1.0 Division Policy

Category: Divisional Policy | Middle East Division Policy

Divisional policy – v1.4

January 23rd, 2019


Created and edited to v1.3 by Chriss Klosowski [15.11.2018].
Added to VATME HQ as a draft by Maher Abaza with minor edits [15.12.2018].
Updated to version 1.4 by Maher Abaza [23.01.2019]



Section 1 – VATME Organization

VATME, VATSIM Middle East Division, is the leading organization covering the local VATSIM facilities based in the Middle East which falls under VATAME – Africa & Middle East Region.

This policy is the base guidelines & regulations for all entities within VATME. It is required for all VATME vACCs that are covered by VATME which are:

Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and the territory of Gaza.

VATAME – Africa & Middle East Region is one of the regions that cover the VATSIM Network. Others are VATNA – North America, VATSA – South America, VATEUR – Europe, VATASIA – Asia, VATOCE – Oceania. All the Regional Directors form the VATSIM Executive Committee [VATSIM EC] which is organized by the VATSIM Vice President of Regions who is a member of the VATSIM Board of Governors [BoG].



Section 2 – VATME Policy Range

This document is the obligatory basis for all entities and operations in the area of VATME. It is the organizational basis for each member as well for the local, national, areal or special entities organized in or associated with VATME.

This policy follows higher VATSIM rules published here:

For any conflicting rules, the one that is higher than is policy is effective, if not mentioned differently directly by the policy.


2.1      Ratification

This policy is in effect as of February 1st, 2019.


2.2     Purpose

VATME's goal is bringing the local communities who are interested in Flight Simulation or Air Traffic Control together and to accurately and realistically simulate all operations within the VATSIM Network.

VATME or VATSIM Members do not need to be a professional pilot nor a real-life Air Traffic Controller. The VATSIM Network is a learning environment for everyone interested in Flight Simulator and Air Traffic Control. It is the task of all members, vACCs, Divisions, and Regions to make this possible.

VATME members are not expected to learn what is needed to become a real-world pilot or an Air Traffic Controller by this network solely. VATSIM was created to bring the communities who are interested in Flight Simulation and Air Traffic Control together. VATSIM is not an institution for real-world careers.

It is equally important for all VATSIM entities and their members to create, cooperate and to behave in a manner of friendship and understanding. This applies to all members of VATSIM. Any actions blocking this aim are not allowed in the community and is against the rules and regulations set by VATSIM.

VATSIM Members use the network in their spare time. All VATSIM related services are organized and given by VATSIM Members. Therefore, they reflect the ability of members who donate their time and passion. We are a group of hobbyists and our services will reflect this.



Section 3 - VATME Organization    

VATME, which was founded in 2007, is responsible for the countries that were mentioned in Section 1.

The main task of VATME is to create local organizations and bring communities together to bring realism to its finest within the Middle East. These originations provide training for ATC, Events for Pilots and so on.

VATSIM is the highest entity that owns the virtual airspace of the network. By the Code of Regulations, the organization of the airspace has been delegated to the Regions on VATSIM, which then falls in the hands of the Divisions. All airspace within the area of VATME is under control of VATME.


3.1      Division Structure

VATME has a staff structure which consists of different departments that maintain the services, policies & regulations of the Division. Each Department lead has full voting rights as well as vACCs. Lower Department staff have limited voting rights.


3.2     Divisional Director

The Divisional Director (VATME1) is appointed by the Africa & Middle East Regional Director (VATAME1). He/she appoints a Divisional Deputy Director. The Divisional Director is the Lead of the VATME Board.

The Board represents VATME in VATAME, which also represents Africa & Middle East Region in the Executive Committee and to the VATSIM Vice President of Regions in the Board of Governors (BoG). The VATME Board also represents local vACCs.

Furthermore, the task of the Divisional Director is to create and maintain the structure of the board as well as the departments. The Divisional Director can dismiss members from their staff position. The Divisional Director also assigns tasks to the Department Teams.


3.3      VATME Department Teams

All entities of VATME are organized in departments. The Division consists of:

  • Operational Teams.
  • Administrative Teams at Divisional Level.
  • The Divisional Conflict Resolution Manager (DCRM).

All teams and members of the board work on a voluntary basis. None of the services is professional services and the members of the board work in their free time. Any sort of tasks/services may take a bit of time until they are processed.


