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David Zhong

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  1. Resignation - Eoin Motherway & Dan Martin

    It is with regret that I advise the community that Eoin Motherway and Dan Martin have resigned from their positions citing real world commitments. Both of these gentlemen have made an enormous contribution to our organisation and on behalf of VATPAC I would like to express our gratitude. An announcement regarding a new division director is imminent and the incoming division director will be making the arrangements for the transition period while we find suitable replacements.
  2. It is with pleasure that the Board of Governors announces the appointment of Aidan Stevens to the position of VATGOV6, Vice President of Web Services and the formal move of Matt Cianfarani to the position of VATGOV3, Vice President, Network Systems. Aidan has been serving as the Assistant to VP Web for the past 12 months and is the lead tech behind several VATSIM tech projects currently being rolled out. His dedication and proven leadership will make him an excellent addition to the team. We look forward to seeing the continued development of VATSIM Technology over the coming months! [VATSIM BOG]
  3. Technical Updates on VATSIM

    It's been a busy few months for the whole developer community on VATSIM, as we speed towards release of VATSIM's new voice technology. We are also making excellent progress on other modernizations and enhancements which will ensure VATSIM remains the biggest and best online flying network. While we continue to make this progress, we have had some staff changes as well. I'm saddened to announce that Jamie Fox has recently stepped down from his role as Vice President, Network Systems due to personal commitments. Jamie has played a central part over several years in getting VATSIM's server infrastructure in order and in a stable state, as well as contributing to numerous projects across VATSIM in that time also. On behalf of the Board of Governors, I'd like to thank Jamie for his work and wish him the very best for the future. Jamie’s departure gives us an opportunity to reevaluate the needs of technical positions on the Board of Governors. While we complete that evaluation, Matt Cianfarani will execute the responsibilities of Vice President, Network Systems and Vice President, Web Services. These two roles are closely intertwined, and it makes sense that in this critical stage of our delivery of Audio for VATSIM, we have an aligned approach to launching this and other projects in the community. Aidan Stevens has been appointed Director of Web Services to assist Matt with his additional responsibilities. Aidan has been critical in the past year assisting VATSIM development assisting or taking the lead on many of our improvement projects. Thank you to both Matt and Aidan for stepping up. In tandem with this announcement, Zach Biesse-Fitton, our Vice President Technical Development, has published a blog post which gives a more detailed update on Audio for VATSIM amongst other topics. I would urge you to read it here, as it's sure to be of interest! Thank you for being a part of VATSIM. [VATSIM BOG]
  4. Data Incident - Moodle

    On Monday 22 April 2019, VATPAC received a report that a publicly-accessible part of our Moodle system ("The Academy") displayed the email addresses of registered users. These email addresses were sourced from VATSIM when a user first logged in with VATSIM SSO (Single Sign-On). Upon receiving this report, VATPAC staff immediately disabled our Moodle until the issue could be rectified. The affected parts of Moodle have been permanently disabled and service has since been restored. Am I affected? You are affected by this incident if you have an account with our Moodle system and have logged in with VATSIM SSO. Note that upgrades to our Moodle have taken place over the years and some of these upgrades reset the user database. If you have never logged into Moodle with VATSIM SSO, you are not affected. What are the impacts? If you were affected by this incident, your email address may have been displayed on a publicly-accessible page on our Moodle and visible to all Moodle users. This was an obscure page and there is no evidence to suggest that more than a few people accessed it. The page has been publicly-accessible for an unknown period of time, likely since July 2017. There is a low probability that email addresses on this page were collected by marketing agencies. There is no evidence to suggest that this occurred. However, in this event, affected persons may receive spam or other malicious emails. If you receive any suspicious emails, you are recommended to avoid opening it or any attachments or links and either delete the email or use your email providers "report spam" function. What did VATPAC do in response? VATPAC took the following actions in response to this incident: disabled the Moodle system immediately to prevent immediate access to the affected page changed Moodle settings to prevent access to the affected page restored service to Moodle undertook an investigation into the circumstances that led to the incident What is VATPAC doing to prevent this from happening again? VATPAC has implemented the following measures to prevent similar incidents: changed Moodle settings to prevent access to the affected page reviewed other systems to ensure that they are configured correctly reported the incident to VATSIM Who can I contact with further concerns? Tom Grozev, Director IT - it at vatpac dot org
  5. Town Hall Meeting Sunday 7 April 2019 at 1030 UTC/2030 AEST/2000 ACST/1730 AWST Via Teamspeak (Instructions) Call to Order / Welcome Board to present 2019 plan Questions to the board If you have any questions that you would like the Board to answer, you can either mail them to me at director at vatpac dot org or ask them during the Q&A. We will publish a list of answers to questions in writing so that is a way to get your question in if you can't attend. Please note that in daylight savings states, daylight savings ends on this day. All times listed above are in standard time.
  6. Notice of Town Hall Meeting - 7 April 2019

