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). VATUSA airspace comprises of 20 Air Route Traffic Control Centers (contiguous US and Anchorage), 1 Control Facility (Honolulu Control Facility) and 1 CERAP (Guam CERAP, under management of HCF).

INFO: Controller information is updated on login. You may have to log out and log back in to see updated information from VATSIM.

This entry is for users wishing to begin their ATC training/certification for the first time ONLY. 


Getting Started


First, make sure your VATSIM account is active.  You can check this by pressing the "Login" button in the navigation bar on this website.  If you can log in, you are ready to proceed!  Otherwise, please note the error you receive and follow the instructions before opening a support ticket.


VATUSA is only authorized to conduct ATC training and certification for users assigned to the division.  Users not currently assigned to the division must transfer before we can begin your training.  Not sure if you're a member of VATUSA?  (your division assignment is listed under "Region - Division - Subdivision")


Ready to begin learning?


Your first step will be to complete the VATUSA Academy online, self-paced coursework for new members.  You may access the Academy by selecting the "Academy" button in the navigation bar on this website.  If you cannot access any courses after logging into the Academy website for the first time or receive an error message, wait at least two hours before opening a support ticket.  If this is your first time visiting the VATUSA website, your membership may take some time to be recognized.


You will need to complete the following courses:

  1. Trainee Orientation (Start here!)
  2. Basics of Air Traffic Control
  3. Clearance Delivery
  4. Ground Control


After completing all required courses, S1 Developmentals are eligible to attempt the Basic ATC/S1 Exam!  This exam automatically becomes available upon completion of the necessary prerequisite courses.  Not able to access it?


We grant you three attempts to pass the exam with a minimum score of 80%.  After failing the first time, there is a two (2) hour delay.  After failing the second time, there is a forty-eight (48) hour delay.  After failing the third time, you must open a support ticket assigned to the VATUSA Academy, requesting additional attempts.


After each exam attempt, students are encouraged to review the questions they got wrong and to study the lessons on the subject areas they found most challenging.  Students may not ask for external help on exam questions (including by posting in VATUSA- or VATSIM-controlled Discord servers or other forums).  You may ask for help with the subject areas covered by exam questions but may not share the questions' content.


Once you pass the exam, you are ready to transfer to a VATUSA subdivision to begin your practical training.  Passing the Basic ATC/S1 Exam does NOT grant you the S1 rating.  It only allows you to start the transfer process. 


On the VATUSA website, look under My VATUSA and click on the Join Facility link.  Select the subdivision where you wish to start training and submit your request!


From here, your selected subdivision will guide your training and development.  Look for an email from the subdivision team within the following week detailing the next steps.  If you don't hear from them within this time, open a support ticket so our team can help you find your way.


If at any time you have questions, please check this Knowledgebase for the answers before opening a support ticket so our team can assist you.  We hope you enjoy the challenging but exciting journey you are beginning.  


Welcome to VATUSA!

Join as Pilot

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