ATC Requirements

General Information

This page will explain what you have to know, and which will be discussed during training sessions, as well as the requirements for the various Controller ratings. For the S1 rating there is no practical test however, vACCs are free to make an easy practical test to evaluate the skill level of the applicants. For the Controller ratings, the practical tests may be split up in two or more sessions, as required.

Controller Ratings and Required Knowledge

  • Tower Trainee (S1)………..GND and DEL
  • Tower Controller (S2)…..TWR
  • TMA Controller (S3)……..APP/DEP
  • Enroute Controller (C1)..CTR
  • Senior Controller (C3)

For each of these ratings, the appropriate theory test must also be taken in ATSimTest.

Tower Trainee S1

This rating does not require a practical exam although the theory test must be passed.

Tower Controller S2

The following competencies are required to receive the Student 2 rating.

  • Setup, Configure and Connect to the network
  • Demonstrates understanding of the ATS role
  • Displays service delivery awareness
  • Displays situational awareness
  • Manages communication priority
  • Uses correct phraseology
  • Manages Flight Strips, Tags and Flight Plans
  • Displays professional behaviour and pleasant attitude
  • Coordinates with other ATC where required
  • Correctly identifies aircraft and applicable flight rule
  • Applies basic altimetry
  • Issues appropriate clearance and departure instructions
  • Issues appropriate GND instructions where/when required
  • Selects suitable Duty/Active Runway
  • Generates ATIS
  • Issues takeoff clearances
  • Issues landing clearances
  • Applies correct runway separation
  • Handles missed approaches
  • Manages circuit traffic
  • Correctly transfers aircraft to next ATC unit

Approach and Departure (TMA) Controller (S3)

The following competencies are required to receive the Student 3 (Approach/Departure) rating.

  • Correctly identifies departing aircraft
  • Cancels SID and vectors aircraft for sequencing or separation
  • Issues amended maintains level where necessary for positive separation
  • Correctly transfers aircraft to the Enroute controller
  • Ensures pilot is in receipt of correct ATIS information
  • Cancels STAR and vectors aircraft for sequencing or separation
  • Issues descent and provides runway assignment or reiteration
  • Provides position and distance to run to aircraft
  • Correctly positions aircraft for approach type
  • Correctly issues the approach clearance
  • Correctly transfers aircraft to the TWR controller
  • Verifies mode C level of aircraft when commencing radar service
  • Issues appropriate TMA instructions where/when required
  • Provides suitable vectors to aircraft when required
  • Initiates holding when necessary to regulate traffic flow
  • Adjusts aircraft speed or track to achieve sequence
  • Applies appropriate vertical separation between aircraft
  • Applies appropriate lateral separation between aircraft
  • Passes traffic information where required
  • Provides additional information or navigation service
  • Correctly processes aircraft entering CTA from Class G airspace
  • Correctly processes aircraft leaving CTA into Class G airspace
  • Implements flight following procedures when requested

Area or En-Route Controller (C1)

The following competencies are required to receive the Controller 1 (Center) rating These competencies are cumulative and the student must demonstrate compliance with all previous rating requirements.

  • Issues appropriate CTR instructions where/when required
  • Applies advanced altimetry concepts
  • Provides suitable vectors to aircraft when required
  • Initiates holding when necessary to regulate traffic flow
  • Adjusts aircraft speed or track to achieve initial sequencing for arrival
  • Correctly transfers aircraft to next ATC unit
  • Provides separation service appropriate for class of airspace
  • Applies appropriate vertical separation between aircraft
  • Applies appropriate vertical separation to aircraft operating in the RVSM band
  • Applies time separation between aircraft in non-radar environment
  • Applies separation between aircraft in radar environment
  • Provides traffic services appropriate for class of airspace
  • Provides additional information or navigation service
  • Issues airways clearance to aircraft entering CTA
  • Terminates services for aircraft leaving CTA
  • Issues STAR Clearance where necessary
  • Provides services appropriate to VFR aircraft

Senior Controller (C3)

According to VATSIMs Global Rating Policy (GRP) no ATC position can require a higher rating than Enroute Controller (C1). However the Senior Controller rating C3, whilst not directly linked to an ATC position as such, is considered to be the highest controller rating recognizing the knowledge, skill and seniority that a member can achieve and one achieved, remains a permanent rating.

Requirements

All members holding a C1 rating are eligible to apply for a promotion to C3 rating based on the following criteria.

The member

  • is C1 rated for at least 6 months with a minimum of 150hrs at that rating.
  • must have served 75 hours as active ATC within the last 12 months.
  • is recommended for promotion by a vACC Director
  • spent 20 hours as a mentor in a C1 position (acknowledged by vACC Director).
  • can prove that he/she has made a positive contribution to the development/promotion of student controllers in VATWA.
  • has successfully passed a CPT (to be determined by at least two examiners, with at least one divisional examiner and at least one local examiner).

The appertaining Controller Practical Test (CPT) will focus on the following:

  • Ability to service multiple airports/positions
  • Ability to handle IFR and VFR flights sharing the same airspace
  • Ability to handle abnormal situations
  • Steady traffic-flow
  • Traffic awareness
  • Keeping the big picture
  • Ability to coordinate with adjacent controllers
  • Ability to use correct phraseology in English

The Controller Practical Test (CPT) must be conducted on a CTR position. The Controller Practical Test (CPT) normally shall be conducted in VATSIM online environment, but also may be conducted in a Simulator Session. The member can opt to forego the local Examiner conducting the CPT if it proves difficult to get availability of a Divisional Examiner and a local Examiner at the same time. This divisional policy comes into force with its publication on the VATEUD website.