    Thanks to all that attended. Some of the highlights from last night... Q: are there plans for the smaller procedural airports to have local instructions? A: Yes, but not at the top of the list Q: What does the non exec directors do A: We currently have a young but passionate executive team leading the organisation. The role of the non execs is to support that team by providing them with guidance and wisdom and challenge their ideas. Q: Are there any plans for implementing a training system where controllers may access their own training notes and or use a roster a roster such as seeing other controllers and what rating they are A: Yes, we are developing a system that will allow students to access their training record. A controller roster will not be developed as this duplicates CERT. Members can access the latter by contacting VATSIM Membership. Q: Can e.g. a centre controller access tower information in Moodle without having to enrol in each course? E.g. quick reference guide as PDF A: We will explore this Q: Is there any plans for doing any Iron Mic's for pacific area airports such as Fiji, New Cali, Vanauatu and PNG airports? A: Yes, this is in consideration Q: Would the training department contemplate making the Procedural endorsement one that you have to do at least one sweatbox with? If I had done a sweatbox rather than just an exam or even mentoring sessions that would have been extremely useful. A: We are considering this at the moment Q: Any updates on discord A: A survey has been done recently on community views. The Board is continuing to consider this issue and there are a number of matters that the Board requires to be resolved before making a decision including how moderation will be improved. Q: Any updates on new codec A: VATSIM has announced that an open beta will commence soon. Applications are currently open to join this beta program.
  7. Notice of Town Hall Meeting - 7 April 2019

    Below you will find a link to "VATPAC 2019" our organisational plan for 2019. At this evening's Town Hall, the Board will elaborate and take questions on this. VATPAC 2019.pdf
  8. VATSIM announces signups for Audio for VATSIM Large Scale Testing VATSIM is delighted to announce that we are moving into the advanced testing phases of the new audio solution, Audio for VATSIM (AFV). AFV is a revolutionary new audio solution for the VATSIM network featuring clear VHF communications and minimal latency as opposed to VATSIM’s current voice codec. AFV also features realistic range-based VHF range, incorporation of blocking tones for pilots who are stepped on, and the ability to use voice on any frequency in the VHF spectrum even when there is no Air Traffic Controller online. VATSIM needs you to help complete these important large-scale tests where we attempt to stress the system with hundreds of users before we release. To accomplish these tests, we are accepting applications from any VATSIM member interested in being a part of the large-scale beta testing to begin soon. Beta testers will be selected at random from the applicants and will be requested to fly or control during at least two of the upcoming large tests. Applicants will receive a confirmation via email and if accepted will receive email with further instructions. To apply, visit https://vats.im/beta Good luck to all those who apply, and we look forward to full release of Audio for VATSIM!
  9. Notice of Town Hall Meeting - 7 April 2019

    Please note that the agenda has been added and timing corrected to account for the end of daylight savings.
  10. A New Start

    Dear VATPAC Community, Last September, I was approached to assist in leading this organisation out of a situation where the board was fragmented and there were some strong divisions within our community. Since then, we have formed an enthusiastic young team to lead our staff and some experienced non-executives to support them. It is now the job of this team to unite our community with our common hobby. Over the weekend, I advised Alan Cooke to begin the search for a new division director and I understand that process will begin shortly. Having been in the role for some 6 months, I can say that the new division director will be very busy in building a strong foundation for our organisation. We are an organisation of some 1800 members and there is more work to be done for our organisation to be one that can properly support that membership. Thank you to everyone who supported my efforts, through encouragement and constructive criticism, thank you to our hard working staff who keep this place ticking along and good luck to our board. David Zhong Acting Division Director
  11. Director IT

