On behalf of the entire leadership team here at Miami vARTCC, welcome! Home to one of the top ten busiest airports on VATSIM, we are pleased you are looking for more information on training. We have an amazing group of volunteers who dedicate their time to helping those who are new to our region become familiar with what is necessary to be a successful controller here at ZMA. Whether you are new to this amazing hobby, or have previous experience from other locations, we look forward to having you on the scopes!
Our goal is to help everyone have the best experience possible while participating in this pastime. This involves a careful balance between realism and fun. We ask all of our students and controllers to always be prepared, be training ready for a session. This means independent work is is an absolute necessity. The value of your own reading of materials, your own observations of other controllers and your own practice cannot be overstated. That said, let’s get started!
- Seeking to be a Visiting Controller or Transfer To ZMA? Please process your request following VATUSA/VATSIM procedures then contact the Deputy Training Administrator via e-mail. All requests require a Performance Evaluation (PV) before acceptance.
- For new controllers, a person’s first step in training is to complete the VATUSA Basic SOP/S1 Exam. This requires completion of the VATUSA Computer Based Training (CBT). For more information, click here.
- Carefully review the Miami vARTCC policies, procedures and training materials. This includes our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Letters of Agreement (LOAs) with other regions and Controller Downloads. Begin to familiarize yourself with airport charts, maps and related resources that deal directly with our ARTCC. Do not solely focus on Miami International Airport, as there are many fields within our region you will virtually step foot in and should be ready to control.
- Next, you will need to complete the ZMA vARTCC Basic SOP Exam. This is normally assigned automatically within 48 to 72 hours after joining our community. Look for an e-mail notification from the VATUSA system.
- All new members to the ARTCC are required to complete the “Miami Basic/SOP Exam” before starting training. This is an OPEN BOOK assessment on the material noted above, so use the available resources as you need them! This exam must be passed with a score of 80% or above to qualify to begin training. It is based on the resources. The content is designed to ensure you have the fundamental knowledge necessary to start moving forward down the path of controller at ZMA. Instructional Staff Members are available to answer any questions you may have about the material before you take the exam.
- Please note you have seven (7) calendar days to complete the exam once assigned.
- Only attempt once you are prepared! It does not cover the same material as the VATUSA Basic/S1 Exam!
- If you score below an 80%, you will have to wait one (1) week before attempting it again.
- Once you have successfully completed and passed the Miami Basic/SOP Exam, you can request training. To schedule, use the menu above and select Schedule Training to begin. Follow the directions indicated to use the TBS system to book. Be sure to carefully review the instructions and notes. Be sure to view the Training Booking System Student Guide for help!
- For training purposes, while there are many VATSIM approved clients, at ZMA vARTCC we are proud to use the VRC ATC Client. If you are having issues configuring this software, review the VRC Setup Guide. Check the Sweatbox Information Guide and download/install the ZMA Sector Files before you request training.
- The Miami vARTCC utilizes the TeamSpeak 3 Client for training sessions and other communication. To download this software, click here. To gain access to our server, visit www.zmaartcc.net/teamspeak .
- Be sure to review other sections of this website and forums to see a wealth of information that will assist you. Also, don’t forget there are a number of resources from the FAA that may also be of assistance!
- FAA – 7110.65: https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Order/ATC.pdf
- FAA – AIM: https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/media/aim.pdf
- FAA – Pilot Controller Glossary: https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/media/pcg.pdf
In closing, while we know there is a lot of material to get caught up on, do not get discouraged! We have an excellent team of Mentors & Instructors here to make your training as seamless as possible. Do not hesitate to reach out to our Training Administrator, Deputy Training Administrator and other Senior Staff Members if you have any questions.
Have fun and always remember, don’t let the dots touch!