Infinite Flight Virtual Airline Review Board
Welcome to the IFVARB Community Spotlight
Welcome to the third edition of the IFVARB Spotlight! It is an exciting time on the Infinite Flight Community with the most anticipated release of the decade as 20.1 becomes the positive spotlight on one has been a tough year for many. With 20.1 comes many new great features, the rework of the B772, live cockpits to the B737 series, and much more!
This month, we meet up with a few great leaders in the Infinite Flight Community, taking a different turn from previous editions and getting a different perspective on the VA/VO front. We catch up with @Tyler_Shelton, the IFC ATC Community Manager, @Jon_H, a leader in the IFVARB and BAVA Deputy President, as well as IFATC Trainer and IBVA CEO @Guxk.
On the IFVARB front, @Brandon_K has been working hard on the second phase of our IFVARB Staff System release, as well as a new login system for CEO’s currently certified. Over the month of June, the IFVARB will be simplifying our FAQ sections and website, for future CEO’s to better understand what it takes to go through the certification process.
Meet the IFVARB team
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To educate the IFC about the Virtual Airline/Organization community, spark creativity of future CEO’s, as well as provide guidance to up and coming staff on what it takes for a successful Virtual Airline or Organization on Infinite Flight
Need Help or Have Questions?
Reach out to the IFVARB Team through PM here on the IFC by messaging @IFVARB!
Position: Community Manager
In your role as the ATC Community Manager, what impact have you seen that the Virtual Airline/Organization community has had on ATC services within the Expert Server and how important is it that VA/VO’s continue to educate their pilots on flying in and out of IFATC areas?
“Virtual Airlines tend to make up a large portion of our Expert Server traffic, especially at airports that serve as a HUB for some of the largest carriers in the world. As they say, there is strength in numbers! With such a presence, VA’s really can help shape the way other’s operate and interact with ATC. Organization’s education initiatives should be a major priority to ensure that they not only represent their airline to the best of their ability but so they also help set a good example for those around them.”
In 20.1, there are new ATC features to allow the IFATC to control more of the skies, and provide more organization to someone simulating realism, how do you see the features in 20.1 being able to help the VA/VO community as they plan events, as well as their every day flying with ATC services?
“Infinite Flight’s 20.1 brings many new features that can assist in the planning process for any event! With real-world SIDs, STARs, Oceanic Tracks, and more, organizers can begin to assign specific procedures to an event, not only to create ultimate realism but to offer an extremely standardized flow of traffic to maximize the amount of aircraft that can be accommodated!”
With many VA/VO CEO’s, staff members, and pilots being so active in the IFATC, how impactful is it that there are VA/VO members that can serve as leaders to their community that learn from the IFATC group?
“Having VA/VO members take part in IFATC is one of the greatest ways we can help bridge the gap in communication, sharing our experience as pilots and controllers to help everyone perfect their craft. Many IFATC newcomers bring a fresh perspective from their respective organizations to help us shape future operating procedures. In turn, they continue to grow as a controller which allows them to serve as a subject matter expert for their VA which ultimately continues to improve the quality of all involved.”
For a new CEO of a VA/VO, the last thing that they want is to have a bad reputation for their pilots in the skies, what advice to you give to up and coming leaders in our community on how to best prepare their pilots?
“Accountability is always a great way to guarantee a professional organization! Whether recognizing success or acknowledging shortcomings, promoting an environment where members take ownership for their actions can generate a sense of pride which makes them continuously strive to be the best aviator they can be. Positive reinforcement and a genuine interest in your team can be a fantastic way for leaders to remain engaged, finding what motivates their people most!”
VA: Iberia Virtual Airlines
What has your experience been like thus far as the CEO of a Virtual Airline?
“I have had an amazing experience as a CEO so far. I’ve met so many great people within the community and had the opportunity to have my VA, Iberia Virtual, grow and flourish over the course of a year now. We first started out around a year ago now with a staff team of myself and one other, around 200 routes, no crew-center, and a half-finished website. Today we’ve grown to 31 pilots, 6 staff members, over 1000 routes, and have a terrific crew-center/website. Of course, it is a lot of work to run a VA, especially starting one from scratch, but the community is what keeps you going throughout. Connecting with so many great people around the world is why I do it.”
