Once you have achieved a given controller rating, you are free to control the vast majority of
airports/sectors within the UK that are applicable to that rating.
There are, however, a few exceptions. Some of our busier positions will require you to gain what is known as an Endorsement.
London Gatwick (EGKK) was the 3rd busiest airport on the VATSIM network in 2021 with over 81,000 movements. Controlling at London Gatwick is restricted by the ATC Training Department to S2 rated members, or S1s that hold a special endorsement. This restriction for S1s is in place to allow members to gain experience in quieter environments and practice their skills before tackling the workload at Gatwick.
Gatwick offers one endorsement:
View the requirements for the Gatwick Ground endorsement by clicking here.
The process for getting started with the Gatwick Ground endorsement can be found by clicking here.
VATSIM UK has a large number of pilots that enjoy a little jaunt across the country in a light aircraft, enjoying the sights and freedoms of VFR. We also have a number of small aerodromes that are hotspots for this activity, which is now tied in with the Pilot Training Department's Flight Training Exercises (FTEs). These smaller aerodromes do not provide a full Air Traffic Service, but instead either an Aerodrome Flight Information Service (AFIS) or Air/Ground Communications Service (AGCS).
As such, we offer S1s the opportunity to become endorsed on a select number of these positions through an online self-learning (Moodle) course. This course may be enrolled on at any time by any member. The endorsement process is as follows:
Once you have met the minimum hour requirement for taking the Moodle exam, submit a ticket to the ATC Training Department in the helpdesk to get started.
London Heathrow (EGLL) is the only airfield in VATSIM UK that has been designated as a major aerodrome under the regulations set out in VATSIM's Global Ratings Policy. Members rated S2 or higher may undertake a number of special endorsements to be allowed to control Heathrow positions up to and including their permanent controller rating. VATSIM UK does not offer training at Heathrow towards a new permanent controller rating. These endorsements are also required for any controller that wishes to open or be trained on the London South sector group or encompassing bandboxes.
Heathrow offers a total of three endorsements:
The endorsement process for all Heathrow endorsements is the same:
If you are interested in obtaining a Heathrow endorsement, please submit a ticket to ATC Training in the helpdesk.
VATSIM UK offers controllers rated S2 or higher the opportunity to undertake a military endorsement, through a number of self study courses. With this endorsement, controllers are permitted to open military positions both in the UK and its overseas territories, in accordance with the Letters of Agreement, Division Policy and military manual.
We offer four types of military endorsement:
In order to be able to be eligible for military endorsement, a controller must meet the following requirements.
The endorsement process for all military endorsements offered by VATSIM UK is as follows.
London Bandbox (LON_CTR) is a designated special center under the terms of the VATSIM Global Ratings Policy, covering all four primary London Control sectors. Controllers rated C1 or higher may apply for an endorsement to open this position.
In order to be granted a London Bandbox endorsement, the controller must meet the following requirements:
Time spent controlling split or bandbox positions (for example LTC_CTR or LON_SC_CTR) may only be counted towards requirement 3 above.
The amount of traffic in the London FIR varies significantly throughout the day and can increase dramatically at very short notice. Furthermore, the amount of top-down controlling can vary depending on which adjacent controllers are online. Controllers are therefore advised to use caution when exercising the privileges of their validation. It is often wise to use the validation either during the quieter hours of the evening, when there are a number of Approach positions online covering the major aerodromes, or to cover off remaining sectors when other London sectors are open. Equally, if traffic levels increase significantly, controllers should consider downsizing to a smaller sector.
If you wish to apply for a London Bandbox endorsement, please open a ticket with ATC Training in the helpdesk. In the ticket, you should state your VATSIM CID, the qualifying CTR positions you have controlled and time spent on each.