Introduction

The objective of this document is to describe the vision and reasoning behind the transformation of IVAO into a single global organisation with local communities, replacing the current two-level system where divisions have separate identities, processes and policies and operate independently, within the global framework provided by the senior departments.

The autonomy of the current divisions as well as the nation-based organisational structure also can also bring instability if the staff of a smaller community becomes inactive or resigns. Regions without divisions are severely marginalised due to a lack of documentation and support for local users. In the future IVAO must portray a unified image where all divisions are easily identifiable as being part of a single global organisation, crossing national boundaries.

Global management of the brand, website and software is essential for consistent and seamless user experience in all airspace, and will mitigate issues arising from the variable size and resources of the local community. Operational information, previously dissimilated across a multitude of local websites, should be migrated to a single global resource.

A clearer definition of the IVAO management structure will be essential in order to correctly allocate tasks and responsibilities. The one-network concept also requires greater communication of staff across national borders, where global cooperation and the best interest of the network as a whole are the primary considerations in all decision-making processes.

Management Structure

The legal body of IVAO is the Non-Profit organisation, which is made up of a General Assembly of effective members.

The Board of Governors is responsible for all legal and financial matters, setting the medium and long-term goals for the network, approving additions or modifications to rules and regulations and drafting a document listing the annual targets.

The Board of Governors appoints a daily management team, the Executive Council, to run the network in accordance with the Rules & Regulations and achieve the goals described in the Annual Targets document published by the Board of Governors.

The Executive Council is the highest authoritative body in all matters concerning the operation of the network, including management of departmental and regional staff. The Board need only be consulted on issues that it is legally obliged to adjudicate upon, or which affect the long term goals of the organisation.

Departmental heads are the primary policy makers for the network and should set global standards that reflect the vision set out by the Board of Governors and Executive Committee.

Allowances must be made for differences as published by the local representatives of the department staff, however the departments must insure that the global standard in their respective areas of responsibility is consistent, for example with the availability and format of documentation or the standard of training provided.

Local management should be primarily concerned with delivering the IVAO experience to local members and cultivating the sense of community, both locally and globally.

Documentation & Procedures

The clear definition of responsibilities and processes is essential to ensure the organisation is run fairly and members understand the decision making process which is used by staff.

All processes and procedures must be clearly documented and stored in a central document repository. These documents should be available to all IVAO members, however due the confidential nature of certain processes annexes containing confidential information such as interview or exam question banks will be restricted to relevant staff only.

News releases must be drafted in a clear and consistent manner and should always be distributed through the same process for consistency.

Brand Identity

The brand identity falls under the responsibility of the public relations department.

IVAO’s brand is its most important asset – portraying a strong, global brand is essential in order to continue to attract new members and retain existing ones. Members should feel inspired by the strength of the IVAO brand and what it stands for: realism, excellence and a friendly global community.

The lack of any standard for division branding does showcase local culture, but also compromises the global consistency of the IVAO brand. Members also identify with the local brand rather than IVAO as a whole, which could compromise the global sense of community.

The new standard for division branding, although retaining a local feel, clearly preserves the underlying global identity. The Public Relations department should be mindful of, and accommodate local customs and differences as much as possible while striving to retain consistency across the network.

Website

The present website setup across IVAO comprises a central website, with only limited local documentation or resources. This requires every division / region to have a dedicated web setup and manpower which is extremely inefficient. Multiple websites also require multiple user information databases, which could contravene privacy laws. Finally most divisional / regional websites depend on the current local staff for upkeep and are therefore unsustainable in the long term and insecure in the event of a sudden change of staff.

The new IVAO website should allow all divisional information to be included within the global website structure. This approach has the following advantages:

  • Consistent layout and presentation of information across all regions
  • Stability and sustainability should local support staff resign suddenly
  • Reduced costs and infrastructure requirements particularly for smaller regions
  • No duplication of databases and systems across IVAO
  • Availability of all features (RFE booking, tours, etc) to all regions regardless of resources

The website should be member-centric, displaying the information as it pertains to a the member’s activity – flying or controlling – without making direct reference to the responsible department.

Further advanced resources such as weather and flight planning tools could also be made available on the IVAO website. Some of these services could benefit from agreements with partners and could be offered as a one-stop premium payware service to members:

  • Route Planner
  • Direct link to relevant chart
  • Direct link to relevant scenery
  • Navigation data
  • Weather information

Software

A new generation of ATC & Pilot client will permit much greater realism and stability on the IVAO network.

In addition to in-house connection and ATC clients third party flight simulator developers should be approached on the possibility to integrate IVAO services directly into aircraft, for example CPDLC or TCAS.

Apps for mobile devices should also be developed to work alongside the desktop apps, for example:

  • Comms radio + CPDLC for pilots
  • VSCS/Intercom or Flight strips for controllers

Further advances could include an integrated tower simulator plugin for flight simulators, remote lighting control systems, etc. Some of these features would depend on the cooperation of IVAO partners.

Partnerships

Active partnerships should be sought with Flight Simulator developers in order to embed IVAO features into their add-ons but also broker discounted deals for IVAO members and facilitate the installation of resources.

Professional training organisations should be approached to utilise the IVAO network, either in a separate environment or on the live network, for training purposes such as the simulation of ATC for student pilots or providing student controllers with vectoring practise.

Commercial flight simulator operators could offer a real flight experience by utilising IVAO to simulate a line flight with live ATC and other traffic.

Special Operations groups could utilise the IVAO network for their exercises and events, within published special use airspace, increasing realism for both parties and negating the requirement for these groups to run their own servers.