3.3.1    Departments

The Divisional Department teams take care of an area of interest, for example, the ATC Department will look over everything that has to do with ATC Training, Exams, Instructors etc. The departments work closely with vACC & Divisional levels to the best of their ability. A staff member can be part of different departments but can only hold one leadership position in a department.


3.3.2   Divisional Conflict Resolution Manager

As stated in the VATSIM Code of Regulations, the Conflict Resolution Manager remains directly responsible to the Divisional Director. This position does not hold a seat nor can vote in the Divisional Board. The role acts completely autonomously to the Board and is the Division’s instance to the VATSIM Code of Conduct, VATSIM Code of Regulations and other agreements and policies that the network has put in place. The DCRM can only be called by a VATSIM Network Supervisor.


3.3.3   Voting Rights

All Divisional teams in VATME, as well as vACC Directors, have a seat in board meetings.


3.3.4   Absence from VATME Duties

In the absence of a member in the VATME Division Team, the deputy director of that department and/or team takes over the responsibilities of that staff member while they are absent. If there is no deputy the next higher instance takes the duty unless it has been adjusted by the Divisional Director.

In case a staff member is absent from meetings, he/she may ask another staff member to vote on their behalf. This needs to be addressed prior to meetings via e-mail.


3.3.5   Leaving VATME Staff

If a VATME staff member intends to resign from his/her position, he/she will need to e-mail the Divisional Director as well as the Deputy (If available). He/she will also need to endeavour to ensure that a smooth transition takes place. Due to the time this takes to process, an early notice would be beneficial.

If the Divisional Director intends to resign, VATME Staff & the director of VATAME need to be informed in advance. It is the duty of VATAME to nominate a new Divisional Director. Meanwhile, during the time that the position is vacant, the Deputy Director will lead the Divisional Teams as the Acting Division Director in coordination with VATAME Director.



Section 4    vACCs inside VATME

Airspaces in VATSIM are handed to the VATSIM Regions, which is then handed over to the Divisions to organize their airspaces. To make the operations smoother in these areas VATME hand over parts of the airspaces to the local vACC.
vACC stands for Virtual Area Control Center.

Even though the name seems to focus more on the Air Traffic Control side of things, a vACC also spreads out information to VATSIM Pilots and Controller in the area.


4.1      vACC structure

A vACC in VATME combines all members in the area, even if they are local Air Traffic Controllers or pilots. On VATSIM, a vACC is every member's “virtual home”. A vACC goal is to organize a local group of members and giving them a resident status.


When a new member decides to sign up for VATSIM, each member chooses the area he/she wants to be part of as a resident. This selection is up to the members choice and does not have to be a member of real-world residency. However, if the member chooses to start ATC Training, they have to choose their vACC wisely. During the training phase, a number of limitations may reduce the chance of a transfer.

VATME Consists of a number of vACCs representing nations in different areas. vACCs in VATME are NOT required to follow real-world organizations. On VATSIM, we try to fit the best organizational structure to simulate real-life general operations. A vACC is not allowed to represent political statements by its presence, communications, or habit.

A vACC is the organization serving specific virtual airspace. It provides both ATC and Pilot training to a local community. These areas, of course, are bound to real-world borders.

The creation of a new vACC in VATME needs the approval of the Regional & Divisional Directors. Members who wish to establish a new vACC should therefore first contact the Divisional Director.

  • A vACC gains official status once the Regional Director, Divisional Director, Deputy Director and the ATC Department Lead reach an agreement.
  • A vACC can lose its official status if it does not meet the Divisions activity/performance requirements during a certain period. This is discussed with the VATME Board.


4.2     vACC

A Virtual Area Control Center is an official organization representing a local area within VATME. The vACC shall provide the following services to their members:


4.2.1   Tasks of a vACC

A vACC shall perform these roles:

