The YSFlight Air Traffic Control Group, or YSATC Group for short, was a democratically-operated organization responsible for governing ATC, Civilian, and Combat operations on many servers.
YSATC was founded in 2006 by Wingzfan99. The group was originally a subsidiary of NAFC, the combat squadron Wingzfan99 was in charge of at the time. Initially, operations consisted only of providing Air Traffic Control services during NAFC events and practices.
In late 2006, Wingzfan99 separated NAFC and YSATC and began developing what would become known as the Certification Process. With help from several members, including Turbofan, Jetliner, and ETNU, a set of minimum qualifications for certificates was developed in 5 different areas:
- Virtual Airlines were certified based on number of members, variety of routes, and selection of aircraft.
- Combat Squadrons were certified purely by vote.
- Civilian Servers received certification based on what type of aircraft they installed, what rules (blackout, ground fire, etc) were enabled, and what maps they frequently used.
- Special Events were certified, like Combat Squads, by vote.
- Air Traffic Controllers had to meet minimum hour requirements, had to pass training exams, and needed to be recertified occasionally.
It was at this time that the basic structure of YSATC was put in place. The system was similar to a democratic republic, in which a (theoretically) elected Chief Executive (called the "Operational Command Director") was in charge of several "Divisional Directors", each tasked with managing one of the 5 areas of certification. All decisions that required changing the certification requirements had to be approved by vote of a "Governing Board of Directors", which in actuallity consisted of nearly all members of YSATC.
The "Document GV" Era and New PowersEdit
In early 2007, Wingzfan99 was selected to serve as the first Operational Command Director and the Governing Board immediately passed several changes to the certification requirements. The most significant rule change approved was Measure 003, which effectively banned Combat Squads from receiving certification until further notice.
A few weeks later, the Governing Board of Directors voted to approve "Document GV", which worked as a type of constitution for the organization, codifying many informal rules that were already being followed, and establishing a solid hierarchy in which members were expected to operate.
Key among the original provisions were the official establishment of divisions, creation of the position of the "Documentarian", and rules regarding how YSATC would handle disciplinary issues.
While Document GV did establish a clean structure for the organization, it also presented the ability for YSATC to intervene in many areas where it did not previously. Each Divisional Director was, for the first time, given the ability to create their own criteria for certification (in their own appropriately abbreviated documents, like Document VA for Virtual Airlines). This resulted in significant and rapid growth in the number of regulations placed upon members of YSATC.
The quick growth also drew calls for reform from many non-members who claimed they were being inadvertently affected by YSATC's actions and regulations, especially with regards to Server Certification. YSATC did compromise, and the Board approved multiple measures aimed at limiting which servers YSATC could affect and how the group could go about gaining permission to do so.
The Acquisition Era and Beginning of DeclineEdit
In 2008, there were three major incidents that would undeniably cause permanent change to the organization. The first was the failure of GAF ATC, which until that time had been the only competition to YSATC. The failed wing of GAF was given special rights, via a measure approved by the YSATC Board, to join YSATC as Controllers and waive all certification requirements. The acquisition of GAF ATC nearly doubled the number of certified controllers, and resulted in the group's leader, Fariiniq (then known as Horizon), being elected to head the Special Events division. It was also at this time that YSPilots began to recognize YSATC as the de facto governing body for Virtual Airlines.
The second incident was the impending failure of YGL Corporation. With declining activity numbers and leadership no longer wanting to run the airline, YSATC passed a variety of measures (known later as "the YGL Rules") to preserve the Virtual Airline and to make it a subsidiary of YSATC itself. Having just joined YGL after a merger himself, Jimmy was appointed the President / CEO of YGL by the Governing Board of Directors. The airline was also exempted from most of the usual certification requirements for Virtual Airlines. This resulted in a certain level of tension amongst the other certified Virtual Airlines, who thought they were being treated unfairly, and also caused a general sense of relaxation regarding the recurring certification requirements like minimum membership numbers, which played into the third incident.
