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Letter from Director | End of 2019

Martin Stockzell

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Martin Stockzell

First of all, merry christmas to all of you!
We are approaching the end of 2019, and I realized that it was a long time ago someone actually tried to explain all the good and hard work the staff and board members of VATSIM Scandinavia does. And of course our entire team of mentors whom without, we couldn't produce the amount of great ATC students! A warm thank you to all involved in the training department!

Now, to summarize  parts of 2019. It's really been a year where a LOT has happened - both inside and outside VATSIM Scandinavia.

First of all, we lost a FIR and got a brand new one. Well, not really - but it sounds more dramatic that way. Tampere FIR was revamped and Helsinki FIR was born. Our previous Director Julius Mannermaa got the honor of being the first FIR Director of Helsinki FIR, before leaving his role shortly after and was replaced by Joonatan Porkkala.

The board created a new version of our Constitution that all members got their constitutional 14 days of objection time. It's now (still) in the hands of VATEUD who has the last word. There are some major personnel changed going on there so things can time longer then usual.

Our newly appointed DPO Christian Kovanen also did a major revision of our Data Protection Policy. My guess is that VATSCA has one of the most detailed DPP in the VATSIM community as of today!

And speaking of VATEUD, they informed us earlier this year that they intended to shut down their API from where ALL of our user data was pulled for things like TAS and so on. However this happened sooner then expected, so unfortunately we had to stop accepting new training requests for about a month, right smack in vacation time of the year...
During that month our "brand new" Web Team managed to switch over to a system  better equipped for our purposes as well as fully GDPR compliant. Amazing, AMAZING, work by our new Web Services Director Daniel Lange together with Henrik Sønstebø, Mikael Harju and Gustav Kauman!

The Web Department didn't stop there. They have started the major task of creating a brand new training and member management system (SANTA) which will hopefully see the light of day during Q1 2020. I couldn't be more excited!

VATSIM Scandinavia got a new graphical profile, thanks to a formal propsal made by Krister Larsen some time back. I think I speak for almost everyone when I say that I absolutely love it! It's a fresh and modern change!

We have also acquired a VPS to hopefully not have to rely on independent members services. This is of course not free and if you feel a bit generous - donations are very much welcome!

Finally, one of the most exciting stuff in the VATSIM world was finally introduced. AFV!
This of course involved a lot of work to coordinate 5 different FIR:s and create a database of transceivers, frequencies and positions. I'm not going to take any credit for this - but I wish to extend a major thank you to all FIR Directors and a special thanks to Werner Rafteseth, Petter Jakobsson and Martin Tornberg who worked extremely hard to make sure that we got an amazingly easy transition from the old voice system. This might sound like a cliché, but we literally couldn't have done it without you guys!

And to cap it off, with the introduction of AFV, this years Fly and see Santa was of course a record breaker! Almost 400 aircrafts headed towards EFRO - but thanks to great preparation and coordination the amount of holding was not that intense as it used to be.
The FSS coordination team this year was the FIR Directors of Norway, Sweden and Finland - Daniel Klepp, Martin Loxbo and Joonatan Porkkala, together with the event department headed by Martin Tornberg with help from Krister Larsen. Juha Holopainen Petter Jakobsson and Sebastian Rekdal provided superb help to really make it a fantastic event!

Now if you have made it this far, I just want to add that this was just the tip of the iceberg. A lot more has happened and a lot more people have been involved in making this community greater every day. I'm very thankful for every volunteer involved in our fantastic community. Together we are great, let's keep going and make 2020 fantastic!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

Martin Stockzell, Director of VATSIM Scandinavia

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