Simmers looking to secure their place in VATSIM’s upcoming Cross the Pond Eastbound have until the 11th of October to do so – or risk being unable to fly in the most popular annual event on the network.
Given the enormous popularity of Cross the Pond (CTP) relative to the amount of traffic that can be physically be pushed through the available airspace for the duration of the event, the slot lottery (or slottery) is used to ensure everybody gets a fair chance at being able to fly.
Every user is randomly assigned a number from 1 to N (where N is the total number of people who expressed interest). This number is then used to determine at what point the slot booking system will be made available, with the lucky pilots who have low numbers being asked to come forward first on October 16. The higher your number, the longer you will need to wait to get access to the system and thus, the lower the chances of securing the route pairing you really wanted.
The lottery is not completely random, though. It will assign users a weighting score based on factors including how active they have been at the event previously (with people who missed out last time having a slightly improved chance this time), and whether they have previously pulled a “no-show”, in which case they are likely to be have their chances of securing a slot docked significantly.
However, simmers are reminded that the main factor in determining who comes out on top in the slottery is chance, so it’s always worth registering to see what happens. There is no advantage to be gained by registering early.
As with previous iterations of Cross the Pond and other large events on VATSIM, if you are successful in booking a slot following the slottery, you will then need to come back in the week before the event to confirm your booking. Users who fail to do so will have their slots released into a pool, where they can be snapped up at the last minute by any VATSIM member, regardless of whether they had applied to the slottery to begin with.
If you want to register your interest in a slot for Cross the Pond, you can do so now by visiting https://ctp.vatsim.net/ and clicking “Expression of Interest” at the top of the page.