[1st April 2023] Cross The Pond Westbound - Discussion Thread

Cross The Pond - Wesbound 2023

Welcome to the discussion thread for CTP Westbound 2023!

We are pleased to announce the return of Cross the Pond, this time for a westbound journey, taking off on April 1st, 2023.

Cross The Pond is the largest and longest-running event on VATSIM (over 20 years). The event is biannual flying between the two sides of the Atlantic Ocean - Westbound in the spring and Eastbound in the autumn. Hundreds of pilots light up the virtual skies, and dozens of controllers burn both ends of the candle to provide professional ATC service over the Ocean and the Continents.

Our teams of volunteers are already working in the background for this next edition, so we will be posting updates soon after the start of 2023!

To keep in touch with news regarding the event, you can follow us on our social media and look for the hashtag #CTP23W
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vatsimctp
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vatsimctp/

We also have a dedicated discord server, which is going to get busier as we approach show-day. To join us, head over to ctp.vatsim.net and follow the instructions on your screen.


CTP Update

With preparations for the event starting to kick off behind the scenes, we wanted to give you an appxomate timeline of when things are going to happen:

  • Airport voting - first half of February
  • Airport announcement - second half of February
  • Opening of the lottery signup - first week of March
  • Something something about a pilot webinar :eyes:[image] - first week of March
  • Some help for those pilots who are not so familiar with the ocean - first half of March
  • Pilot bookings are available - 1.5-2 weeks before the event
  • Slot confirmation window - first half of the week before the event
  • Showtime - April 1st!!!

Although this is a rough guidline, we have prepared some dates. Bear in mind that they might move slighly by a day or two, depending on various other factors. To see the full list of dates, click HERE.

With this, we also have been asked who is behind the organisation of the event. We have prepared a small document, describing the structure of CTP, who are the faces behind the slots, routes, and alkward jokes on social media, as well as some vacancies that you might be interesting to apply for :wink:[image] To view this, click HERE.

If you have went through the whole document (cookie for you if you did :cookie:[image]), you will have noticed that we are looking for two people to fill in the Data & Logistics Assistant and Pilot Training & Outreach Lead on the Event Team. If you would like to get involved, send an email with a quick description of how you can benefit the event to ctp(at)vatsim.net and we will get back to you.

To keep in touch with news regarding the event, you can follow us on our social media and look for the hashtag #CTP23W
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vatsimctp
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vatsimctp/

We also have a dedicated discord server, which is going to get busier as we approach show-day. To join us, head over to ctp.vatsim.net and follow the instructions on your screen.

I am pleased to announce that the airport voting for Cross the Pond Westbound 2023 has now opened. VATSIM members can now vote for their top airports until 19th February (Sunday) 2100 UTC via the CTP website.

Members can vote for their 1st, 2nd and 3rd favourite choice on either side of the ocean, earning that airport 5, 3 and 2 points respectively. The Planning Team of the event will then meet with the user’s vote to include your favourite airports and occasionally a choice of their own.

A full list of the airports available on each side of the ocean are listed at the end of my post.

On behalf of the Planning Team, good luck to all the airports!

Discord: VATSIM Connect | VATSIM - The International Online Flying Network

The airports on the ‘Europe and Africa’ side of the ocean are:

  • Lajes - LPLA
  • Vienna Intl. - LOWW
  • London Gatwick - EGKK
  • Mohammed V Intl. - GMMN
  • Istanbul - LTFM
  • Dublin - EIDW
  • Milan Malpensa - LIMC
  • Cape Town Intl. - FACT
  • Amsterdam Schiphol - EHAM
  • Murtala Muhammed - DNMM
  • Hamburg Helmut Schmidt - EDDH
  • East Midlands - EGNX
  • Paris Charles de Gaulle - LFPG
  • Zagreb Franjo Tudjman - LDZA
  • Athens Eleftherios Venizelos - LGAV
  • Madrid Barajas - LEMD
  • Helsinki - EFHK
  • Copenhagen - EKCH

