Controller Training

The VATNZ Training Department provides a range of courses to help advance our students' virtual controlling careers.

Kia ora, and welcome to the VATNZ ATC Training Department! 

It's a pleasure to see you here, and we welcome you warmly. Here, you can learn how to train as an air traffic controller in VATNZ airspace and learn other valuable skills for the VATSIM network. Operating as an air traffic controller on the network is a fun and rewarding pastime that enhances your VATSIM experience. Here, you will find how we carry out our training.

Our training courses have three phases: theory, practice, and final assessment. We use written and oral examinations to test knowledge gained through studying the material contained in each course. The pass mark for all VATNZ written examinations is 80%, after which practical training for the rating commences.

There are four basic VATSIM ATC ratings obtainable through VATNZ: Developing Controller (S1), Aerodrome Controller (S2), Terminal Controller (S3), and Enroute Controller (C1). Additionally, an optional procedural approach control endorsement is available for the S2 rating, and the optional Oceanic procedural control endorsement can be added to the C1 rating. Controllers from other divisions can also gain a "visiting controller" authorisation to operate in VATNZ airspace. There are three further ratings: the Senior Controller (C3), the Instructor (I1) and Senior Instructor (I3). The VATNZ Board approves appointments to these positions. At VATNZ, we can train our S3 and C1-rated controllers to become mentors and instructors in the training department.

Before registering, candidates must have recorded at least 50 hours connected to the VATSIM network as a pilot or observer for at least three months, preferably in VATNZ airspace. This requirement can be shortened for real-world pilots and controllers. Each case is assessed on merit before setting the revised observing hours requirement. Visiting controllers holding the S2 and requesting Aerodrome Controller visiting status must have held the S2 for at least 90 days and have amassed 50 hours' experience as an S2 controller in their home Division before enrolment in the VATNZ Visiting Controller programme. 


Please click on the links below to learn more. For further questions, please email, and I will answer them.

On behalf of the VATNZ training team, ngā mihi nui (many greetings)



Gary Parata

Training Director

VATSIM New Zealand