VATUSA Support Knowledgebase

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Membership

1 . How do I become a VATUSA Air Traffic Controller?

If you are a member of the North American region but wish to transfer to the VATUSA division from VATCAN, VATCAR, or VATMEX, then open a new ticket.

If you are a member of another region (for example, South America, Europe, etc), you'll need to submit a change region request with VATSIM here.

VATUSA members wishing to begin their ATC training/certification:

  1. Please complete the VATUSA Academy material required below.  You may access the Academy by selecting the "Academy" link/button in the navigation bar on vatusa.net
  2. VATUSA members are auto-enrolled in the following Basic ATC/S1 Training Course Categories:
    • Intro to ATC
    • Clearance Delivery/Ground
  3. If you are a new controller, it may take up to two hours after your first login for the system to process your registration and enrollment.
    1. If it has been more than two hours, log out and log back into the website. Your enrollments should be processed within one hour after re-logging in.
    2. Enrollments are processed every twelve hours or on login, whichever comes first.
  4. OBS Students (or S1 Developmentals) need to complete the following courses:
    • Trainee Orientation
    • Basics of Air Traffic Control
    • Clearance Delivery
    • Ground Control
  5. After completing all of the prerequisite courses, S1 Developmentals are auto-enrolled in the Basic ATC/S1 Assessment Course and take the Basic ATC/S1 Exam.
    • The exam is linked to the last lesson at the end of the Ground Control course.
    • The exam link is only accessible after all prerequisites have been met.
    • Auto-enrollment into the assessment course means the 30-day enrollment period begins as soon as you have completed all of the prerequisites. It may take up to 12 hours for the server to reflect the enrollment.
      • If the enrollment period ends before all attempts have been made, the course will be locked.
      • Contact the Division Training Services by submitting a Support Ticket via the VATUSA website or VATUSA Discord.
    • Passing:
      • S1 Developmentals with a score of 80% or better pass the exam and must join a facility.
        • Note: Passing the exam does not earn the S1 Rating, as the student must complete a practical competency check at their arrival facility.
      • New Members:
        • On the VATUSA website, look under My VATUSA and click on the Join Facility link.
    • Failing:
      • The exam may be taken up to three (3) times within the 30-day enrollment period.
      • There is a two (2) hour delay between the first and second attempts.
      • Every additional attempt will be accessible after a 48-hour delay.
      • During the delay periods, students are encouraged to:
        • Review the questions that they got wrong.
        • Study the lessons on the subject areas that they found most challenging.
        • Receive extra help from division trainers by typing their questions in the VATUSA Discord server within the academy chat channel.
      • After a third failure, the course is locked. Contact the Division Training Services by submitting a Support Ticket via the VATUSA website or VATUSA Discord.
  6. You do not receive your S1 rating after passing this exam. You must go through your facility's training program first.
  7. Upon successful completion of the Basic ATC/S1 course and passing the final exam, look under My VATUSA.
    • For new members, never before in VATUSA, click on the "Join Facility" link

Important Notes

  • If your VATSIM membership has lapsed, you will need to reactivate your VATSIM membership before you can reactivate your membership with VATUSA. You can do so here.
  • Controller information is updated on login and twice a day. You may have to log out and log back in to see updated information from VATSIM.

2 . How do I change my region? How do I change my division?

Members wishing to transfer to a different region should complete the form available here.

Members wishing to remain in the VATSIM North American region but change divisions, you'll need to submit a request to the Division Director.

After the transfer is approved, it can take up to 24 hours to be processed.

Policies:

VATSIM Transfer and Visiting Controller Policy

VATUSA Transfer and Visiting Controller Policy

3 . How do I change my name or email address?

VATUSA cannot maintain VATSIM user records to do this for you.  Please head over to VATSIM's Membership page.

4 . I forgot my password, now what??

VATUSA doesn't handle or use passwords.  We use VATSIM's login method so you'll use your VATSIM password.  If you forgot this password, you'll need to get assistance for your password from VATSIM's Membership Department.

5 . I am a controller from a different Division and/or Region, but would like to become a visiting controller in VATUSA. How do I get started?