  • Create a local community for all VATSIM Members that are part of the vACC, including visiting controllers, and maintain it on VATAME HQ System.
  • Setup and maintain all needed methods of communications to the local community via the HQ System.
  • Bring new members to the community.
  • Establish a vACC Staff team that can maintain the local community.
  • Respond to Support Tickets on the HQ System as efficiently as possible.
  • Provide local Air Traffic Control Services.
  • Provide ATC Training, including ATC competencies based on the regulations put in place by the Divisional ATC Department.
  • Provide & publish local information (i.e charts) for pilots and software solutions for ATCs on the HQ System.
  • Publish a list of qualified ATC members to control in the local area. This also includes positions defined in the VATSIM Global Ratings Policy that are considered “Major Airports” and/or “Designated Airspaces”. This shall be processed and maintained on the HQ System.
  • Update the Divisional ATC Department on the progress of their ATC members.
  • Organize pilot training at the vACC with cooperation with other organizations (Regional ATO, VATSTAR, etc...).
  • Organize and publish appropriate training material and information (i.e SOPs) on the HQ System. These materials need to be free of third-party rights (Copyright) or have the approval of the original author/publisher and maintained regularly to reflect real-world changes.
  • Organize staff meetings (required), at least one public meeting per annum.
  • Organize events and publish them on the HQ System.
  • Collaborate closely with neighbouring vACCs to improve services for members.
  • Build a home and bond with virtual airlines that operate within the area.
  • Communicate and update Divisional Board with the status of the vACC which should generally be sent via a report each quarter of the year.


4.2.2  vACC Staff

In order for a vACC to run smoothly, it must set-up a team of staff to maintain the local area they are intending to open. The minimum requirements are:

  • vACC Director & Deputy Director.
  • vACC ATC Training Director (plus ATC Training Deputy Director if needed).
  • A board capable of managing the tasks mentioned in §4.2.1.


4.2.3   vACC Director, vACC ATC Training Director

The director of a vACC and his/her ATC Training Director are privileged members. Both are responsible to the Division to fulfil the tasks mentioned in §4.2.1. Both positions have a full voting right and a seat in the vACC staff.

While the vACC Director can be appointed through a local election, the position always needs to be approved by VATME Director. To hold an election, the local organization needs to plan the election process.

If the nominated vACC Director is denied by the Division Director, the vACC needs to find another candidate. If that is not successful, VATME Director will then nominate a member as the acting vACC Director until a suitable candidate is found.

The ATC Training director is appointed/dismissed by the vACC Director upon the approval of VATME staff.


4.2.4  Administrative staff

The vACC Director, upon the approval of VATME staff, appoints selected members to take on administration tasks such as:

  • Membership
  • Events & Marketing
  • Web Services

Administrative vACC Staff needs to fulfil all the requirements published by VATSIM rules and local rules. This is especially crucial with the General Data Protection Policy (GDPR) & Copyright Laws. It is the responsibility of the vACC to comply with local laws that lay within the vACC.


4.2.5  Minimum vACC Staff Requirements

Staff members are in charge of crucial parts within the VATSIM Community, there are minimum requirements put in place for all management positions. The minimum ratings required for different positions in a vACC are mentioned below:

  • vACC Director: C1 – Enroute Controller
  • vACC ATC Training Director: C1 – Enroute Controller
  • Other Staff positions: No ATC Rating required, but taking into consideration the member's stand in the network and his competencies, depending on the position.

It is expected from the vACC Training Director to pass the Instructor Theory Exam which leads to the I1 – Instructor rating.


4.2.6  Staff Working Ethics

Every staff working for a voluntary network such as VATSIM must be aware that they are willing to invest their time into our hobby and his/her duties. Depending on the specific position, an investment of around 5 hours a week is required. To fill this requirement, it is required to log onto the network, log and update your work and or communicate with your colleagues.


4.2.7   Data Protection

Beyond the data required in order to perform the duties of a staff member, no further data is collected. Staff members have no extra rights in these regards as those granted by VATSIM, VATAME, VATME and those according to the local laws of the country the staff member lives in. All data collected is strictly for the working process stated in the roles of the staff positions. In case the member resigns, the member has to hand over all data collected to the successor or to the next highest position.


4.2.8   Communications to VATME

vACCs have to file quarterly reports to VATME. These reports do not have to be formal. They should inform VATME on what is happening in the vACC, problems they are facing, and/or achievements. The report shall include the progress within the vACC training sections. These reports will be exchanged between the vACC and VATME and will be partly embedded in the reports provided to VATAME/VATSIM. The general deadline for these reports is February 1st, May 1st, October 1st, and finally December 1st.

If the vACC does not meet the deadlines mentioned, a vACC Director can ask VATME to extend the deadline. If the reports are not delivered on time, VATME has the right to take further actions to get the information that is required.

Changes in staff members, contact data, and emails need to be informed to VATME Staff as soon as possible and updated on the HQ System. It is crucial that we have the most up-to-date communication lines. If a vACC is not contactable with the data provided, VATME will consider it “Closed” and will turn it into Open Airspace.


4.2.9  vACC Language

vACC will generally communicate in their native language to their members however they should be able to communicate with all members. vACC communications, information and all other documents should be available in English as it is VATSIM's official language.

