ATC Endorsements

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 - GND (S1)


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.

Endorsements Offered

Gatwick offers one endorsement:

  • Ground and Delivery for S1 Rated Controllers.

Endorsement Process

View the requirements for the Gatwick Ground endorsement by clicking here.

Get Started

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:

  1. In order to be eligible to take the Moodle exam, the member must have acquired a total of 50 hours controlling on ground and delivery positions in the UK
  2. Once the hour requirement is met, the member submits a ticket to the helpdesk asking to be enrolled in the Moodle exam
  3. The member must pass the exam at the end of the Moodle course and informs the training department via the helpdesk that they have passed.

Approved Aerodromes

  • Andrewsfield (EGSL)
  • Barra (EGPR)
  • Bedford (EGBF)
  • Bembridge (EGHJ)
  • Blackbushe (EGLK)
  • Bodmin (EGLA)
  • Chichester Goodwood (EGHR)
  • Clacton (EGSQ)
  • Coventry (EGBE)
  • Cumbernauld (EGPG)
  • Dunkeswell (EGTU)
  • Duxford (EGSU)
  • Elstree (EGTR)
  • Fairoaks (EGTF)
  • Gamston (EGNE)
  • Haverfordwest (EGFE)
  • Kemble (EGBP)
  • Manchester Barton (EGCB)
  • Netherthorpe (EGNF)
  • Newtownards (EGAD)
  • Old Sarum (EGLS)
  • Rochester (EGTO)
  • Sherburn-in-Elmet (EGCJ)
  • Stapleford (EGSG)
  • Swansea (EGFH)
  • Thruxton (EGHO)
  • Wolverhampton / Halfpenny Green (EGBO)

Get Started

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 (S2+)


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.

Endorsements Offered

Heathrow offers a total of three endorsements:

  • Ground and Delivery
  • Tower
  • Approach (Director).

Endorsement Process

The endorsement process for all Heathrow endorsements is the same:

  1. Enroll on the online Moodle course relevant to the validation to be achieved
  2. Complete the Moodle course and pass the final exam
  3. Undertake practical sessions with a Heathrow mentor.

Get Started

If you are interested in obtaining a Heathrow endorsement, please submit a ticket to ATC Training in the helpdesk.

  Military (S2+)


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.

Endorsements Offered

We offer four types of military endorsement:

  • Tower and Ground
  • Approach
  • Precision Approach Radar (PAR)
  • Area Radar (CTR).

Airfields/Sectors Offered

  • All UK mainland military airfields
  • Gibraltar (LXGB)
  • RAF Akrotiri (LCRA)
  • RAF Mount Pleasant (EGYP)
  • RAF Ascension Island (FHAW)
  • EGVV_CTR - 133.900 - Swanwick Military - Covers military activity in both EGTT and EGPX, as well as top-down control for Military airfields
  • EGVV_x_CTR - Swanwick Military - Various other splits, as outlined in this procedure change post.


In order to be able to be eligible for military endorsement, a controller must meet the following requirements.

  • Must be a home member or a visitor that has completed a visiting application
  • Must be rated S2 or higher
  • Must hold the equivalent permanent controller rating to the endorsement that they wish to undertake
  • Members wishing to undertake the PAR endorsement must hold the Approach endorsement.

Endorsement Process

The endorsement process for all military endorsements offered by VATSIM UK is as follows.

  1. Submit a ticket to ATC Training in the helpdesk, requesting to have the exam enabled on the relevant self study course
  2. Complete the online self-study course and pass the exam at the end
  3. Upon completing the exam, submit a ticket to the helpdesk, stating that the course has been successfully completed
  4. The endorsement will then be granted by the ATC Training Department.
  London Bandbox (C1+)


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:

  • 20 hours post-C1 on two of the four sectors within the EGTT FIR (40 total)
  • 10 hours post-C1 on the remaining two sectors within the EGTT FIR (20 total)
  • An additional 20 hours post-C1 on any VATSIM CTR sector (including those above).

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.

Get Started

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.