Excellent; we'd love to have you! Before selecting the subdivision(s) that you'd like to visit, you'll need to complete a Rating Competency Exam (RCE) appropriate to your rating:

  1. Access the VATUSA academy (click the "Academy" link in the navigation bar), and review the material appropriate to your rating (for example, an S3-rated controller should consider reviewing the Basic ATC, S1, S2, and S3 courses).  While completion of these courses is not required, it is strongly recommended before attempting the Rating Competency Exam
  2. Open a support ticket (click on the "Support" link in the navigation bar, then select "Open New Ticket") assigned to the VATUSA Academy.  Please make the subject of the ticket "A# Rating Competency Exam Request" (where A# is the name of your current rating - e.g., S2 for an S2-rated controller).
  3. Wait for a response from our staff! Our staff will assign you the Rating Competency Exam that is appropriate to your rating via the VATUSA Academy and advise you via your ticket when assigned.  Please ensure your VATSIM-registered email address is current so you receive an instant email notification when we reply to your ticket.  Upon receiving notification that the RCE has been assigned, please complete the RCE.  Remember that all VATUSA exams are open-book/open-notes, and you are encouraged to use the academy material and other resources to help you succeed.  However, receiving assistance from other members is not permitted.  Once you complete the RCE, please post your score in the support ticket.
    • Passing.  Upon successful completion of the RCE, our staff will note the completion of the required exam in your file and close your ticket!  You should now visit the subdivision websites for those facilities you wish to visit at and complete the appropriate application process.  Questions regarding subdivision visitor applications should be directed to the subdivision's staff.  Please note that subdivisions may require additional testing before granting controlling privileges; successfully completing these tasks is required before logging onto a control position inside VATUSA.
    • Failing.  Upon unsuccessful completion of your RCE, you will be required to complete the academy material for all courses appropriate for your rating (for example, an S3-rated controller would complete the S1, S2, and S3 courses).  Please do not close your support ticket:  Complete the required course material, and advise our staff via the ticket when you have completed it.  They will reassign the appropriate RCE at that time. 
      • A subsequent failure of the RCE will result in a referral to your home division/subdivision for remedial training; you will not be permitted to visit until our staff has received confirmation from your division that you have completed remedial training.  At this time, you will be reassigned the appropriate RCE prior to being eligible to submit visiting applications to VATUSA subdivisions.

6 . Why does VATSIM have a 90-day waiting period and 50 hour consolidation requirement between transfers?

A significant effort is expended by our volunteer facility staff members every time a member joins a facility and/or earns a new rating. In the past, people have abused the significant investment of time from these volunteer staff members by transferring before "paying back" the facility for their investment.  The VATSIM Transfer Policy attempts to prevent such abuse.

7 . Why can I not submit a transfer request?

Transfer requests are restricted by division policy until you meet eligibility requirements.  A checklist can be found on your My VATUSA Profile that will tell you the reason you are not eligible to transfer.

If this checklist indicates that you must complete the Academy courses or the appropriate Rating Competency Exam, do not complete material without reading the following:

  • If you are applying to be a visiting controller, you will not transfer.  Please follow the appropriate steps listed in this Knowledgebase for visiting controllers from outside the division.
  • If you are assigned to the VATUSA division and are trying to transfer to a subdivision:
    • If you hold the OBS controller rating, follow the appropriate steps listed in this Knowledgebase for new controllers.
    • If you hold an S1, S2, S3, C1, or C3 controller rating, follow the appropriate steps listed in this Knowledgebase for returning controllers.

8 . I put in a transfer request, but wish to cancel it. What do I do?

If the transfer request has not been approved already, you should submit a ticket to the facility you submitted your transfer request to requesting it be canceled.

If the transfer request has been approved, you would need to wait 90 days before being able to transfer again as indicated by our division policy.

9 . What to do if I have been suspended?

If you have been suspended from the VATSIM network, you are not permitted to connect to VATSIM servers or participate in training for the duration of the suspension. All suspension appeals should be directed toward the VATSIM Supervisor team. Upon suspension, you will automatically be removed from any controlling roster (both home and visiting) and any staff role(s) you currently hold.

At the conclusion of your suspension, you WILL NOT be automatically added back onto any controlling rosters or staff roles. In order to rejoin a home facility, please submit a transfer request. If you are not currently eligible to submit a transfer request and require assistance, please submit a ticket to the ZHQ facility and assign the ticket to VATUSA2. Please note that it is your responsibility to contact the appropriate facility staff to be added back into any controlling rosters or staff positions.

10 . How do I rejoin as a controller after I've been away?

VATUSA members wishing to rejoin after less than 6 months inactive:

  1. Submit a transfer request to a facility of your choice! (Available under the "My VATUSA" menu)

VATUSA members wishing to rejoin after more than 6 months inactive:

