Becoming a Controller

The Role of The Controller

As in the real world, the role of the Air traffic Controller is to:

  • maintain an orderly flow of traffic.
  • provide a separation service between aircraft in the air and on the ground.
  • provide assistance to pilots

As ATC you will be providing a service to others and will need to undergo training to achieve the required standard. Training is provided by VATSIM in order to achieve different ratings, which allow you to control different poisitions. You are encouraged to progress through the ratings as far as you wish to go.

Joining a Division

To become a VATSIM approved Air Traffic Controller you must first join a VATSIM Region and Division. Most members select the Region/Division that is local to them, though this is not a requirement. It is important to consider the local timezone of the Division you join.

After selecting a Division, navigate to their website to find information about their training process and available contacts for you to get started.

Controller ratings

VATSIM has a Global Rating Policy (GRP) which all Divisions and Training Departments adhere to. The ratings defined by GRP include:

  1. Tower Trainee (S1) - the first rating, which allows you to get started on some aerodrome positions (defined locally)
  2. Tower Controller (S2) - all aerodrome control services: Delivery (DEL), Ground (GND) and Tower (TWR)
  3. TMA Controller (S3) - Approach (APP) and Departure (DEP) positions
  4. Enroute Controller (C1) - 'Enroute' or 'Area' sectors (CTR); both radar and non-radar control services.
  5. Senior Controller (C3) - A further rating granted by divisions which does not have any increased privileges associated