An Open Letter to VATCAR, The Events of Nassau FIR


Controllers & Staff…

This open letter is being written in response to the events that have occurred at Nassau FIR and to provide an official statement on behalf of the VATCAR Executive Staff. The events that took place the evening of January 7th were a complete removal of all FIR staff with exception to Eric Boxerman.

This removal occurred after a long period of inactivity and ineffective leadership of the facility on behalf of Jerardson Mackey and the rest of the Nassau FIR staff. The Nassau FIR leadership was failing to properly communicate with controllers, training requests were going unanswered, no forum or training site activity, no monthly FIR reports were submitted, no reply or acknowledgement of Division emails that called for every ATM to reply to acknowledge receipt of new policies or notices relevant to operation of VATCAR FIRs, failure to fulfill his responsibilities as an Instructor, just to name a few of the issues. Jerardson failed to recognize every one of these issues and the ineffectiveness of his staff, and allowed them to remain in their roles while the FIR suffered with a lack of leadership and training, with many controllers transferring to other VATCAR FIRs in search of more structured leadership and training opportunities. The Air Traffic Manager bears ultimate responsibility for all activities within the FIR, both positive and negative. As such it is their responsibility to maintain constant awareness of the state of their FIR and to maintain awareness to, and correct any negative issues promptly. Jerardson was offered multiple opportunities to correct these issues, those turned into warnings, and then finally the VATCAR Executive Staff had to step in and correct the situation. This was not an acute situation, but one that was ongoing for upwards of a year. The VATCAR Executive Staff gave Jerardson a final warning in October of 2017 that he had three months to correct the situation and that a further review would take place after the first of the new year. After completing our review and investigation at the beginning of January of 2018, it was found Jerardson failed to address every issue that attention was called to. After multiple discussions and meetings, the unanimous conclusion was made by the VATCAR Executive Staff it was in the best interest of Nassau and the controllers of Nassau for the entire staff to be removed and for new leadership to be put in place.

VATCAR staff understands that everyone has real lives outside of VATSIM, and we don’t by any means expect someone to devote all their time to VATSIM. We do however ask that communication be kept open, and that in times you’re life is getting busy and you anticipate having difficulties completing your staff responsibilities, to reach out and let us know so we’re aware of the situation, or even if you need a LOA. Jerardson failed to communicate on all fronts.

Jerardson was one of VATCARs longest serving Air Traffic Managers, and for that we sincerely thank him for his time and dedication to Nassau and VATCAR, however, we regret that his leadership had to come to an end in the manner it did. Our hand has been forced in making this issue public by the resulting actions of Jerardson and the rest of the former Nassau FIR staff. This issue is made public not to call these individuals out, but because they have chosen the route of libel against VATCAR, and commandeering the Nassau FIR Facebook group to now convey contempt and anti-VATCAR messages.

Leemar Yarde
Division Director, VATSIM Caribbean Division
Toby Turlington
Deputy Director, VATSIM Caribbean Division
Alex Long
Training Administrator, VATSIM Caribbean Division