  1. Access the VATUSA academy (click the "Academy" link in the navigation bar), and review the material appropriate to your rating (for example, an S3-rated controller should consider reviewing the Basic ATC, S1, S2, and S3 courses).  While completion of these courses is not required, it is strongly recommended before attempting the Rating Competency Exam
  2. Open a support ticket (click on the "Support" link in the navigation bar, then select "Open New Ticket") assigned to the VATUSA Academy.  Please make the subject of the ticket "A# Rating Competency Exam Request" (where A# is the name of your current rating - e.g., S2 for an S2-rated controller).  OBS-rated members who have previously completed the Basic ATC/S1 Academy material and passed the S1 exam should request the S1 rating competency exam.
  3. Wait for a response from our staff! Our staff will assign you the Rating Competency Exam (RCE) appropriate to your rating via the VATUSA Academy and advise you via your ticket when assigned.  Please ensure your VATSIM-registered email address is current so you receive an instant email notification when we reply to your ticket.  Upon receiving notification that the RCE has been assigned, please complete the RCE.  Remember that all VATUSA exams are open-book/open-notes, and you are encouraged to use the academy material and other resources to help you succeed.  However, receiving assistance from other members is not permitted.  Once you complete the RCE, please post your score in the support ticket.
    • Passing.  Upon successful completion of the RCE, our staff will grant you permission to submit a transfer request and close your ticket!  Please submit a transfer request to your chosen facility (available in the "My VATUSA" menu).
    • Failing.  Upon unsuccessful completion of your RCE, you will be required to complete the academy material for all courses appropriate for your rating (for example, an S3-rated controller would complete the S1, S2, and S3 courses).  Please do not close your support ticket:  Complete the required course material, and advise our staff via the ticket when you have completed it.  They will reassign the appropriate RCE at that time.

11 . I'm a real-world air traffic controller, do I still have to complete VATUSA's training before controlling?

Requests for exceptions to certain training requirements for real-world controllers are assessed on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact our staff by opening a support ticket assigned to the "VATUSA Academy" facility.  Here's what you can expect:

U.S. Controllers (FAA, Military, Contract):

Controllers certified in the United States may be exempted from the VATUSA Academy theory courses (and their associated exams) by completing the VATUSA Rating Competency Exam (RCE) matching their real-world training.  All RCEs are cumulative and include material from "lower" ratings.  We are unable to exempt any members from completing practical training at the subdivision of their choice.  If you are...

  • An FAA Enroute (Center) Controller
    • Due to the top-down nature of the VATSIM network, we are unable to exempt Enroute controllers from the training required for the S1, S2, or S3 ratings.  Controllers should complete training as normal but may request to be exempted from completing the C1 academy course when they reach that stage in their training.
  • A Terminal Controller (FAA, Military, or Contract) With Radar Training/Certification
    • We are able to exempt controllers from completing the Basic ATC, S1, S2, and S3 academy courses.  Please submit a request for the S3 RCE (which includes material for all tower cab positions and radar approach/departure control positions).
  • A Terminal Controller (FAA, Military, or Contract) With No Radar Training/Certification
    • We are able to exempt controllers from completing the Basic ATC, S1, and S2 academy courses.  Please submit a request for the S2 RCE (which includes material for all tower cab positions).

U.S. CTI Program Graduates or Non-U.S. Controllers:

Controllers not certified (or not yet certified) in the United States are not eligible for an exemption from training and should complete the training process as usual.

12 . I'm a real-world pilot, do I still have to complete VATUSA's training before controlling?

Yes!

While we recognize that many real-world pilots possess significant knowledge of instrument procedures and air traffic operations as active participants in the real-world National Airspace System, taking up the microphone and acting as an air traffic controller requires additional training.  Your existing knowledge will be an asset in your training and development and may accelerate your progress, but we are unable to exempt real-world pilots from ATC training requirements.  We look forward to working with you to expose you to a fun and exciting new perspective of the world you love as a pilot!

Data Services

1 . I noticed an error on the VATUSA website or a missing feature, who do I contact?

You can submit that by submitting a ticket.  Submit it to the "ZHQ" facility.

2 . I noticed an error on my facility's website. Who should I contact?

Each facility manages its own web services and has their own webstaff.  Open a ticket via Support and assign it to the facility.

Training Academy

1 . I'm ready to start the Academy course for my next rating. What do I do?

Great!  Congratulations on your success!

VATUSA subdivisions are responsible for enrolling their students in the VATUSA Academy courses for S2, S3, and C1 at the appropriate time in their training procedure.  Please review your home subdivision's training procedures for more information on when these courses are opened to you.  If you're unable to find any information, please contact your home subdivision's staff for assistance.  VATUSA staff will not enroll you in these rating courses.

2 . What if I fail a rating exam three times within the 30 day enrollment period?

Basic ATC/S1 Exam

If you fail the exam three times within the 30-day enrollment period, you must open a support ticket here on the VATUSA website, assigned to the Academy. A member of our division training team will respond within 24 hours (or 48 hours if over a weekend) with additional instructions.

S2, S3, or C1 Exams

If you fail the exam three times within the 30-day enrollment period, please contact your subdivision's training staff (either the Training Administrator or another designated member of staff) for permission to reattempt the exam.  When we receive approval from your subdivision's training staff, we will grant permission for additional attempts.  Please do not contact VATUSA staff or open a support ticket with VATUSA to regain access; instead, ask your subdivision's training staff to do so.

