Questionable education plan

I started to do an ATC education with rhe goal to become ONLY an AFIS Controller south of munich to offer some vfr hops into Alps.
The course to take to become S1 with AFIS.
This means I had to go through delivery, ground/apron, tower lessons and tests, next to Atsim test, and THEN an additional AFIS test/course. In short 90% wasted.
And this just to control pure VFR?? This is ridicolius.
Even though passed everything I was never online so far as AFIS as my region demands a further basic lesson to get introduced for the ES practcally.

Why does vatsim does not build up the ATC education bottom up, starting with a limited AFIS on vfr only, which allows for first practical experience of the tools, next AFIS on IFR Airports, next minors…??
In Judo you go yellow, orange, green… here you go blue, brown yellow with manx handicaps.
Think about it pls.

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VATSIM is strongly based on the American system which doesn’t really have the concept of AFIS that you will find in a lot of European countries, so the vACCs responsible for these airspaces have to find workarounds. I imagine in most situations, this workaround will be similar to what VATGER had not so long ago: get your S2, then a separate AFIS endorsement, and only after all that you are allowed to open an AFIS position - quite frankly, it’s a luxury that you can get an AFIS-only endorsement with your S1 at all. And most people on VATSIM who get a controller rating want to control and not just provide information, so in 99% of cases, this does not pose an issue; the small amount of people who, like you, only want to staff AFIS positions will still need to pass the ATSim Test as required here to get the S1 rating (which you need to be allowed to open one of these positions) and to do that, you need to be able to answer questions only relevant to people who want to control. And even then, that knowledge will help you get a better understanding of the ATS environment.
I also don’t really know why you think you need an additional lesson for the introduction into ES. If you read the ATD guidelines and the AFIS-only thread, you would see that you are allowed to open an AFIS station as soon as you have passed the ATSim and moodle tests. Nobody “demands a further basic lesson”. You don’t even need to know a lot about Euroscope. You can just connect, maybe set your vis center, then use the towerview in your own flight simulator, et voilà. If you have a radar station above you, you don’t even need it when staffing an AFIS airfield with IFR procedures. Of course, familiarizing yourself with the software can’t hurt, so sitting in on a basic lesson designed for controllers or getting a mentor to spend 30 minutes of their time to show you the basics wouldn’t be bad, but - as I said - there is no hard requirement other than the AFISO basic lesson.

VATSIM does build up the ATC training “bottom up”. You start with TWR (in some places you may only be allowed to control GND or even DEL before that), then APP, and then CTR. This is already not realistic for multiple reasons, but that’s another topic.
Now, if we took your proposition and changed our training system to start at uncontrolled fields, that’d result in exactly what you are complaining about, just the other way around and affecting way more people: everyone who is only interested in controlling would have to learn all this - to them - unnecessary AFISO stuff. It’s much better to have the small minority of - I imagine - way less than 1% of members interested in/holding a controller rating jump through one or two additional hoops than making becoming a controller harder and less attractive for the vast majority. Because of this, I’d also argue that your judo analogy is not fitting at all: I don’t know much about martial arts or what the judo belts mean, let alone how you get them, but a more proper analogy would be that everyone is going yellow → orange → green, but you are in a situation where you want to learn just the one move required for the orange belt, but are not interested in the move required for the yellow, let alone green belts.

Now, I’m sure the VATGER ATD - or probably even more so the VATEUD ATD as from my understanding they are responsible for the ATSim test requirement - would love to hear your feedback, but that’s not really something VATSIM as a whole can do anything about (other than completely overhauling the station system and introducing separate AFISO logins and AFISO ratings).
Also, please don’t call it “AFIS controller” or “controlling”. AFISOs (=Aerodrome Flight Information Service Officer) don’t control, they provide information. :wink:

I dont know why you call a yellow belt in judo martial arts. Im not talking about Bruce Lee. yellow belts are done by 10 year old boys and girls. They learn fundamentals, how to fall, some basic technic, yes the “rules” and other. And thats the point: Instead of a HUGE step to a goal (say S1, black belt or 1st Dan), which is demotivating, put it down in many small steps and ratings. This is much more rewarding. In MMoG Games you have how many levels quite often, 60?
Just a statistic out of our forum: 30% quit S1 training, more than 50% fail the final test in first attempt. Ok with that?
Why not an intermediate rating of delivery allowing to join for that a major, instead of sitting on a minor as tower waiting for traffic? Practise done, do a test for this position only, pass, go on - Next ground / apron, same. Only a bit more theory, lots of practise. Vatsim does it the opposite. Requires lots of theory and skill but on minors you dont grab much practise in short time.
And I still would like AFIS as most simple entry level to be much easier to be achieved. When I get familiar with tools, get used to talk as controller (or service), then I might do the next step. For first level doing tower right away is way too much - imo. It can be done but for me it feels not well thought to be right away on such a level, regarding all constraints, phrasologie and so on that has to be considered.

A majority of virtual pilots fly airliners, out of larger airfields. Though it’s unfortunate in specific circumstances like what you’re wanting to do, with limited training resources, I think it’s entirely understandable that the priority is to tailor the training to suit the larger target audience, rather than a niche market of small airfields that aren’t as busy or popular.

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Traffic follows offer !!! No offer due to insufficient rating / education plans, lack of atc, no traffic.
Where is info support (ok no control yet kind of atc for pilots to start or fly to) for vfr in most beautiful and also demanding (!) alps region ? Nowhere…

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Stefan, I salute you Sir! I know you are not the only one who feels this gaping hole in VATSIM. Support for the GA community is lacking and after 22 years I think VATSIM should have moved on from its roots. We know so much more about the whole world of air traffic than we did back when the FSD structure was created. VATSIM is a world-wide organisation which now has regional representation on the Board. We can make VATSIM what we want it to be!
But of course the caution expressed here is understandable; we mustn’t throw away what we’ve got - surely we can add to it somehow - become more inclusive. Who knows how many members may enjoy working GA aircraft at their local field but do not have the inclination or aptitude for the pressures of ATC and are put off by the training requirement. And as Stefan says we all know that if the ground station is there, traffic will come.
S1 comptencies should be very basic and in my view apply equally to AFIS positions. The requirement to understand the complexities of modern ATS routes networks and to be able to validate flight plans and offer alternative IFR routes where necessary should be an extra requirement over and above S! but necessary before qualifying to work GND positions in controlled airspace.
Equally, AFISO positions require situational awareness (but not control) throughout the ATZ. - because no control is involved it is surely crazy to put trainees through what we expect at the moment. There must be a better way that doesn’t require additional practical training resources.

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Concur with Mike.

For what it’s worth, I was having a discussion with someone from a Latin American ANSP, and he was complaining he needs to spend money to give his controllers comprehensive training on tower, approach and en-route when he just wants to deploy them to one of those, so in his view it’s the full monty is a waste of resources. (The military controls ATC in that state, so I suspect controllers don’t have much choice or job portability.)

Perhaps training doesn’t need radical restructuring to support AFIS/AFISO positions since they’re more basic than radar positions such as approach and en-route, and don’t require knowledge of IFR clearances as Mike says. Their training sounds like it would be a subset of the current syllabus, so might just require a few tweaks rather than re-inventing?