What have been some of the biggest challenges you have faced, and how have you overcome them
“One of the most significant challenges we’ve faced is how much work each staff member would have to put into the VA to keep it running. For many months, I would be spending hours each day updating our website, monitoring our slack, keeping our thread up to date, and general maintenance. I put a lot of effort into automating a lot of what goes on in a VA, including vetting applicants, processing PIREPs, keeping the website updated, etc. I now spend a lot more time on having the VA move in new directions and to continue to improve the pilot experience at IBVA.”
What would you say is one of the most important parts of recruiting new staff members to a new VA?
“One of the most important factors when it comes to recruiting staff is knowing whether or not they will be reliable. You don’t want to have a staff member that is there that does nothing and undermines progress in your VA. There are generally two methods to ensure this doesn’t happen. One, recruit from within your VA. Make applications available to only members of your VA and pick the ones that are most dedicated and have been loyal to the VA. Two, recruit people that you know personally that would be a good fit for your VA, and would be dedicated staff. This doesn’t mean that you should DM people on the IFC randomly, but think of people that you know personally and have a good relationship with.”
What advice would you give to potential new CEO’s that are looking to start the certification process?
“Persevere. Creating a VA is one of the most difficult things you can ever do within this community. There are so many factors when it comes to creating one, from a website, crew-center, an accurate route database, dedicated staff, rank structures, partnerships, codeshares, graphics, and pilot resources. There will be times when it seems like that you are doing this all for nothing, but you must persevere. This is no easy feat, and it’s not something that you can do by yourself. Find a staff team that will be dedicated and work towards attainable goals. Come up with unique ideas as a team to make your VA stand out. Once you make it through the process, you will start off slow. Don’t expect immediate activity and don’t be discouraged if it gets slow at times.”
VA: British Airways Virtual Airline
Position: Deputy President // IFVARB Leader
Being someone that is an IFVARB Leader and BAVA Staff member, what has it been like being at the forefront of helping our VA/VO Community thrive?
“Pretty satisfying overall. I’ve always enjoyed helping out in different ways within various real-world and online teams/communities. I got involved with the VA/VO world in Infinite Flight a little over a year ago and loved the experience. I think the VA/VO world significantly contributes to the IF experience; it adds a different dimension of realism. So, I love helping out ambitious fellow IF community members start their own virtual airlines/organizations so that they can hit the ground running and continue to expand the horizons of the IF VA/VO experience. Being a staff member in a long-established VA has also helped me understand how VA operations can be carried out successfully, which I try to translate into advice and guidance for prospective CEOs.”
What has been the biggest challenge that you have seen as a leader in getting a new CEO going through the certification procces?
“The biggest challenge I often encounter is figuring out new ways to help new CEOs set their VA/VO up in a way that sets them apart from other organizations. Having a diverse VA/VO world in IF truly adds to our experience, but it certainly gets trickier by the day as more and more organizations join the VA/VO world. I’d like to try and think more creatively to help out prospective CEOs in setting up their organizations, but that sort of conversation would help more even before an application is submitted. Prospective CEOs should engage in conversations with other VA/VO leadership and the IF Community to gauge what gaps their organization can fill before submitting an application.”
What advice do you think is necessary for a new CEO that is about to apply for a VA/VO?
“Gaining overall experience in the VA/VO world before starting your own organization helps you better gauge the gaps in the VA/VO world or IF Community in general. Why should I, a prospective pilot, join your organization? What can you offer to the IF Community that doesn’t quite exists with other VAs/VOs? How can you improve the IF experience for all of us that we cannot get from other virtual organizations? If you cannot answer these questions easily, you have not done your homework and may not be ready. One other advice would be patience; not because of the certification process and setting up the technical backend of things, but because getting a VA/VO going, building up membership, developing operations, etc. takes time. It took months, even over a year, for the biggest VAs/VOs around to head towards becoming what they are today.”
What did you think are some of the biggest challenges of being a staff member at a VA/VO?
“I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of a great VA staff team, but a challenge I see in various VAs/VOs is the inequality in contributions to the work needed to run a successful organization. In other words, it gets rough and uncomfortable for the entire leadership when staff members do not contribute enough in their roles or carry out their duties to the best of their abilities. It demotivates other staff, hinders progress and service to VA/VO members. It takes effort and time to run a VA/VO professionally, so those seeking staff positions should make sure they’re up for putting in their best effort to be fair to everyone involved.”