    I am pleased to announce that yesterday, the Board resolved to appoint Thomas Grozev as Director IT. Tom is relatively new to the community but had already joined the IT team and made contributions behind the scenes. His experience in a vast range of web and mobile technologies and web security will be invaluable as we look to improve the experience that we provide to our members. Tom also has community leadership experience and has organised fundraising events for charities. Please join me in congratulating Tom on his appointment!
  12. BZ - Steven Brown

    Last September, in our time of crisis, Steven Brown once again graciously agreed to step up to the plate and volunteer his limited time and energy to keep our organisation afloat. In the six months that have passed, Browny has kept our critical systems running smoothly and dealt rapidly with a series of hiccups caused by our service provider. Browny has also contributed significantly to some of the reforms we have put in place since that time and has assisted in our rebuilding by chairing two appointment committees. Browny has well and truly fulfilled his mandate and it will be the job of his successor (who will be named later this evening) to build from the platform that we have today. We wish you the greatest success and happiness in your endeavours outside of this organisation and hope that you occasionally find time to participate in the hobby again. Thank you for your service!
  13. The board held an ordinary meeting on 2 February 2019. The minutes of the meeting are now available on our website.
  14. Data Handling Policy

    The VATPAC Board today has enacted the Data Handling Policy. This policy provides the framework for VATPAC to handle data requests made pursuant to the General Data Protection Regulation (EU). The policy is aligned with similar policies promulgated by VATSIM and VATOCE and mechanisms are in place for cross-referral of requests. The policy also makes provision for board oversight of data security controls so that the risk of data breaches can be effectively managed. Members who wish to exercise rights under the GDPR and policy can do so in writing to [email protected] The policy can be found on our website under "About Us" and "Policies".
  15. Applications Open: Director IT

    Applications are now invited from suitably experienced and qualified members of VATPAC for the position of Director IT. Responsible to: VATPAC Director of Division Direct Reports: Deputy Director IT Duties: Attends periodic VATPAC Board meetings and produces quarterly reports on IT issues within the division Maintains the VATPAC website, forums, FSD and voice server and other services Establish and monitor the effectiveness of data protection strategies and minimise, as far as is practical, risks to loss or theft of data Develop and manage IT projects to improve the effectiveness of IT services or data safety Manage IT projects requested by the Board Manage the cost of IT services to ensure that they remain within budget Assist in monitoring the effectiveness of other portfolios Actively participate in the management of the division Considers and raises complaints, ideas and proposals to the Board in order to consistently improve the effectiveness of VATPAC Maintain an online presence of 5-10 hours per month on the VATSIM network Position Holder Attributes: Active participation in the greater VATPAC community for the last 12 months Be a member of good standing in VATSIM Be able to work well with other board members and the VATPAC community as a whole. Be able to work well within a voluntary organisation Have proven ability in the management of a small group of people Have ability to manage Linux-based servers and have working knowledge of commonly used languages including HTML, PHP, CSS and Javascript Have ability to manage projects, including time and resources Application Process Members interested in being considered for the role should apply by outlining their experience and suitability, addressing each of the essential criteria listed above. Applications should be sent via email to director [at] vatpac.org APPLICATIONS IN STRICTEST CONFIDENCE CLOSE AT 23:59 hours AEDT on Sunday 20 January 2019. The Board will establish an appointment committee to consider the applications and recommend on the most suitable candidates.
  16. Applications Open: Director IT

    I have just sent out an email to each of the applicants. If you applied but did not receive an email, please contact me immediately via forum private message.
  17. The minutes for the first extraordinary board meeting of 2019 can now be found on the website. At this meeting, the Board considered the draft constitution and a number of amendments. The amendments and the constitution were all adopted unanimously. The Constitution can now be found on our website under the "About Us" menu.
  18. Applications Open: Director IT

    A reminder that applications for this position close tomorrow evening.
  19. Non-Executive Directors