3 . I noticed an error in my facility's exam or training material. Who do I contact?

You should contact your instructor or Training Administrator.  You can either email them or submit a ticket to that facility.

4 . I just joined VATUSA and I cannot see any courses. What do I do?

Please follow these steps to make sure that you are properly enrolled into the VATUSA Training Academy:

  1. Verify that you are an active member of VATUSA as often this is assumed but not actually the case.
  2. After you join or have verified that you are a member of VATUSA, login to the main VATUSA website (www.vatusa.net).
    • If you're already logged in, log out and back in to the website.
  3. It may take up to two (2) hours for the system to process your enrollment after you've successfully logged into the main VATUSA website.
    • If still unsuccessful after you cycle through the login process, wait the remainder of the two (2) hour period before making another attempt.
  4. When you go to the Academy, do not click on All Courses; instead, under the main header image within the website breadcrumbs, click on Dashboard.
  5. Your Dashboard will list all of your available courses either in Course Overview or under Navigation on the lefthand side.
  6. Repeat the first three steps during or shortly after the expected wait time in order to exhaust all attempts to fix the situation.
    • If all else fails, please open a support ticket in the Ticket Manager located under Support on the main VATUSA website.
      • Please be sure to reference this FAQ item in your ticket to notify VATUSA staff that you've followed these instructions prior to seeking help.

5 . I completed all of the necessary lessons, but I cannot access the exam. What do I do?

It may take up to 12 hours for the server to reflect the enrollment.

In order to unlock the ability to take an exam, you must have completed all of the required prerequisites. For the Basic ATC/S1 Exam, this includes completing the Trainee Orientation, ATC Basics, Clearance Delivery, and Ground Control courses. All other ratings require only the associated course (e.g., the Local Control course is the prerequisite for the S2 Exam).

The link to the exam is accessible within the last category of the associated course. In the case of the Basic ATC/S1 Exam, the link is located in the Ground Control course. The exam itself is part of a separate course known as an assessment course. Once you have completed all of the prerequisites for a given exam, you are auto-enrolled into the exam's assessment course for a period of 30 days. You may take up to three (3) attempts at passing the exam within the 30-day enrollment period. If you fail the exam three times, the course is locked and you must contact our staff by opening a support ticket.

If you cannot access the exam, please try the following solutions:

  1. Verify that you have completed all of the prerequisites.
    • In Course Overview located on your Dashboard view, make sure all required courses indicate 100% completion.  Look for the words "to do" - these indicate actions that must be taken before the course is considered complete.  If you're having trouble finding these, we recommend trying your browser's built in "search on page" function (Ctrl+F).
      • USE CAUTION! A lesson is considered complete only when all completion critera are met. Examples of completion criteria are as follows:
        • View = Viewing a lesson resource.
        • Complete the activity = Fully engage in the lesson resource by viewing and/or interacting with it.
        • Go through the activity to the end = You must either click on an end button or view a screen that expresses the fact that you've ended the lesson.
        • Receive a grade = You must receive a 100% on the assessment found within the lesson.
      • Lesson may contain one or all of the above criteria in order to be considered fully complete.
        • Completion criteria marked as Done are completed.
        • Completion criteria marked as To do are required to be completed.
  2. Please be patient! It may take up to 12 hours for the server to validate your completion and enroll you into the assessment course.
  3. Log out and back in to the VATUSA website, then revisit the Academy.
  4. After 12 hours of being unsuccessful, please open a support ticket in the Ticket Manager found under Support on the main VATUSA website.
    • Please reference this FAQ in the support ticket in order to notify VATUSA staff that you made every attempt possible to remedy the problem.

 

6 . Why are some of my exam questions not graded?

Whether or not a student answers an experimental question correctly, it will not count towards their final grade.

Every final exam for a rating contains two ungraded questions that are sourced from an experimental category bank. Similar to FAA pilot knowledge tests, experimental questions allow VATUSA staff to try out new question types and content without affecting the final grade. Once a question has been determined to be fair and effective, it will be moved into a graded category and replaced with another experimental question.

7 . What if the 48 hour delay period between exam attempts exceeds the 30 day enrollment period?

If your 30 day enrollment period ends while you are still waiting for either the 2 or 48 hour delay to end between attempts, please follow the appropriate guidance based upon the exam:

Basic ATC/S1 and S1RCE Exams: Open a support ticket by clicking here or within the VATUSA Discord.

S2/S3/C1 and S2/S3/C1 RCE Exams: Contact your facility training department with a request to extend your enrollment period.

Cannot find an answer? Submit a support ticket