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Visiting and Transferring Controllers

Visiting and Transferring Controllers - Introduction

This page contains all procedures specific to Visiting and Transferring Controllers. 

  • Visiting Controllers are VATSIM controllers who, while remaining active at their home facility, achieve and exercise a BVA ATC certification.
  • Transferring Controllers are VATSIM controllers who change from their current home facility and become home controllers at BVA.  

Individuals who wish to become a controller at BVA but do not hold active or recent ratings from another facility should consult the General SOP or our Become a Controller page for information on how to get started.

The information on this page is current as of July 17, 2022

Any controller requesting to visit at or transfer to the Boston ARTCC will be subject to a background/history check. All controllers requesting to visit at or transfer to the Boston ARTCC are subject to a check of their VATSIM history. Requests may be declined on the basis of disciplinary matters (at any level), prior performance, or any other reasons determined applicable by the Air Traffic Manager and/or Deputy Air Traffic Manager

Applying as a Visiting Controller

Prospective Visiting Controllers must email BVA's Air Traffic Manager (ATM) at [email protected] with the following information:

  1. The controller’s name, VATSIM ID, and current rating.
  2. The controller’s home ARTCC and current certification.
  3. Relevant background about the controller’s real-world or virtual aviation experience that may contribute to the controller’s request to visit. 
  4. The reason the controller wishes to visit at BVA.

Controllers whose home facility is outside of the VATUSA Division must complete a VATUSA Rating Competency Exam (RCE) prior to applying for visiting status. 

The controller can expect to receive a reply from the ATM within 5 business days.

Applying as a Transferring Controller

Controllers wishing to apply for a transfer to BVA shall apply through VATUSA. Once logged in, click "Transfer Request" under "My VATUSA". The transfer request may require approval from multiple organizations, including BVA. Upon approval, the controller will be added to our roster and become a member of BVA's integrated community of pilots and air traffic controllers. 

Transferred controllers holding an instructor rating shall surrender the instructor rating and return to the last held grade, unless a specific arrangement to transfer an instructor into the BVA Instructor Staff is made with the Training Administrator, and approved by the ATM and the VATUSA Training Department.

Approval and Roster Addition

Upon approval, a Transferring or Visiting Controller will be added to our roster and become a member of BVA's integrated community of pilots and air traffic controllers. This membership remains valid until specifically cancelled by the controller, even if the controller becomes inactive or is removed from the ATC program.

Once added to the roster, the controller is subject to BVA's Currency and Roster Removal Policy as specified in the General SOP

Initial Certification & GRP Checkout

A Visiting or Transferring Controller retains any VATSIM ratings achieved from other facilities. However, the controller must be certified before they may operate any BVA air traffic control position. A Visiting Controller who already holds BVA certifications may continue to exercise the certifications after transferring. All other controllers must meet the following requirements to achieve a VATSIM Global Ratings Policy (GRP) Checkout before becoming certified at BVA. The standards for a GRP checkout match the OTS Standards applicable to home controllers and are published on the ATC Hub Controller Resources page.

A Visiting or Transferring Controller will complete the following to achieve a BVA certification:


Note: Visiting and Transferring Controllers from outside the VATUSA division must complete the BVA Clearance/Ground Exam in addition to the BVA SOP Exam, as there are enough pertinent differences in DEL/GND procedures to warrant study and examination.

Once a visiting or transfer application has been accepted, the controller should immediately request the appropriate exam and training in accordance with the steps above. Each required exam must be completed before the next one may be requested or attempted. For clarity, this means:

  • Request and submit first the exam.
  • Complete any required Test Corrections.
  • Receive approval for your Test Corrections.
  • Then, request the next exam.

Certification to work Boston (KBOS) Positions

Initially, Visiting and Transferring Controllers will be issued Class C Certifications. To operate positions at our Major Facility (KBOS), controllers require Class B Certifications, which are obtained by completing:

  • The certification-specific exam (e.g., Advanced Clearance/Ground Exam for Class B Ground).
  • An OTS. 

Class B Certifications are issued sequentially. A Visiting or Transferring Controller must complete KBOS certifications in order:

  • Class B Ground.
  • Class B Tower.
  • Class B Approach.

Note: In select cases, Transferring Controllers unable to meet the requirements of the Class B Certification may be issued a Student Authorization. Student Authorizations are not available to Visiting Controllers.

Certification to work Boston Center

A Visiting or Transferring Controller holding a Class B Approach certification must complete the following to obtain the Center Certification:

  • The Center Exam
  • An OTS on BOS_CTR

SOP/Document Guidance for Visiting and Transferring Controllers

BVA provides written documentation governing air traffic control procedures within our airspace:

  • The General SOP contains all procedural, administrative, and online-specific ATC practices that are unique to ZBW. A Visiting or Transferring Controller who is strongly proficient may need only to review this document, plus any applicable Facility SOPs, to complete the competency check.
  • The ATC Handbook is a "flight sim friendly" version of the FAA JO 7110.65. A Visiting or Transferring Controller who is strongly proficient with the FAA JO 7110.65 may not need to review this document. However, controllers wishing to brush up on ATC procedures that are equally applicable to all online U.S.-based ATC facilities are encouraged to review the ATC Handbook while preparing for the competency check.
  • Facility SOPs provide information specific to each facility we operate.
  • More information about our ATC documentation is included in Chapter 2 of the General SOP.
  • All ATC documentation is available on the ATC Hub.

Visiting Controller Policy

In addition to the items described above, the following apply specifically to Visiting Controllers:

  1. Visiting Controllers holding a rating of I1 or I3 in their home facility are not authorized to use those ratings when logged onto a ZBW position. Those controllers should use the rating obtained prior to the Instructor promotion when connected to the live network.
  2. Visiting controllers are expected to be competent to the level commensurate with their rating as per GRP. BVA is not authorized to provide training to Visiting Controllers.
  3. Visiting Controller applicants must wait 90 days after any rating change (promotion) and from any previous facility transfer before being considered for visiting status. Additionally, controllers must consolidate their current rating by satisfactorily performing online for at least 50 hours at their current rating, and in the facility where the rating was granted, before being considered. 
  4. In accordance with VATSIM's Visiting and Transferring Controller Policy, at no time will any authorization/certification applied at BVA supersede controllers' current ratings or certifications at their home facility, and controllers may not proceed further than their rating or certification level at their home facility.
  5. Because BVA is not permitted to provide training for Visiting Controllers, all ratings training and promotions will take place at the home facility. After achieving a new rating at their home facility, if a Visiting Controller wishes to exercise that rating at BVA, a new certification will be required. The controller will follow the applicable steps to a new Visiting Controller. For example, a Visiting Controller previously holding an S2 rating and BVA Class B Tower Certification who becomes an S3 at their home facility and wishes to work BOS_APP must:
    1. Complete the BVA Approach Exam.
    2. Complete an S3 OTS, and achieve the Class C Approach certification.
    3. Complete the BVA Advanced Approach Exam.
    4. Complete an OTS at BOS_APP, and achieve the Class B Approach certification.
  6. Visiting controllers must control for a minimum of 60 minutes every 90 days.