Virtual Airlines Partners Policy

Effective: 1 November 2021


This document shall serve as the written document of requirements and daily operational procedures for all Virtual/simulated civilian airlines and organizations that wish to use the VATSIM network for online flight simulation.


VATSIM provides the framework for regulation and control of events and activities so that these can be properly conducted to ensure minimal negative impact to other users of the VATSIM network.


In accordance with the VATSIM Code of Regulations, the VATSIM Vice President of Virtual Airlines and Special Operations (VPVASO), shall be the determining authority for all individuals and organizations wishing to utilize the VATSIM network for events and activities described in thisdocument.

  • 2.3.1. The VPVASO reserves the authority to remove any individual or organization from Virtual Airlines & Special Operations (VASO) partnership, thereby suspending their privilege to conduct any event or activity described in this document. An email notice of removal will be sent to the member and/or organization and to the VATSIM Vice President of Conflict Resolution (VPCR). The VPCR may review a removal and provide the targeted party or parties with an appeals process.


These procedures shall apply to all VATSIM pilots and Air Traffic Control Divisions on the VATSIM network conducting any type of event, activity, or operation described in this document.


Any pilot or ATC Division wishing to conduct an event or activity described in this document shall first be members in good standing. Any individual or organization in breach of this requirement shall be subject to disciplinary procedures in accordance with VATSIM Code of Regulations ArticleVI.


VPVASO is responsible for building and maintaining VATSIM's partnerships with virtual airlines and with Special Operations organizations.


VATSIM does allow anyone to fly military aircraft on the network, as designated on a filed flight plan with separate departure and destination locations. However, none of the privileges mentioned below will be allowed by non -VSO certified pilots or any pilot not operating on a Special Operations flight.

  • Conducting joint training exercises with approved VSO organizations

  • War games

  • Air to air refueling

  • Carrier operations

  • Flying low level military routes

  • Flying escort missions

  • Executing air combat maneuvers

  • Interception/scramble of other aircraft

  • Having access to special use airspace

  • Search & Rescue Operations

Any pilots wishing to take part in these activities are required to join a VATSIM Special Operations organization and complete the required training. Any pilot found online and not complying with the rules may be subject to disciplinary actions in accordance with VATSIM Code of Regulations and Code of Conduct.

VATSIM does allow anyone to fly military aircraft on the network, as designated on a filed flight plan with separate departure and destination locations. However, none of the privileges mentioned above will be allowed by non -VSO certified pilots or any pilot not operating on a Special Operations flight.

3. Structure and Requirements

3.1 Command Structure

Like any other segment of VATSIM, the VASO has a specified chain of command. All positions below the VPVASO may be filled as needed by appointment of the VPVASO. The following positions created are:

  • 3.1.1 Director of Virtual Airlines
  • 3.1.2 Audit Manager for Virtual Airlines

Each position above is responsible for overseeing partnership groups to include, but not limited to, processing of petitions for new organizations, maintaining oversight for compliance with VATSIM policies and serving as a liaison and assistant to partnership groups when planning and holding online events and activities. The Director shall also keep the VPVASO apprised of their respective area and work.

3.2 How to Apply

  • 3.2.1 All Virtual Airlines must meet these basic requirements
  • Basic Requirements A petitioning virtual airline should go to http://my.vatsim.net/ and apply. All airlines and special operations organizations must meet these basic requirements:

  • Management supports VATSIM and encourages pilots to fly online As an online flight simulation network our mission is to provide an aviation experience for pilots and air traffic controllers. Encouraging and sustaining use of the network is the primary means of achieving this goal. Therefore, we seek to partner with virtual airlines that make it a policy for their pilots to fly their flights with the airline online using the VATSIM network.

  • VA in existence minimum of six months Virtual Airlines are created all the time but many fail to either achieve a critical mass of members or maintain the management commitment for a significant period of time and are quickly abandoned. A VA that has been in existence for six months or more is likely to have overcome the initial problems that doom many startups.

  • 20+ pilots with VATSIM CIDs listed in an accessible roster The presence of at least twenty pilots on a VA’s roster indicates that it has achieved some level of acceptance in the pilot community. Partner VAs are subject to periodic audits by VATSIM Audit Managers to ensure that they are maintaining the requirements for said status. To facilitate these audits, VATSIM Pilot Identification Numbers (CID) must be made available to the audit managers on request or via a roster that is publicly accessible on the VA website. A VA claiming to be unable to comply with this requirement must delineate the reason.

