VATSIM Special Operations Administration
By Kyle Ramsey
VATSIM is an online community created for enthusiasts of flight simulation and air traffic control. One of the main goals of VATSIM is to create an environment, which is fun and, at the same time, educational and a realistic simulation of procedures followed by pilots and air traffic controllers everyday around the world. With that said, virtual flight organizations, sometime referred to as ?virtual airlines? are an integral part of the flight simulation community and allows many online pilots to experience the unique characteristics of the airline industry and various government agencies around the world.
The VATSIM SPECIAL OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION (VSOA) exists to work with various virtual organizations that utilize the VATSIM network. Here you will find links to popular Virtual Airlines, General Aviations groups as well as special interest groups that cover Military, Para-military and civilian government flight organizations. It is a one-stop location for the hobbyist to see what is available as well as upcoming virtual organizations wishing to join the VATSIM family. The VSOA is represented on the VATSIM Board of Governors by through the Vice President of Special Operations, VATSIM.
The VSOA is divided into four (4) distinct categories, each category has its own unique requirements for affiliation, unique standards to be maintained after being affiliated, and in certain cases unique privileges when standards are met and maintained. The four categories are as follows:
? VA PARTNERS ? Civilian flight organizations (non-governmental).
? Civilian Government Agency / Contractors Organizations.
? Para-military Organizations.
? Military Organizations.
VA PARTNERS ? here you will find almost anything and everything, from major air carriers, to commuter carriers, corporate/private operators, to general aviation clubs, some are based on actual real life carriers while others are purely fictional. For those who wish to ?open? a virtual flight organization, this is the easiest category as it has the least amount of requirements, for details please visit COMMUNITY > VIRTUAL AIRLINES form the main VATSIM website.
Civilian Government Agency / Contractors Organizations ?Virtual flight organizations that are government related but not necessarily Military or Para-Military orientated are listed here. These groups are considered to be apart of the VSOA and may be required to meet special requirements based on their activities and events while using the VATSIM network. Organizations affiliated in this category may range from government agencies such as boarder patrol, law enforcement, emergency services etc. To view organizations within this category please visit LET GO FLY>SPEC OPS off of the main VATSIM website.
Para-military Organizations - All virtual paramilitary flight organizations that are apart of the VATSIM community are listed here and are considered to be apart of VSOA. All organizations listed here are required to adhere to stringent guidelines of operation, training and realism in order to utilize the VATSIM network for paramilitary related activities and events. To view organizations within this category please visit LET GO FLY>SPEC OPS off of the main VATSIM website.
Military Organizations - All virtual military flight organizations that are apart of the VATSIM community are listed here and are considered to be apart of VSOA. All organizations listed here are required to adhere to the most stringent of guidelines pertaining to operations; training and realism in order to utilize the VATSIM network for Military related activities and events. To view organizations within this category please visit LET GO FLY>SPEC OPS off of the main VATSIM website.
Like any other segment of VATSIM, the VSOA has its share of regulations in regards to Military, Para-military and Civilian Government organizations. These sorts of organizations although fun and interesting, can be a source of great disruption and aggravation for everyone on the network if not properly managed and therefore policy exists and is strictly followed to ensure that everyone enjoys the network without undue disruption. There are two (2) documents that are followed:
1. VATSIM SPECIAL OPERATIONS POLICY DOCUMENT
2. VSOA OPERATIONAL POLICY
Policy governs activity not aircraft. You are free to fly any AIRCRAFT on the VATSIM network. Although, if you have any questions as to what activities are prohibited, please consult the above-mentioned documents or feel free to contact any VSOA Liaison personnel or the V.P. of Special Operations directly.
In closing, the VSOA is the place to look for the best of the best, be it long haul flights in heavy metal, to bush flying in a Cessna, to even combat exercises in a fighter aircraft, they are only one click away in the area mentioned off of the main website, if you have any questions please feel free to contact the VSOA personnel, email links to staff are present in the above-mentioned pages?