The airports on the ‘Americas’ side of the ocean are:

  • Boston Logan Intl. - KBOS
  • Chicaho O’Hare Intl. - KORD
  • DFW Intl. - KDFW
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl. - KATL
  • Charlotte Douglas Intl. - KCLT
  • Winipeg Intl. - CYWG
  • Toronto Pearson - CYYZ
  • John F. Kennedy - KJFK
  • Vancouver Intl. - CYYR
  • Dulles Intl. - KIAD
  • Princess Juliana Intl. - TNCM
  • Luis Muñoz Marín Intl. - TJSJ
  • Guarulhos - SBGR
  • Brasilia - SBBR
  • Grantley Adams Intl. - TBPB
  • Pointe-a-Pitre Le Raizet - TFFR
  • El Dorado Intl. - SKBO
  • Ministro Pistarini Intl. - SAEZ
  • Houston - KIAH

Cross the Pond is happy to announce our departure and arrival fields for 2023 Westbound!


  • EHAM
  • EGKK
  • EGNX
  • LFPG
  • EIDW
  • EKCH
  • LTFM
  • EDDH
  • LOWW
  • LEMD
  • FACT
  • DNMM


  • KBOS
  • KJFK
  • CYYZ
  • KORD
  • TNCM
  • CYVR
  • KATL
  • SKBO
  • SAEZ
  • SBGR
  • SBBR

You can keep up to date with us via our twitter and facebook @vatsimctp, or the CTP Discord server. To join our discord head over to ctp.vatsim.net and follow the instructions.



I’ll mix it up this crossing, FACT to a port in SA is in order.

when will slott bokking/lottery begin

#soon :smiley:

There is a rough timeline a few posts up, however. Expected date is next week.

wow EGNX, I pray I get a slot now lol

Pilots are now allowed to join our slot lottery!

Demand for participation in CTP outweighs the available capacity of the controllers and airspace. As a result, we choose to limit the number of participants using a slot system.

Only pilots with a slot are able to participate in the event. In order to distribute the slots to pilots we complete the following steps:

  • Pilots register their interest (available 2nd Mar - 15th Mar 1900 UTC)

  • The lottery calculates if you have been awarded a slot and your position in the queue

  • Pilots login after their allocated time and pick a time slot and city pair (being earlier in the lottery gives more chance for the route you want) (available 20th Mar)

  • After everyone has had some time to select their route, the remaining slots are released to all members (on 30th Mar)

Several factors affect the outcome of the lottery, the most significant of which is your historical interaction with this event. If you have no-showed during a previous event when you held a booking, you will have slightly less chance of getting a slot now. If you applied but did not get a slot last year, you will have a slightly higher chance of getting a slot now.

In a change from previous events, you will have to return to the website in the week leading up to the event to reconfirm your intention to fly and to provide important information such as your callsign, maximum assignable flight level and so on.

We hope that these changes will ensure as many people can fly for this event as possible and importantly, that as many people with a slot join us for the event.

You may now register to be included in the lottery at ctp.vatsim.net

If you want to keep up to date with CTP, don’t forget to join our Discord server at ctp.vatsim.net


This Event’s system in Detail

To explain the process in detail this year. The lottery will run much the same as previous - that being that everyone will go into the lottery and get randomised into an order. This order will be affected primarily by chance, however, there will be weighting for the following:

  • No shows - negative weighting if you no-showed a slot you had in the previous event. This does not include people who dropped a slot they were allocated.
  • Previous slot allocations - if you got a slot in the last lottery, you have a slightly negative weighting. Likewise, if you didn’t, you have a slight positive weighting
  • Sequential events - if you have multiple sequential unsuccessful events, you get more of a positive weighting

With all of those factors taken into account, people will be ranked from 1 to N (N being the total number of people who express interest). A reminder that the main factor is chance, and therefore if you have negative weighting, you aren’t guaranteed to not have a slot. Likewise, with a positive weighting, you aren’t guaranteed.

