VATSIM’s Cross the Pond is taking place on Saturday, April 2nd and almost everything is in place ready for the bi-annual event. One of the last remaining parts to do is for the community to take part in the slot allocation lottery in order to participate completely in the event.
As the demand often outweighs the availability for the event itself, VATSIM introduced a lottery system for those pilots looking to get involved with the event. The lottery system was designed to give all people wanting to participate a fair chance on getting an event slot. Various factors go into whether you get a slot, such as your historical interaction with past events, your airport paring and also when you select your slot and city pairing.
This year, there seem to be some significant changes in how the system works in order to make it fairer for everyone. One of those changes is that pilots will now have to return to the CTP website to reconfirm the intention on flying during the event.
Another change is that you will have to login to the CTP portal at an allocated time between 21st March and 25th March in order to pick a time slot and city pair. This is different from the usual 15-minute made rush that normally happens when those who enter the lottery get to pick the slot. In order to see how to book your slot, here’s the steps you will need to follow:
- Pilots register their interest (available 8th – 17th March 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 21st -25th March)
- After everyone has had some time to select their route, the remaining slots are released to all members (on Monday 26th March)
Nick Marinov went into more detail on the forums on how this system works:
Each person is then given a time that they can book from. These times will probably start at 1400Z on Monday 21st 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 Monday. 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.
Here’s a reminder of the airports that are part of this year’s Cross the Pond:
- MÃ¼nchen/Munich – MUC/EDDM
- London Gatwick – LGW/EGKK
- Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – AMS/EHAM
- Dublin – DUB/EIDW
- Oslo Gardermoen Airport – OSL/ENGM
- Tenerife-South – TFS/GCTS
- Paris Charles-de-Gaulle – CDG/LFPG
- Vienna International Airport – VIE/LOWW
- Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport – LIS/LPPT
- Istanbul Airport – IST/LTFM
- MontrÃ©al-Trudeau – YUL/CYUL
- Vancouver International – YVR/CYVR
- Winnipeg International – YWG/CYWG
- Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International – ATL/KATL
- Boston Logan Intl Airport – BOS/KBOS
- Newark – EWR/KEWR
- Houston George Bush Intercontinental – IAH/KIAH
- Philadelphia – PHL/KPHL
- Tampa – TPA/KTPA
- Grantley Adams International Airport – BGI/TBPB
- Martinique AimÃ© CÃ©saire International Airport – FDF/TFFF
- Pointe-Ã -Pitre International Airport – PTP/TFFR