    I am pleased to announce that pursuant to Part 3 Division 4 of the Constitution, the Board has appointed Peter Adamos, Greg Barber and Dean Constantinidis as non-executive directors. These three gentlemen have served on the staff and Board during various times in VATPAC's history and their experience will be of great value to our executive team who are all relatively new to their roles. Peter has spent many years in our ATC training team and later served as the director of that portfolio. Peter's experience serving on the board at a young age will position him to assist our young board. Greg is probably well known to most members. Greg has previously run the ATC training portfolio before stepping up as division director. More recently, Greg filled in as Director of Operations until we found a permanent appointee. Dean has been a member since we were called SATPAC and has held roles including Director of Operations and more recently ordinary flying member. Dean's experience from past boards and perspective from outside the staff will be greatly valued by the board.
  20. Public Comment: VATPAC Constitution

    Comments are sought from VATPAC members on the VATPAC Constitution which is to be proposed to the Board for adoption. This document has been produced as a result of consultations in September-October this year with the Board, staff members and more generally at the recent Town Hall meeting. If you wish to make a submission, you may do so in writing to director at vatpac dot org. Submissions must be submitted by Tuesday 11 December 2018 at 23:59 AEDT. VATPAC Constitution.pdf
  21. Public Comment: VATPAC Constitution

    The board met yesterday to consider this and I'm pleased to announce that the Board unanimously agreed to adopt our constitution. The final text will be published on the website in the coming days. With assistance from the community, the Board believes that it has been developed to strike a balance between ensuring that the Board behaves in a transparent and accountable manner while giving the Board enough flexibility to do its job. It is the vision of the Board that this document will serve as the key governance document for our organisation, second only to the VATSIM COR. It is important that boards present and future act in accordance with the constitution. Members play an important part in keeping the Board accountable for its actions and any actions which are inconsistent with the constitution should be questioned. Where the response of the Board to such questioning is inadequate, there is recourse to the Oceania regional director for adjudication. I would like to thank all of those members who have contributed to the development of the constitution, including some members who have departed the Board in recent months, staff members, those participating in the town hall meeting late last year and those making submissions on the discussion paper.
  22. Resignation: Cam Tyson - VATPAC13

    Well done Cam, I wish you the best in your professional career. Thank you for your service to VATSIM not only during your time with VATPAC but also your contributions in VATNZ and to VATOCE pilot training.
  23. VRC Version 1.2.6 Released

    VRC developer Ross Carlson has announced the release of VRC version 1.2.6. You can download the new version from the VRC website.
  24. Happy New Year

    On behalf of the Board, I would like to wish VATPAC members and the extended flight sim community a happy new year. We all aware of some of the ugly business that occurred some months ago and that sort of behaviour understandably resulted in many of our members losing confidence in how the organisation was being run. But despite the unnecessary drama, I can say that our team of volunteer staff have made the best they could of 2018. 2018 in summary: 17 new controllers and a total of 43 ATC ratings upgrades A great program of events including GA Madness, Panic Stations, Cross the Ditch and Real Ops Sydney ATC operational support for Worldflight, which was highly praised by WF teams Our operations and IT teams continued to work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that our sector files and documentation were kept up-to-date and that our systems stayed online! The board has been working on our plans for 2019 which we look forward to sharing with you in the new year. This plan will include an exciting events program for the year and a series of projects to improve the functions of the organisation. I hope you have all had the opportunity to catch up with friends and family and enjoy the festive season. Please stay safe, take it easy on the roads and I look forward to seeing you all online in 2019.
  25. Public Comment: Data Handling Policy

    Comments are sought from VATPAC members on the proposed Data Handling Policy. The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) of the European Union has had a broad impact on business and other organisations and VATSIM taken the view that it is subject to the provisions of the GDPR and accordingly developed a global policy on data handling. The BOG has required that divisions have local policies that implement the global policy. This policy addresses the issues raised by the global policy and includes a number of additional measures such as the management of data risk and data breaches, control of access to data and reporting. Submissions can be made in writing to director at vatpac dot org and close on 18 January 2018 at 23:59 AEDT. Following the close of comments, the policy will be put before the Board for consideration. Data Handling Policy (Draft)