Each person is then given a time that they can book from. These times will probably start at 1400Z on 20th Mar and there is at least 1 minute between each person in the lottery, therefore a maximum of 5 people getting in every 5 minutes. Times will be 1400-2200 UTC only, which we have picked based on an acceptable ‘daylight’ time between the US and Europe, our core pilot base. So the first person in the lottery will end up being able to book from 1400Z on 20th Mar. Someone in the middle of the lottery may not be able to book until 1600Z on Wednesday (for example). The point of this is that if you can’t exactly make whatever time you’re given, you are likely to be able to log on soon after and still get a choice of slots, in contrast to the classic ‘free for all’ system where being 15 minutes late meant no slot at all.

We’re not sure how popular all the slots will be, therefore it’s perfectly possible that we’ll run out of slots before the 25th Mar and therefore people towards the end of the lottery may not have any slots left to choose from. Equally, it’s perfectly possible that some slots and times that are less popular will still be available. People with slots can drop them at any time, so slots will always pop up.

Regardless of what’s left, anything not taken will be available on 30th Mar 1800z UTC. Anyone at this point can take a slot from what’s left. Anything dropped will be available to be booked.

Everyone will then have to return to the site between Monday 27th Mar and Thursday 30th Mar (2100 UTC) to confirm they are flying and ensure they’ve filled in all the details. If you don’t do this, your slot will become available to anyone else to take.

1 Like

Where can I Sign Up? I just can log in at the Website but don’t find anything to register for the Lottery


Hi there what qualifies as a no show ? For example on the eastbound leg I logged on but had a CTD on taxi in Washington ? Will I get a chance penalty for slots?

Kind regards

This may count as a no-show, but I will leave it to another member of the team to reply for sure so I don’t misinform you about the algorithm.

As Cross the Pond approaches, experienced VATSIM pilots and controllers will be hosting a 45-minute pilot briefing livestream to help pilots get ready for the event. All VATSIM pilots, especially those with or expecting a CTP slot, are invited to participate live or watch the recording.

The session will be recorded and available on replay immediately following the livestream.

Covering European operations, oceanic procedures, and tips for the arrival into North America, this 45-minute seminar will be perfect for pilots flying Cross the Pond Westbound, as well as those looking for some reminders on best practices for online network flying. Following the presentation, there will be plenty of time for questions!


  1. What is Cross the Pond?

  2. Departure: Tips for European Operations

  3. Oceanic Procedures

  4. Arrival: Flying into North America

  5. Checklist for Flying CTP

  6. Questions & Answers


This live session will be presented by VATSIM air traffic controllers experienced with online domestic and oceanic operations.

Rob Shearman, host of Slant Alpha Adventures on Twitch and YouTube, is the former VATSTAR Chief Flight Instructor and an active VATSIM controller. He has flown in six previous CTP events and provided ATC coverage for four.

Joshua Seagrave is a C3 controller on VATSIM, the Air Traffic Manager of the Houston ARTCC, and is certified on Oceanic and Domestic positions on both sides of the Atlantic. He is also a pilot mentor for VATSIM UK and a member of VATUSA’s ACE team. Joshua is an aviation industry professional with real-world ATC experience.


When will the lottery positions be posted

Sincerely Malcolm Fernandez

If you have joined the slottery, emails with the times at which you’ll be able to book are on their way. You may want to check your inboxes :eyes:

If you experience problems, let us know on our discord server.

Hi @1288524 - are you able to update the website update page with airfields / slot information / etc.? It might help reduce questions elsewhere.


What maximum FL should I input in booking. Is it initial maximum FL, oceanic crossing FL or maximum achievable FL in step climb profile?

It’ll be the maximum flight level you could accept in an oceanic clearance, so generally the maximum achievable flight level at your oceanic entry.

:bangbang: Slot confirmation is active on ctp.vatsim.net. EVERYONE who has booked a slot MUST go and confirm their slot. If not, your slot will be deleted. Slots that are booked from now on are considered confirmed automatically.

Public slot booking will open at 2000z tonight.