  • Minimum 15 pilots using VA call sign online in 90-day Having pilots utilize the VATSIM network while conducting flights is why the network exists. This requirement demonstrates that the Virtual Airline Partner is focused on online flying. For verification purposes, the same accessible roster requirement as in shall apply as well to this section. In order for a flight to be accepted as having been flown for the VA there should be a reference to that VA’s name and/or URL in the flight plan remarks section. A reference to other VAs will result in denial of audit credit for the flight.

  • VA use of single callsign prefix To ensure accurate tracking of online activity for audit purposes, it is preferred that a VA should utilize a single callsign prefix for flights conducted by its pilots. Note-this is not to be construed as granting a VA exclusive right to utilize a particular callsign. Exceptions to this requirement may be granted for VAs that operate some flights under different callsign prefixes and others unable to comply provided the VA is able to provide a verifiable list of pilots with CID, callsign used and date of flight upon request.

  • Display VATSIM logo on website with a link to www.vatsim.net We display your banner as a partner airline and require that you display ours. The VATSIM logo must be featured either on the VA website homepage or in a clearly marked Partners section and must conform to the guidelines found at https://vats.im/brand.

  • Virtual Airlines may not have identical names Each partner airline will have a distinct name for its listing and no other VA may utilize the exact same name.

  • Active email address. VATSIM managers must be able to contact an official from each VA Partner. Every VA must provide an official’s email address where contact messages can be sent. It will be the responsibility of the VA to update that contact information when necessary.

  • Software installed on client’s user system Any software that VA members need to install to fulfill work for the VA must follow any data restrictions VATSIM imposes to secure the online system. Therefore, while online, any data collection software or programs utilized by a VA must not interfere with, or possibly be harmful to, the VATSIM network. In addition, the VA will not permit any pirated and/or copyright- protected documents, charts, or other files or programs to be posted on or linked from its site without having received prior authorization from the legal owner of said material permitting such use.

  • Behavior As a VA Partner, each VA will maintain decorum and respect both on the VATSIM network and in their own website communications regarding comments, discussions and interactions with other VATSIM members and participants.

  • GDPR Compliance As a VA Partner, each VA will be required to have their website GDPR compliant by making sure that website has the following information posted on the front page in a very conspicuous location. Each individual VA will have their choice of either placing a pop-up box / modal or a general text box which must include the following:

  • A) Consent from each member to have their data collected and used pursuant to the GDPR Privacy Policy.

  • B) A link to the GDPR Privacy Policy for members to review.

  • C) Actual GDPR Privacy Policy located on the main website for easy access.

An example of a proper GDPR Privacy Policy will be provided at the end of this Policies and Procedures Manual so each VA can customize it to fit their individual organization.

  • A) VAs, when applying for partnership, must include all the requested information from above for the application to be processed promptly.
  • B) An organization may be removed from the database at any time for any valid reason as deemed by VATSIM officials to include, but not limited to: Dead links, bad email addresses, continuous misbehavior by pilots on the network, or failure to adhere to the above stated partnership requirements.

NOTE: Virtual Airlines which do not meet all the stated requirements to be a Partner may apply to be a Virtual Airline Associate (VAA). The requirements for that program are stated in the separate VAA Policy that is posted on www.vatsim.net>Policies

4. Definitions

4.1 Partnership

Virtual/simulated organization that is a member of VATSIM.

4.2 Standard Operations

Standard operations comprise flying any aircraft within; General Aviation; Private; Corporate; or Commercial operations; There are no special requirements imposed by this document when conducting standard operations, and these are therefore NOT subject to the Special Operations Guidelines. At no time shall a virtual government agency, or any aircraft actively engaged in military, paramilitary or Search and Rescue activities, be considered as a standard operation entity, nor shall said entity or activity be exempt from policy set forth in this document.

4.3 Special Operations

Special operations comprise flying any aircraft that is; part of a military /government agency; or any aircraft engaged in military and/or paramilitary operations. Any other event or activity deemed as potentially disruptive will be reviewed by one or more of the following:

  • a. VATSIM Board of Governors
  • c. VATSIM Executive committee
  • d. Regional Directors

VPVASO can refer the matter to the VP-CONFLICT RESOLUTION for independent review.

4.4 VATSIM Virtual Airline (VVA)

Includes realistic and fictional airlines that fly from point to point and does not include special operations.

4.5 Vice President of Virtual Airlines and Special Operations (VPVASO)

Oversees all activities within this document.

4.6 VATSIM Special Operations (VSO)

Special Operations Organizations that are approved to fly on the VATSIM network.