Staff members must have sufficient knowledge of the English Language.

Even though the official language used on VATSIM is English, ATC Training, Pilot Training can also be organized in the native language of the area. This includes familiarities sessions for controllers although as mentioned previously they should be available in English as well. No trainee can expect to be trained in the vACC native language.

Every vACC needs to inform trainees and new members on which language they can expect to be trained in.


4.3     vACC Policies


A vACC is required to adapt and agree upon policies established within the Division. Though, vACCs should create an internal/constitutional policy which consists of:

  • How vACC staff are nominated, dismissed or replaced.
  • Information about the setup and structure of the vACC.
  • The local rules, rights, and obligations that apply to pilots and ATC.
  • Any disclaimers required under the European Data Protection Acts.

A vACC policy has to abide by any superior codes and principles as stated at VATSIM.net at all times.


4.3.1   vACC Policies Activation and Revision

A vACC Policy with any changes made to it needs to be approved by the VATME Divisional Director. The policy is to be created and maintained on VATAME HQ System.
Not to cause any confusion, local language versions are encouraged. However, an English version will override it and be the official version.


4.4     vACC Members

Any VATSIM member, whether he/she is a pilot or a controller has the right and should be encouraged to become a resident of a vACC. Usually, it is the vACC where he/she resides. A member can only choose one vACC as their “residency” on VATSIM. Once the member joins, they have the full right of a vACC member.


4.4.1   Active vACC Members

While a member is in the process of the activation of his membership, he will be notified of the completion of this process via the VATAME HQ system once they receive their welcome e-mail. Each new member will get notified of the structure of the vACC and its policies within their vACC on the HQ System page which can be found here.

A vACC member shall be informed about upcoming meetings, events, technical and administrative changes. For that, the vACC must maintain a newsletter with information that should be shared within their community.


In order for a member to receive these emails, he/she must subscribe to the VATAME HQ Emailing System by going to the following page: Members > Membership > E-mail Subscription, or by clicking the link here.

To remain active in a vACC, the member needs to use the vACC services, keep his e-mail account active. If a member is not active for a period of more than 6 months, his/her status will be “inactive”.

After 12 months, a vACC gains the right to remove the member's residency and clean the vACC members list. This does not affect the VATSIM membership. If a member wants to rejoin after a certain amount of time they can and will be seen as a new member.

A member is not restricted to being a member of one vACC. If another vACC offers guest status then they can be granted that status under that vACC regulations.


4.4.2  ATC vACC Members

An ATC member of a vACC is a VATSIM member holding an appropriate rating to be able to provide ATC services and having the local knowledge needed for the airspace they wish to control in.

A VATSIM Member with an appropriate ATC rating may become an active ATC in a vACC by showing their knowledge and skills in either training or mentoring sessions. The rating progression guide is available in the VATAME HQ as well as the minimum requirements, as per the Global Rating Policy. He/she can request training sessions to gain this status.

A vACC has the right to change the status of a controller to “inactive” according to their vACC policy. They can also deny a member to provide ATC services within their airspace until necessary procedures are completed to grant his/her ATC status again. It is the controller’s responsibility to fulfil the vACC requirements and to communicate with them to regain the “active” status.

A list of active controllers must be published by each vACC using the HQ System including the positions they are allowed to control. A vACC may display pilots or general members list in their rosters, rosters must be up to date at all times and maintained on VATAME HQ System.


4.5 vACC Visiting Controllers

Any VATSIM member with an ATC rating wishing to provide ATC services in other vACCs within the Middle East may be authorized by the local vACC as a “Visiting Controller”. This status can be achieved with at least an S2 – Tower Controller rating. A vACC reserves the right to ask the member's local vACC for a recommendation letter from the member's ATC Training Director. A visiting controller has the right to be listed on the vACC active roster.

After the application of the member has been processed, the member shall have 30 days to have an introductory session. If the vACC fails to provide that within 30 days, the vACC director must clearly state the reason behind the delay of processing his application. If the vACC does not provide any means of ATC training, VATME has the right to be involved in the matter.

All transfers from another Region or Division is subject to the VATSIM Executive Committee Transfer & Visiting Controller policy found @ https://vwww.vatsim.net.



Section 5    VATME Airspace

By VATSIM and VATAME structures, the virtual airspace of VATME covers the area of countries that were mentioned in Section 1.


5.1      Airspace Organization

From Ground up to FL660, the airspace in VATME is controlled airspace.


5.1.1     ATC Top-Down service

All stations that perform Top-Down services: Enroute Control & Approach/Departure stations that are covering lower areas unless they are covered by local aerodrome stations.


5.1.2    Flight Service Station

Flight Service Station (FSS) are excluded from the top-to-down service. An FSS covers from FL155 to its control ceiling. In VATME, the Flight Service Stations are displayed with the callsign _FSS. Although depending on the GULF Control Policy the top-to-down service procedure may differ.

All stations designated as Flight Service Stations within VATME provide full radar services.

The _FSS Suffix is designated to GULF Control (GULF_FSS).

Refer to the Gulf Flight Service Station Policy for more details.


5.2     Pilot Duties within VATME

Due to some areas within VATME that are complex and may have high amounts of traffic, pilots are requested to follow these basic principles within VATME:

  1. Pilots are encouraged to take the latest charts available on our vACC website. This will surely be useful for briefings or configurations that are general in use at an airport. For enroute charts, the pilot can refer to the countries local eAIP if available.
  2. All pilots flying NON-VFR need to file an appropriate flight plan. The flight plan needs to inform the controller about your route of flight, requested flight level and possible limitations on the aircraft you are flying. Due to certain conditions, a controller may amend your flight plan.
  3. All flight plans need clearance if local ATC is online.
    If no local ATC is online, pilots are highly suggested to coordinate their operations on the UNICOM frequency via text on 122.800 Mhz. Your intentions need to be brief, including the aerodrome/area you are in. This gives the surrounding pilots an eyepoint of any potential conflict.
  4. Priorities are equal to real-world in aviation:
  • IFR Flight Movements
  • Non-IFR Flight movements

The Basic rules are:

  • First Flying Traffic then,
  • Rolling Traffic and then,
  • Parking Traffic
  1. Before a pilot starts a flight, it is recommended that the pilot checks whether there is local ATC in their area at his/her departure airport. Many ATC callsigns may differ from their standard ICAO ones. You can check a list of approved callsigns in VATME: Approved Frequencies & Squawk Ranges.
  2. Due to complexity/traffic density in some area’s pilots need to be able to react swiftly and calmly to contact calls by local ATC.
  3. Although text communications are an option to work with, it is highly encouraged to use voice communications as it represents the most realistic method.
  4. The main aviation language within VATME airspace is English.
  5. In the case of events, a pilot has to accept holdings, delays or diverts. Therefore, the pilot must plan their fuel calculations accordingly.


5.2.1    Pilot Emergencies

Pilots may experience inflight problems from time to time causing the need for the pilot to declare a “Pan Pan” or “Mayday” call. It is important that both pilot and ATC understand that section B8 of the VATSIM Code of Conduct, ATCs have the right to refuse the emergency and the pilot is obliged to resume under normal conditions or to disconnect from the network.

ATCs may deny an emergency to prevent delays to other pilots during busy times especially during events.


5.2.2   Military Activities

Military Flights in VATME are allowed as long as they:

  • Do not cause conflict with civilian aircraft.
  • Are not simulating combat missions and/or training.
  • Do not simulate political matters in sensitive areas within VATME.
  • Do not project a political message by their activity.
  • Follow standard VFR or IFR rules.
  • Abide by the controller’s instructions (if online) in the local area.
  • Follow the VATSIM Special Operations Administration (VSOA) Policy as stated at www.vatsim.net.

Examples of what is allowed:

  • Aerial Refueling
  • Formation Flying
  • Precision Approach Practices
  • Military Cargo flights

Simulation of combat operations over local areas that are not in line within the VSOA policy, or if the vACC is not notified about the operation then it is strictly forbidden.

ATC should request the purpose of the flight's mission. If the response from the flight leader is not valid within the rules stated above or not in compliance with the VSOA policy then the records should be taken such as VATSIM ID, Radar Client Screenshots, Callsign, Date/Time etc...) and be reported to a Supervisor on the network for further investigation.

Further regulations can be found at www.vatsim.net.


5.2.3   Flight Operations to/from Politically Sensitive Areas (PSA)

Due to some conflicts that might happen in the real world, airspace in VATME can be declared as PSA Zones. PSA Zones are published in our policies and websites.

All members that are flying from, to or through Politically Sensitive Areas (PSA) must comply with the following:

  • File a valid flight plan that follows the VATSIM Standards
  • Follow the procedures that have been put in place by VATME for specific airspaces that are affected

VATME may publish Letter of Agreements (LoA) for Politically Sensitive Areas (PSA) between neighbouring vACCs. Active PSA list is kept updated on our website. vatame.vatme.net.


5.3     ATC Duties within VATME

Controllers in VATME should note that in some areas traffic is dense. Also, note that VATSIM is a learning environment, therefore, please take note of these things:

  1. The controller should be prepared before logging on (i.e checking the weather, headset...).
  2. Be friendly and respectful to pilots.
  3. Think before speaking, be active while connected.
  4. If you booked a position see it as your commitment.
  5. Be informed of any airspace/procedure changes.
  6. Know where to find accurate charts for your needs.


5.4     VATME GULF Control

VATME has established a UIR (Upper Information Region) position called Gulf Control. Gulf control has 3 positions:

  • Gulf Control East – GULF_E_FSS
  • Gulf Control West – GULF_W_FSS
  • Gulf Control – GULF_FSS

For a list of approved callsigns, frequencies and squawks please see it on our website.

This position will cover from FL155 to FL660. As per defined in the Global Rating Policy, GULF is designated as a special CTR and or overland FSS in an area.

Further details can be found at the Gulf Flight Service Station Policy.


5.5     ATC Regulations

Controllers within VATME are encouraged to utilize the HQ System ATC Booking during non-events to publish the availability of ATC in the area. The general rule on VATSIM for ATC is “First come, first serve”. Further rules regarding the system below.


5.5.1    ATC Booking Rules

All bookings that are done through our booking system shall follow these rules:

  1. During main hours (generally evenings 1600z+) booking is highly recommended. If a member books a position the controller has the right to keep the position for the scheduled time (Note that bookings for events are not affected).
  2. Bookings have a minimum time requirement. A member wishing to book must do so for a minimum period of 1 hour. This gives the pilots the time to reach your airspace within your timeframe and plan their departure/arrival.
  3. A member who booked a position is recommended to be online 15 minutes before the ATC booking starts.
  4. It is the responsibility of the member who booked an ATC position to be online and give his/her services during the time they have booked. If the member cannot fulfil his duties according to the booking, he/she must remove the booking an hour before it starts.
  5. To avoid from members abusing the system, all bookings are monitored by vACC and Divisional Staff.
  6. If a member is caught abusing the HQ Booking System, he/she will be referred to the local ATC Training Director for clarification. If no solution has been reached, the matter is to be directed to the Divisional ATD.

5.5.2   Frequencies & Squawks

All frequencies and squawks used within VATME need to be approved by the ATC Department. For this, a vACC can request changes and or new ones directly through VATME.

VATME will consider a new frequency for an area or position if:

  • The frequency is not the same as published on charts.
  • The same frequency/squawk range does not cause a conflict with a nearby area.
  • The frequency makes sense to the VATSIM Structure or is needed in times of events.

Refer to the Approved Frequencies & Squawk Ranges policy.



Section 6    ATC Requirements

While pilots do not generally have restrictions, ATC activities are restricted depending on multiple regulations. The reason for this is simple: Untrained controllers simply cannot handle traffic properly with local procedures in addition to ruining the experience of people flying in an area.

To control and maintain proper controllers, vACCs have to maintain a list of controllers who are allowed to open up specific stations inside their vACC according to their ratings and local knowledge on the VATAME HQ System. All ATCs in VATME fall under the VATSIM Global Ratings Policy.


6.1      General ATC Requirements

ATC training in VATME is followed by the policies put in place by VATME, stated from different documents. The ATC rating requirements are generally guided by the VATSIM Global Ratings Policy (GRP). Local vACC are allowed to set up their own policies that follow the GRP and VATME requirements. Local ATC Policies have to be approved by VATME ATC Department.

  1. VATME grants and operates the ATC training for members of VATME. Members need to be a resident of a vACC. Training takes place in your vACC.
  2. ATC Ratings reflects the capability of a member to man an ATC position. Without a rating, a VATSIM member cannot give ATC services.
  3. ATC Rating upgrades follow successfully completed training session(s). Each session may differ depending on the local vACC procedures. It is generally completed with theoretical exams and a controller practical examination. This excludes the first rating (S1) for which only theoretical exam is mandatory.
  4. Theory Exams are hosted by VATME.
  5. Once the training phase has been completed the local vACC ATC Department will send an exam report as well as a rating upgrade.


6.2     Controller Examination Rules

Each vACC in VATME has its own examination guidelines. However, the following ones below are general guidelines that shall lead to a better examination standard within VATME.

Note: In order for a student to go through their CPT the examiner must not be their mentor who they went training with. It must be someone else from their local training department that is rated INS or higher! 

Further details can be found in the VATME ATC Department Policy.

  1. ATC Examinations shall focus on the respective ATC rating competencies which are described in the GRP.
  2. The examination can be performed either in a simulated environment (Sweatbox) or on the network. Although it is encouraged to perform the examinations on the network.
  3. The examination should have a minimum duration of 60 minutes however it should not exceed 120 minutes.
  4. Examiners may ask other stations or pilots to perform certain procedures to challenge the candidate during his examination.
  5. Examiners are not allowed to influence other stations or pilots to create a conflict for the candidate.
  6. Examiners shall guard the candidate from unrealistic and exceeded abnormal procedures by pilots.
  7. Examiners are allowed to cancel the examination if it is obvious that the candidate cannot handle the traffic safely anymore and that would result in failure.
  8. Examiners can question the candidate after the session if certain competencies could not be examined due to missing requests/traffic.
  9. After an examination, a debriefing is required with the candidate.
  10. The VATME Examination document has to be filled by the examiner for future reference after each examination. This should be sent when filing an exam report on the VATAME HQ System.

6.3     ATC Feedback

In order for the division to maintain a high-quality ATC service, the HQ System includes an ATC Feedback feature which allows users of the network to keep the staff teams informed of their experience with controllers and any improvements to make their experience better. The link for the ATC Feedback page is obligatory to be included in all events descriptions, as well as the info lines in the sector files of every vACC in VATME: https://hq.vatme.net/atc/feedback.

VATME will consider ATC Feedback a serious representative of the controller's competence and will investigate every case individually and take action where necessary in order to maintain a good ATC standard across the division.


6.4     Controller Rating Competencies

For the respective competencies for each rating see the Global Rating Policy (GRP), Appendix A. The following rating, description is an extract from GRP, number 1.


6.4.1    Tower Trainee (S1)

This rating does not cover any particular competencies. A member can use this rating to control no higher than Tower (TWR) local restrictions apply.


6.4.2   Tower Controller (S2)

This rating includes all airport DEL, GND and TWR control services. Tower positions that provide Procedural Approach services need an S3 rating.


6.4.3   Approach & Departure (TMA) Controller (S3)

This rating includes APP and DEP control services established within a particular airport/area.


6.4.4   Enroute Controller (Controller) (C1)

This rating is for all Enroute CTR sectors. Both radar and non-radar control services.


6.4.5   Senior Controller (C3)


The Senior Controller (C3) rating may be awarded to a controller already certified to provide the six (6) standard VATSIM controller services as described above AND who also provides other services not related to a control role covered by the ratings for DEL, GND, TWR, APP, DEP or CTR. The rating of Senior Controller (C3) may be awarded by any VATSIM member to give recognition of seniority, performance or any additional role beyond that of a normal Controller (C1) as determined by the local Region/Division.

The C3 rating has the following requirements put in place by VATME:

  • Must be C1 rated for at least one year.
  • Must have completed 500 hours as a C1 on any ATC position.
  • Must have served 75 hours as active ATC within the last 12 months.
  • Is recommended for the promotion by his local vACC director, Division Director, and Regional Director.
  • Spent 20 hours as a mentor in a C1 position (acknowledged by the vACC Director).
  • Can prove that he/she has made a positive contribution to the development/promotion of student controllers in VATME.
  • Has successfully passed a CPT (To be determined by at least one divisional examiner and one vACC examiner).

The Controller Practical Test (CPT) for the C3 rating will focus on:

  • Ability to service multiple airports/positions
  • Ability to handle IFR & VFR flights sharing the same airspace
  • Ability to handle abnormal situations
  • Steady and organized 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 their local CTR. The Controller Practical Test (CPT) shall be conducted on the VATSIM Network and not on sweatbox.

If the local vACC cannot arrange the CPT within the timeframe, the candidate going for his C3 can request VATME to step in and conduct the CPT at a chosen position which the candidate is comfortable with. The final result will be evaluated by the Divisional Examiner.


6.5     FAST Track Program

The Fast Track program is available for members who hold a valid Air Traffic Controller License or a Commercial Pilot / Airline Pilots license. The program is aimed to reduce the time required for theory exams and training time. The applicant is required to pass all VATME Divisional exams. Once that is done the member only has to do one practical examination.

A candidate going for the Fast Track Program applies to the vACC Director and vACC ATC Training director for the program to be valid to the member, he/she must provide evidence that they hold a valid CP or ATP license. The best acceptable way of sending us your CP or ATP license is via email as a copy. A resume explaining your real-life aviation experience is also required. The vACC Director or Training Director reports and confirms to the VATME ATC Department that the applicant is eligible for the Fast Track Program. Once received the VATME ATC Department will then grant access to the Fast Track Program.

The Controllers Practical Test (CPT) for the targeted rating (and any rating level below if deemed necessary), will be conducted by the local vACC ATC Training Department, as stipulated by Divisional Policy and the Global Rating Policy. The respective vACC must prove the candidate’s practical abilities for all rating levels up to and including the targeted rating, e.g. skills related to ATC Controller Clients. Practical Tests are to be conducted at the respective vACC discretion.               

VATME has the right to refuse the “Fast Track Upgrade” if the applicant…

  • Fails to provide a copy of his/her real-life licenses
  • Proves to have a bad VATSIM Record
  • Displays immature behaviour
  • Fails to understand and comply with the concepts of virtual controlling
  • Fails to pass the Divisional Theory Exams


6.5.1   IVAO Network Transfer

For candidates wishing to transfer their rating from our sister network, there are rules in effect to transfer ATC ratings. The transfer is limited to APC and higher ratings. However, with the transfer, the candidate will be set back by one rating. For more information contact VATME Staff.



Section 7    Conflict Resolution

As all entities of VATSIM, VATME is a membership-based network. Amongst human beings, possible conflicts can arise. To the extent possible, VATME strives to prevent conflicts and disputes from reaching a point that distracts from our activities, or results in disciplinary action.
It is neither the intention of VATME to be involved in "personal conflicts", nor is it the role of a membership-based network. However, if disputes do become disruptive in nature, or if specific complaints are brought forward, then the Division Conflict Resolution Manager (DCRM) may intervene. The DCRM will also be called upon in case of a Supervisor suspension of a user, for determination of guilt and suspension application (if required). User cooperation with the DCRM is a requirement for VATSIM membership, and refusal to cooperate may result in suspension. For further information on disciplinary procedures, please read the VATSIM Code of Conduct (CoC) and VATSIM Code of Regulations (CoR). Basically, a member may be suspended for 24 or 48 hours by a Supervisor for acting against the Code of Conduct and/or Code of Regulations within the VATSIM Network. The DCRM will automatically be notified for 48-hour suspensions, and soon after that, the suspending Supervisor and the suspended member may be called upon by the DCRM to provide further evidence. The DCRM will then decide the penalty, further suspension or not, and inform all parties involved. If the suspended member disagrees, then he/she still has the right to appeal the decision to the Regional Conflict Resolution Manager (RCRP), who will make the final decision.


7.1      Conflict Regulation Policies

As usual in a member network of the size of VATSIM, it is necessary to organize the structures if members get into conflict while being connected with the network or acting in its name or design. For this case, VATSIM has created a DCRM process.


7.2     The DCRM Process

As Required for each Division, a Divisional Conflict Resolution Manager needs to be appointed. The formalized DCRM process is the jurisdiction as outlined by VATSIM Code of Regulations §6.01 B2 to sanction member conflicts with the Codes of Conduct, Regulations, the User Agreement and other published binding documents by VATSIM. The DCRM process starts with a supervisor’s formal suspension on member misbehaviours. The DCRM cannot become active on VATSIM member or staff requests. All supervisor suspensions are automatically handed to the DCRM. The manager has a seat in the Division Board. He might be heard by the board but doesn’t have a vote. The DCRM is directly aligned to the written Code of Conduct, Code of Regulations, User agreement. He is responsible to VATGOV8. He is appointed by the Division Director.         



Section 8    Open Sky

VATSIM Middle East maintains an “Open Skies” policy over airspaces that have not officially been developed by any divisional vACC. To that end, guest controllers who are properly registered with VATSIM Middle East as residents or visitors shall be allowed to open any ATC position in airspaces classified as “Open Skies” to the extent that their rating allows. A minimum rating of S2 is required to apply. For purposes of this section, “Open Skies” shall mean any airspace within the jurisdiction of VATSIM Middle East which is not subject to the management of an official VATME vACC. Application to be sent as support tickets via the VATAME HQ System.



End of Policy.