Join as ATC

Thank you for taking the time to consider joining the Virtual Air Traffic Simulation Network's USA Division (VATUSA). This network represents the single, most complex airspace in the world featuring 2015's world's most busiest airport, and 4 of the top 10 (according to Airports Council International). Each day, on average, over 2,000,000 passengers traverse across the US airspace on Air Transport (followed by China at just over 1 million, and the UK at 350,000).

INFO: It may take up to 24 hours for new, reactived or transferred members to be processed and sent to VATUSA through server synchronization. Please allow 24 hours to elapse before submitting support tickets.
How do I become a controller in VATUSA (or rejoin after 6+ months of inactivity)?
  1. Join VATSIM at
  2. Join the North America region - United States Division. If you are a VATSIM member, but not yet a member of VATUSA, there are two options:
    • If you are a member of the North America region, but different division like VATCAN or VATCAR, please email [email protected] to continue.
    • If you are a member of a different region, head over to Region Change Request and fill out the form. This process is not immediate and can take 4-7 days to complete.
  3. After you join the VATUSA division, you must complete the "Block 1 - Basic ATC/S1" Computer Based Training (CBT) course. This can be found at . ALL items under Block 1 must be checked complete before you will be permitted to start the Basic ATC Exam.
  4. Pass the "Basic/S1 Exam." Click on the "Assign Basic ATC Exam" under "My VATUSA" to be assigned the exam. If it's already assigned, that link will not appear, and can be taken from the "Exam Center" under "My VATUSA".
  5. After completing the initial exam, you will be able to join a facility. VATUSA is made up of 21 ARTCCs and 1 CCF [realworld FAA includes 2 CENRAPs, Guam which is under jurisdiction of Honolulu Combined Control Facility and San Juan CENRAP which is part of VATCAR on VATSIM]. To join your first facility, go to "My VATUSA" in the Navigation Bar, then select "Join Facility".
    If you are a returning member, you must request a transfer into your ARTCC of choice.
    Once you have successfully joined a facility, you will receive a welcome email upon facility selection. Initial selections are immediate; those requesting a transfer will receive the welcome email once the transfer request has been accepted. This should include instructions on what to do next. You may receive subsequent follow ups once they have added you to their facility website. If you do not hear anything within a few days, please open a ticket with your facility.
  6. Before you obtain your S1 rating or return from inactivity, you must complete training and an over-the-shoulder examination at your initial facility. After joining, the process will be explained to you further.
Important Notes
  • If your VATSIM membership has lapsed (become inactive), you will need to reactivate your VATSIM membership before you can reactivate your membership with VATUSA. You can do so here.
  • If you are returning from an absence of 6 months or less, you may have been removed from your home ARTCC. Request a transfer to initiate the rejoin process.
  • It can take up to 24 hours for new, reactivated, or transfers to be processed and sent to VATUSA through server synchronization. Synchronizations occur at midnight and noon US Central time. As such, please do not submit membership tickets within 24 hours of joining VATSIM or reactivating VATSIM membership.

Join as Pilot

To join a pilot, all you need is a VATSIM account. For more information, see VATSIM's Getting Started page.