Welcome to ZOA

The Oakland ARTCC on VATSIM is dedicated to becoming one of the most professional ARTCCs in VATUSA, and you will be expected to learn quite a bit. You’ll need to be prepared to spend some time getting to know our training material. The payoff is that you will be among some of the finest controllers on VATSIM.

The most important step in starting your training is to become familiar with the contents of this site. Use the Forum to introduce yourself and ask for any help. Don’t be shy about asking questions, we are here to help and are a friendly bunch. Be sure to review the SOP and Policy statements from the SOPs/LOAs page. Reviewing and understanding every SOP that the Oakland ARTCC on VATSIM has to offer is vital to your controlling career at ZOA.

Download the Oakland CTR sector file and any other sectors you might be interested in. Familiarize yourself with the airports, navaids, and geography of the ZOA airspace.

You are required to take the ZOA SOP exam and Clearance Delivery / Ground exam. The Training Administrator or an Instructor will arrange to have it assigned to you, and it will test that you have read through the SOPs and policies and are familiar with basic airport operations. The procedure for taking this test is the same as the VATUSA Basic Controller exam which you took prior to joining the Oakland ARTCC on VATSIM. As a new controller, you may not control any ATC position until you have passed both entry exams and you are certified as an S1 controller by one of our instructors. Visiting controllers whom have passed both entry exams are allowed to control ATC positions inside the Oakland ARTCC on VATSIM within the GRP limitations.

New controllers should begin to work through the Student 1 (S1) Syllabus on the Controller Training page. Extensive practical training information is at your fingertips in this section of the web site.

Student S1 and S2 controllers are primarily trained by the Mentor Team. The Training Administrator can assist you in locating mentors for your initial training. Posting in the discussion forum is the best place to introduce yourself and alert the mentors to your joining the ARTCC.

Again, Welcome!

vZOA Air Traffic Manager