It’s not anymore an AI replying to your requests, or assigning instructions. Other humans playing as controllers, and other pilots near your airport position, or flying in the same skies have fun flying on VATSIM.
“Preparing to celebrate its 10th Anniversary on July 27, Virtual Air Traffic Simulation Network (VATSIM LLC), the world’s largest online community of pilot and air traffic control simulation enthusiasts, today announced that its approximately 200,000 worldwide members recently completed more than 20 million aggregate hours of simulated flight operations.
In VATSIM simulations, pilots are guided by radar-equipped air traffic controllers (ATC) from the moment they get their clearances until they land at their destination airport.Â ATC enthusiasts can opt to work virtually anywhere from small market general aviation airfields to the world’s busiest commercial airports.Â VATSIM’s WorldFlight Group collectively raises approximately $25,000 USD each year with the funds donated to various aviation related charities around the globe.
In July 2001,Â if you had asked any of our founding members how long it would take the organization to log 20 million hours, they probably would have made some reference to “From Here To Eternity,” VATSIM Vice President of Communications Steve Cullen said. “Yet here we are, ten years later and 200,000 members stronger, having soared past that milestone so smoothly that, to be frank, it almost went unnoticed.”
According to Cullen, VATSIM’s ongoing success is based on community building as much as it is on technological wizardry, a love of flying, and an obsession with computer simulation gaming.Â “Through luck more than design, we caught the social network wave early by implementing a worldwide community whose members share the idea, the fun, and the adventure of flight simulation,” he notes. “When VATSIM controllers and pilots make radio contact, they aren’t hearing a computer-generated voice, they’re interfacing with a real person. “
“From the Wright Brothers, to Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Yeager, John Glenn and Neil Armstrong, flying has always been more about people than machinery.” Cullen added. “The same is true in our simulatedÂ universe.Â Our world is powered by computers, but populated and operated by humans. “
“When you fly on VATSIM, decisions are based on human intelligence, not artificial intelligence.Â That’s what makes it such a challenge.Â It’s also what makes it such fun and it’s a major factor in our unbroken ten-year record of growth and success.”
For more information or to join VATSIM, please visit http://vatsim.net.”