Effective immediately, the following changes are in effect to controllers at ZDC.
Minor Training - Controllers will now acquire S1, S2 and S3 ratings at Norfolk, VA (KORF). This is being done for a couple of reasons. Controllers will learn the basics of their position (ground, delivery, local and TRACON) in an environment that does not have complex procedures. Clearances are simple CRAFT with only one departure procedure. There is normally only one runway in use for arrivals and departures. Arrivals need vectoring and hard altitudes, no descend via's with runway transitions. This will teach controllers the fundamentals of controlling before they move to the complex Class B airports. This will also give Instructors and Mentors an additional chance to work with students before a certification to work the major, more busy airfields. As well, it separates the Class Bravo airports (except ADW), which has different procedures, particularly for VFR aircraft.
VATUSA Exams - Exams will now be done through the VATUSA website. Requesting the exams remains the same on the forums, however they will be assigned on the VATUSA website by an instructor. To access test, go to "My VATUSA" (in the upper right) and click "Exam Center." On the left, click "View My Assignments." You will be able to take the exams there. The actual exams are the same, either 20 or 25 questions, and all require an 80% or higher score to pass. These tests do NOT have retests for 60-80% scores as on the current website, you must pass them. Once you complete test corrections (assuming you failed), see below for those, you may re-request the exam. Note that they do not automatically reassign, you must re-request it 3 days (72 hours) after your test corrections are accepted by a mentor or instructor.
Test Corrections - All exams have a passing grade of 80%. Any score below 100% on an exam, regardless of pass or fail, requires a student to complete test corrections on the ZDC forums. To do so, create a new forum thread in this board, titled "Name (OI) - (Exam Name)." For example, "Krikor Hajian (HI) - S1 Major Facilities." Then, for each question you get wrong, post the question, your response, correct response, and a correct citation. This cannot be from a CBT or any future training materials we release, it must be an FAA source (7110.65, AIM, etc.) or a facility SOP/LOA. Please make sure to number your questions as well so we are able to carry on a discussion about them if need to be and so we can keep track of which ones are good to go and which aren't. For example;
1. A CAT I aircraft is on approach following a CAT II aircraft. What is the SRS requirement?
My Answer: 6,000 ft
Correct Answer: 3,000 ft
Source: FAA 7110.65 4-3-2b (NOTE: I made up this source. It is not a correct citation for SRS)
Then, a mentor or instructor will go and check over the corrections. They will respond;
1) Good. Request the next exam/re-request the exam/retake the exam/request training when you’re ready.
ORF Training will start immediately. Anyone currently in training at a major airfield will not have to switch to ORF unless they specifically request to. Any previous exams or those currently pending on the ZDC website will be honored. The 3120 has been updated to include these changes.
Norfolk is now an option in the training dashboard for students requesting minor training.