This tutorial will show you the steps required to join IVAO as a virtual Air Traffic Controller (ATC) using AURORA Software. It is meant to give you a short overview about the tools used, and some very basic instructions how to “behave” in this new environment.
If you have not yet done so, you will need to join IVAO to create your personal user account.
Note that this is required only once, and valid for both a controller and pilot career!
More specifically, we will show you how to…
The first thing you need to do is download our ATC client, AURORA, which will allow you to connect to the network. This can be downloaded from the Software Development Pages.
Once you have downloaded the program, you should run the executable file and install the program.
You can find a the Aurora Manual in the same page. Make sure you read it during you first online hours to get familiar with operation of the software.
A sector file is the “map” displayed on your radar screen. It contains data layers with information about airport location and layout, navigational data like navigational aids, navigation fixes and airways as well as airspace boundaries. Depending on the detail provided, it also shows geographical information like runway/taxiway layout at an airport or coastlines, rivers and roads.
To work at an ATC position, it is essential for you to obtain such a sector file. Most of the time, your local division will have prepared one already and offer it for download in AURORA Software.
Once you have downloaded your sectorfile, you have to open as you can see in the following figure.
We will now connect you as an Observer at your favourite airport. As an Observer, you are free to watch the traffic fly around and you may listen to active ATC. You have no duties, that means you are not in charge of any traffic yet.
Load AURORA and open the desired sector file, as described in the step above.
Your first connections should be as an Observer, without actual ATC duties. This will help you to make yourself familiar with the software and IVAO while avoiding trouble with pilots who will contact you for a clearance sooner or later. Use the chance to listen in on active ATC frequencies and learn!
Now, press the LOGIN button.
Enter the details in the connection window:
Once all of the above details are entered, press the Connect button.
When you have successfully connected, you will receive a welcome message in the MSG tab of IvAc's COMMBox, and the LOGIN button will now read LOGOUT.
Your first connection as an Air Traffic Controller on the IVAO network requires a basic understanding of the procedures employed at the place you will control. Check your division's website for those procedures and charts for the aerodrome.
Some important things to consider before connecting to the network:
Once you have prepared those items, you can attempt a connection. Use the steps as provided in the chapter “First Connection”, with these changes:
Once all fields are completed, press the LOGIN button.
The most important information about an aerodrome is included in the ATIS. “ATIS” stands for AutomaticTerminal Information Service. As an ATIS transmits important status information about an airfield, it is important to set it up properly. The weather data is included automatically. You should add runway information (the current runway in use for departures and arrivals), transition altitude/transition level and if necessary some important information in the Remarks field.
Even though runways are mainly assigned by wind direction, and the transition values can be obtained from charts, actual procedures might differ. You should therefore seek information from your local division about standard procedures beforehand!
You may find our IVAO Forum (opens in a new window for better readability) incredibly helpful. A local division forum is also available, select it from the drop-down menu at the top. You can use it to ask any questions or post about any problems you are having. There are lots of people willing and able to help you make the most out of your online flying experience.
In addition to the forums, you may find useful information and procedures for ATC service on your division's web site. Go there by visiting http://xx.ivao.aero/ (replace “xx” with the two-letter code of your division). If you are unsure about the correct code, visit your personal profile page – it is listed there.
If you would like to extend your understanding with regards to virtual ATC, you may find it beneficial to request a training session from your local division's training department.