In the Virtual Air Traffic Simulation Network (VATSIM) community, several ACCs and ARTCCs have showcase live events of their division’s controllers to promote and enhance the value of their controlling and highlight various aspects of flight simulation. In the VATSIM USA (VATUSA) Division, Boston ARTCC (ZBW) has an annual Boston Tea Party event every summer and Fort Worth (ZFW) and Houston (ZHU) ARTCCs co-host a Fort Houston Live! event. Not only do these allow for camaraderie of fellow air traffic control and aviation enthusiasts, but it adds realism having controllers work side-by-side.
If you enjoy live events, you will enjoy the upcoming Live Event New York ARTCC (ZNY) has in store. It will be hosting its largest scale live event to date this Friday evening and the entire day Saturday! Friday night, controllers will come together and control Philadelphia International (PHL) for Friday Night Operations (FNO), a longtime tradition for the VATUSA division! Saturday will be even more exciting as they will be hosting a TRANSCON Eastbound event where you will be able to book a flight slot to can fly from the West coast to any of the three New York Metro airports. In the real world, these flights account for upwards of 10% of operations into and out of the three New York Metro airports and with the popularity of Cross The Pond, ZNY has chosen to extend the concept to the United States coast-to-coast traffic. For example, you can depart Los Angeles International (LAX) Saturday morning and arrive to John F. Kennedy International (JFK) in the mid-afternoon. You will be controlled into New York City by professional, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic controllers working together all in the same room!
In 2017, ZNY hosted its Live Event during which controllers “pushed tin” throughout the major New York TRACON (N90) airports. Controllers utilized an Information Dissemination System (IDS) which showed important weather, configurations, and arrival information, among many other things. The Senior Staff even brought a flight strip printer so controllers could use physical flight strips!
Pilots are highly encouraged to book slots for the TRANSCON Eastbound event (https://vats.im/TRANSCONZNY2018)! Flights depart the West coast around 7 am airport local time and arrive in New York between 3 pm and 7 pm Eastern. Routes have already been published in the Pilot Briefing Document.
The Philly FNO starts at 7:30 pm Eastern on Friday night and continues until 11:30 pm.
Here are some photos from the previous live event held: