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VATSIM ( V irtual A ir T raffic SIM ulation Network, German: Network for the virtual simulation of air traffic ) is a non-profit organization for the implementation of online flight simulation . VATSIM is a worldwide voluntary organization with over 200,000 members (of which over 79,000 were active in 2018). Its aim is to offer flight simulator enthusiasts from all over the world the most realistic possible environment for their hobby. For this purpose, VATSIM provides a worldwide network of numerous servers on the Internet , which are networked with one another and together form a worldwide virtual airspace. All VATSIM offers, services and software are free of charge.


VATSIM's origins go back to 1997, when the introduction of the SquawkBox program , an add-on to Flight Simulator 95, allowed several computer players to play together online . VATSIM emerged from the organization originally named SATCO in July 2001.


Screenshot (radar) from VATSIM

VATSIM members can use the programs SquawkBox, FSInn , SWIFT or vPilot ( P3D / FSX ) or xPilot or XSquawkbox ( X-Plane ) (for pilots ) and VRC (Virtual Radar Client) or Euroscope (for air traffic controllers ) together in this fly virtual airspace or offer pilotage services. Participation is free, but the community is characterized by a variety of freeware projects and a higher degree of reality. Communication takes place either via a text chat box or via a stand-alone voice communication program integrated in the VATSIM software. A microphone and loudspeaker connected to the PC are required for this voice communication . Country-specific training documents are available for pilots and air traffic controllers in most areas of the world; Air traffic controllers are also trained by special mentors, who often do this job as a real job.


VATSIM is divided into regions and divisions, which are largely based on reality. The Europe region consists of 3 divisions - one of which includes Great Britain, another Russia and other former Eastern Bloc countries and the largest division in terms of area (VATEUD) covers the entire rest of Europe, from the Mediterranean to the northern tip of Scandinavia and from the Atlantic to the Balkans . These divisions are in turn divided into "Virtual Area Control Center" (vACC); also called the district control center. See Area Control Center .

The vACC-SAG (where SAG stood for Switzerland, Austria & Germany ) initially existed in German-speaking countries . At the end of 2008 the newly emerging vACC Austria split off (SAG Switzerland and Germany remained ), and on March 1, 2009 vACC Switzerland also got on its own. The new statutes of the remaining vACC Germany , which bears the brand name VATSIM Germany since the virtual opening event on October 3, 2009, came into force on October 1, 2009.

The airspace of a vACC is divided into Flight Information Regions (FIRs) and these in turn into regional groups (RGs). Within the vACC Germany there are the EDWW FIR (with the RGs Berlin & Bremen), EDGG FIR (Langen, with the RGs Düsseldorf EDLL and Frankfurt EDFF), and the EDMM FIR (Munich). The former parts of the vACC SAG, the LSAS FIR (Switzerland) and the LOVV FIR (Austria) are completely covered by the corresponding vACCs.

Regular meetings of the members, both within the FIRs and across the vACC, are not uncommon. In addition, every three years there is an official VATSIM meeting where new projects are presented and like-minded people from all over the world come together. This last took place in London in 2017. Some members of VATSIM also take part in flight (simulator) exhibitions such as the FlightSim Conference or Flight Sim Expo.

The Cross the Pond (CTP) event takes place annually, once from Europe to North America (Westbound) and then back (Eastbound). Over 3,000 people are online at the same time (record 3,111, as of 2020) and fly or offer ATC service.

See also

  • IVAO , International Virtual Aviation Organization

Individual evidence

  1. About VATSIM
  2. Download Required Software | Retrieved May 17, 2020 .
  3. software | Retrieved May 17, 2020 .
  4. Farewell vACC-SAG | Welcome VATSIM Germany
  5. VATSIM's Twitter post on the record

Web links