Thanks for all the input thus far.
One thing we have to take into consideration for our split is the skewed traffic conditions we have. It showed itself the other night for the first time in a while due to the fact that we had several center controllers on. It is clear that a high percentage of our traffic flows to the northeast, particularly since so many pilots file JKS as a first waypoint to KATL. The problem reveals itself on South Ops when an aircraft transitions the 13 Sector for 25 or 30 miles then gets transferred to the 05 sector. So it may be appropriate to consider adjusting that split line slightly to facilitate traffic and reduce the number of required handoffs.
Another discussion point that has been surfacing is the idea that 360 days out of a year we have a "Normal" operations scenario where there are no Center Splits, no Approach Splits, etc. Then we have a high traffic condition that is balanced for maybe 3 days in a year, and then on FNO nights, which is 10 hours in a year, we have a skewed heavy traffic flow with seemingly mostly inbound traffic, but it can be dynamic as well. With that in mind, I think it is important that we keep the correct perspective on any changes we make.
Changing the 05, 13 split for instance only makes a difference twice a year......but it is a big difference. So it may be worth looking at more closely.
As far as surrounding centers asking what the split is, we sent them the same FNO prep document that our guys got that clearly outlined the split. As for pilots from uncontrolled airpace calling the wrong sector, that is a VATSIM thing that will never go away, I agree with Wes on that.
Having a default TRACON split of E & W Approach doesn't appear to really do anything 360+ days out of the year, and further it does not really reinforce a concept that we need to make second nature for High Traffic, so a APP / DEP default split may be more appropriate to accomplishing our goals.
Here's what I will say for sure at this point: The TRACON configuration will be modified to reflect a little bit simpler version of the RW layout. The RW configuration has many altitude divisions that can be condensed into about 4 per side but that need to be understood to be effective in the position. There will be more emphasis on DEP & APP interaction. There will be some information on how to interact with F_APP, and what that airspace definition is. Likewise, it changes when the ops at the airport change, and that needs to be understood too. There will be hard rules on vectoring and descents in that airspace. My goal is that you will learn the east side descents, and then add 1,000 feet for the west side, to make it easier to remember. Expect training and certification in the Memphis LCTP to intensify a little bit and become a little more complex. We want to see people working DEP and understanding how to properly manipulate traffic under & over arrivals. We need a clear understanding of what the approach airspace really is, and it is not everything inside the circle.
The last item to kick around at this time is position callsigns, and I am giving that a lot of consideration right now. When we are rarely if, ever splitting positions, then there really doesn't seem to be a point to have sectored callsigns under normal conditions. This is definitely true from APP and down, but I am still kicking around the concept on CTR. To illustrate, MEM_05_CTR since Jan 1, 2008 has been manned for 1,115 hours. The 04 Sector on the other hand has been manned for only 49 hours. Assuming 5 hours per FNO (total of 3) plus 2 other events of 2 hrs each, this means that a relief callsign was used for about 30 hours or 2.6% of the time. So when it is not an issue 97.4% of the time, does it warrant adding the sector to the callsign under normal conditions? Why not just MEM_CTR? We know for sure that it applies below CTR because those positions never split except for an event. We never split high/low, so I can't really say that we need to even be concerned about that. For a normal event, we'd likely only split E & W, and only during FNO or something similar would we split 4 ways. Food for thought, but I find that the simplest solutions are usually the best.
We are also going to repackage our data and training information into a Wiki style online library that can have a full-text search to make information more readily available. That conversion is in process and will be substantially completed this week.
This post has been edited by Andrew Podner: Apr 27 2009, 06:28 AM