visiting Controller status certification.

EM plans to have a Winnipeg FIR Computer Based Training (CBT) system up and running shortly, which would house all “classroom” training for the FIR – therefore easing the need for some discussions and giving students the ability to learn at their own pace and go back to see notes if needed.

There is also currently a goal to have one or two instructors receiving training to conduct OTS exams for the Winnipeg FIR in June, and the OTS format will be updated to be more formal, as well as including more ways to record exam data (voice recording and scope logging) for training logs.

NP mentioned that the FIR is currently in a very good position for the training of new students – the current statistics are not worrying, there is not a large queue at this time and the FIR continues to grow at a steady pace.

KD noted the need for more Sweatbox abilities, as there are currently limited options for training students on the scope. Also is willing to teach Instructors/Mentors how to use the EuroScope Sweatbox format (versus TWRTrainer) as it allows better navigation for aircraft.

NP brought up training hour regulations, and that while the FIR does not want to hold students back, there is a need to have a certain amount of hours prior to beginning training for the next rating. These regulations will be made public once the FIR confirms details.

KD and JW suggested that the number of hours required on a S1 rating to begin S2 training should be increased, perhaps to 25 hours as this is the first rating a student learns. JW noted the idea to do a review with each student of their current position prior to beginning training on a new rating to confirm they are ready. While exams are not ideal, NP noted the ability to use some exams in the CBT system to perhaps do this.

 

2.5 Sector File Upgrade

DM says that the team is making good progress on the new Winnipeg Sector files – while no release date is set, the files can likely be completed by mid-July. 

NP mentioned that there will be a need to set a release date as neighbouring FIR/ARTCCs will need to be aware as they may need changes to be made on their end. However, this date should not be set until the files are totally complete to ensure time can be allocated to neighbours if needed. 

The new files will be promoted fairly heavily, NP will head this operation, and will build a CBT program for upgrading if needed for students.

KD added that there is an issue with dedicated sectors (West Low, East High, etc.) regarding frequencies being needed or needing changes as the current ones cause issues with sector ownership. The team approved a motion to create alternate frequencies for these new sectors – KD will lead this alongside of DM, making sure frequencies do not interfere with other neighbouring FIR/ARTCC frequencies.

JW noted that the current Winnipeg sector files are messy and slow, as well as confusing to use upon initial installation. The plan is for the new files to be much easier to install and configure. 

According to KD, the new files will have more detailed ground screens, as well as include Class G airspace – EM will be notified by NP to create training for this for any qualified controllers/students. Loading times for the new files are significantly lower than the current files.

FIR member Liam Shaw is also creating road maps and coastlines within the Winnipeg Metro, KD will integrate this into the new files as it may be helpful for VFR coordination. However, it was confirmed that following a vote, large coastlines will not be included in the sector file in an attempt to reduce the load the new files will have on controllers’ computers.

NP mentioned that someone requested the ability to view weather radar coverage in case of weather deviations – DM will look into this possibility for the new files, likely using the TopSky plugin for EuroScope.

 

2.6 FIR Chief Update

NP, while now able to delegate work to staff members, is now working to contact all controllers who have requested to visit the Winnipeg FIR and is now coordinating their training himself now that there are other mentors and instructors who can work with new students. Besides that, NP continues to work on normal day-to-day operations of the FIR.

KD has been working with all staff members to assist them with their current projects, including the new sector files and the new website.

 

3.1 New Website Round-Table Discussion

NP noted that all features on the current WinnipegFIR.ca website should be integrated into the new site, perhaps upgraded. A new training note system would be optimal, however Trello remains functional for the time being is this is not feasible. 

The ability for a controller to see a certain position they signed up for in an event, as well as their time-slot was also requested, JW says this should not be difficult to implement. This means that once event schedules are complete, controllers can see their assigned slot(s) instead of relying on Discord/TeamSpeak to contact all controllers. JW added that he could add a “Events Applied For” and “Confirmed Slots”. KD added that a UI similar to ZMP’s system of showing scheduled times would be good, however controllers should not have to sign up to control outside of events.

NP added a training request system is in need, and while EM has been working to try adding one to the current website, this has been difficult as the website is limited by WordPress. Ideally, this system would need to make it so students can only contact their instructor or mentor, as it could be problematic having multiple instructors working with one student. 

NP pointed out perhaps even just a dashboard UI showing a student their instructor, as well as a contact link if that was easier. JW added this option would not be difficult to implement.

LW pointed out that the main need for the website event-wise would be the aforementioned event signup UI, and the calendar that currently is on the Winnipeg FIR website.

NP added that the Winnipeg FIR Blog should be promoted, as it shows a live server status page, and this is where FIR Staff can update members on web notes when needed. Since the blog is on its own server, it will not go down if the main site does.

KD mentioned that perhaps a Discord Bot should be created to auto-post in the fir-announcements room whenever a new post is made on the website’s FIR News page. This could also be made to notify controllers when a new sector file is released. JW also plans to auto-send the Webmaster a copy of any error logs when website users encounter issues. 

DM inquired on the ability to add a changelog to each AIRAC update for sector files. It was agreed upon that each update should include a small list of any major updates, perhaps a link to a full log if a controller would like to read into updates.

 

3.2 FIR General Policy Creation

KD moved that the staff should create an FIR General Policy, and that the whole FIR should work together to form this, taking from the current last section of the FIR Standard Operating Procedures. This would include controlling hour requirements, defining regulations for controller communication (Discord, TeamSpeak, etc) among others.

 

4.1 Closing

NP thanked the staff for attending and contributing – KD moved to close the meeting at 2051 EDT – the motion was approved unanimously.

Categories: FIR News