The third, and possibly most important, incident in 2008 was YSATC's investigation and subsequent decertification of Saloha Airlines. Saloha was asked by YSATC to provide a list of current members of the airline, to verify they were meeting the minimum requirement for continued certification. When the list was not provided, YSATC invoked a then-new process called "Articles of Investigation", which allowed YSATC to investigate, charge, and decertify the airline. Saloha was "charged" with failing to provide documentation requested, as required by Document VA and Document GV. After a very close (7-6) vote on the YSATC Voting Center, the organization was decertified, along with all of its members (which included a 2-year ban from joining any other certified VA). ETNU , the airline's founder and then-CEO, was banned from YSATC altogether, and from flying on any certified servers, for 5 years. In addition, 86 flight logs filed by Saloha pilots were ruled invalid because there was no proof the flights had ever actually occurred.
While YSATC prematurely ended all of the Saloha banishments in 2010, the actions cemented YSATC's reputation for overreach and also resulted in a significant (30%) loss in membership.
The Extreme Regulation Era, Loss of Membership, and End of OperationsEdit
Beginning in 2010, YSATC began to pass a series of new amendments to Document GV, creating new positions (the Operational Oversight Director), establishing new rules for the board (Parliamentary Procedures, Recess Rules), and granting special powers to the Operational Command Director (ability to administratively approve or deny certificates).
As Virtual Airlines died out, largely due to low YS activity in general, YSATC's power became increasingly concentrated upon a small set of airlines and servers. As new regulations were created, servers in particular chose to no longer participate and were decertified. Only two of the previous high 9 Virtual Airlines remained, one of which was YGL (the other being EAI).
It was in this environment that YSATC relinquished control over YGL, handing it back to Turbofan. There was a short resurgence with the founding of JetBlue Virtual, but it quickly faded.
By late 2010, Wingzfan99 and Halberdier25 were the only remaining members of the YSATC Governing Board. In a last-ditch effort to save the organization, Wingzfan99 moved the Voting Center to a sub-forum of YSPilots.com, but it received very little attention and soon became inactive.
In early 2011, with the opening of YSFHQ imminent, Wingzfan99 invoked Rule #GV-10.0.0, which terminated all operations and certificates, and ended any control YSATC may have had over its remaining members.
There have been a number of efforts to revive YSATC, or portions of it. The most notable effort was the original set of rules on YSFHQ, which created Virtual Airline Certificates based on the YSATC requirements. The certification program has since been ended, and Wingzfan99 has publicly stated on numerous occasions that YSATC "will not be coming back, ever."
- Wingzfan99, Operational Command Director (2006-2011)
- Halberdier25, Assistant Operational Command Director (2006-2011)
- Horizon, Special Events Director (2008-2009)
- ETNU, Server Operations Director (2007-2008)
- Jimmy, President & CEO of YGL Corporation (2008-2010)
- Harm, Server Operations Director (2008-2011)
- Riley, Air Traffic Control Director (2007-2011)
- Phila11, Combat Operations Director (2008-2011)
- Turbofan, Virtual Airline Operations Director (2006-2008)
- YGL Corporation
- Saloha Airlines
- JetBlue Virtual
- Echelon Airlines, Inc.
- North American Airways
- Oceanic Airways Virtual Airline
- Tropical Airlines
- YGL Server
- YSATC Server
- Phenomenon Server
- Jnat's Server
- Wetzel's Server
Other Activities and FunctionsEdit
Aside from being the main governing body, YSATC had a number of major accomplishments and participated in a variety of functions, including:
- Establishment of a flight logging, virtual stock, and virtual marketplace system, YSATC OpSys (OPerations SYStem)
- Creation of standardized rules of engagement
- Establishing standards for Addons, as originally intended by YSPRC.
- Recording, tracking, and analyzing of flight record data from numerous airlines to determine the trends in online activity (one of the first proven measurements of the "summer lull").