First, visit the VATSIM website here and go through the sign-up process. Make sure you select the "Asia Pacific" region and "Australia (VATPAC) as the division. One will be from VATSIM giving you your VATSIM ID and your password, the other will be from VATPAC welcoming you to the division. Once you have those two emails you should be good to go.
No, not a cent. The entire network is provided by the generous donation of a large number of sponsors. This is why VATSIM has several rules in place to prevent misuse of the bandwidth our donors provide us. While these rules may seem restrictive, or outdated many of them are required as part of the long term agreements we have with the people who provide the hardware and bandwidth we require to operate the network.
Each of the software packages has its own installation requirements. Most are detailed in the package, and for help, by far the best place is our "HELP" section of our website, where there are detailed guides for most packages and plenty of people who can assist you. VRC and EuroScope will require the additional Audio For VATSIM client which can be found here.
When you join up you will receive an email from VATSIM membership which will give you your VATSIM ID and password. Use these to connect to the network using pilot or controller software. The download links for the various software packages are elsewhere on the site. Some software asks for a certificate, this is your VATSIM ID.
For controllers the callsign is the position you will be operating, these are detailed on the Operations pages of the website. You will also learn these during the ATC Training How do I start doing flights on network? IFR Melbourne to Sydney, IFR Hobart to Launceston, IFR Albury to Melbourne and Flying in Oceanic Airspace.
There are three main documents that govern how the network operates. They are the Code of Conduct Code of Regulations (CoR), and the User Agreement (UA). You agree to all three of them when you sign up. Simply put a worldwide network of volunteer hobbyists could not function without a decent set of rules. They look complicated and legalistic, but on the whole, they work. The main thing that should be kept in mind at all times is that VATSIM is an environment that encourages respect, learning and enjoyment. Treat everyone you meet on the network with respect and courtesy and you'll have a great time and never run foul of the rules. As the Irish say, there are no strangers, just friends we haven't met yet.
The network supervisors fulfil a very important role in ensuring the network functions smoothly. They are charged with helping settle disputes by mediation before they get out of hand. Only rarely are they required to impose sanctions on members, and almost always only after a fair warning has been given first. At all times comply with the directions of a SUP, failing to respect them is in itself a serious breach of the CoC. If you think a SUP has made an error in dealing with you, please detail all conversations and chat logs and forward them to the VATPAC staff for action, do not continue to argue the point with the SUP, just follow their instructions and comply with their requests.
No, we can't. These membership issues are managed centrally by VATSIM membership. You can visit the Membership Dashboardpages on the VATSIM.net website and deal with these yourself.
You will need to contact VATSIM membership support. You can visit the Membership Dashboard for more help.
You don't have to, but frankly, you should. The network is a community and the forums are the main meeting place and information resource of the community. By not participating you will miss out on a great deal of assistance, as well as news and information about upcoming events.
Since 2019 Discord has replaced our previous TeamSpeak 3 server. Discord acts as the main community hub of VATPAC with ATC Training, Event Discussions, Townhalls and Social Activities occurring on the platform. To join, report moderation or connection issues head over to discord.vatpac.org. You will also need a discord account which can be created here.
VATPAC has a wonderful events and communications team which works tirelessly to create events tailored to everyone's wants and needs. The most noticeable of which is Milk Run Monday, a weekly event that operates between Melbourne and Sydney on the famous J-Curve. You can see the entire events calendar here.
Because the network is operated and maintained by an army of volunteers, not full time paid staff. The people running the network have other demands on their time, family, friends, work, study etc. These need to be balanced with one another. Please be patient.
To become a rated Air Traffic Controller you need to complete some training. This training is provided by VATPAC and includes an online self-directed training course, a theory exam and a practical exam. Training is provided in a graduated rating system that includes specific training for Tower, Approach and Enroute. To access training and begin preparing for ATC, please visit the Training Department section of our website.