ATC Rules

The ATC activities within the France division take place according to the IVAO Rules and Regulations (R&R, section "ATC Operations Department"). However, some rules specific to France division, eventually published via NOTAM, are also applicable in addition to R&R.

Last updated : 06/03/2020

1 - Real NOTAMs implementation

It is in the good practices of the Air Traffic Controller to prepare his ATIS before connecting on the network and to fill it in as quickly as possible once connected and before the taking the charge of traffic awaiting. The content of the ATIS must be in accordance with the information given in the real ATIS as far as practicable.

The French division strictly applies the "Regulation" §A.2.1.2. Which means that the systematic and mandatory use of real NOTAM is forbidden. However, specific and temporary procedures inspired from the real world may be proposed exclusively by the ATC and indicated on his/her ATIS only whenever they are compatible with the technical limitations of the IVAO network and of the flight simulators. In all cases, an ATC is not allowed to refuse a procedure to a pilot who would not wish/be able to apply that NOTAM.

2 - Transponder Codes

It is reminded that the "mode S" transponder is mandatory in France since March 31st 2007 for all IFR flights and for VFR flights in some airspaces.

For all other VFR flights the "mode C" transponder is the minimum required. On IvAc 1, the $ flag will be displayed on the label of any aircraft not equipped with the mode S transponder.

It is forbidden to accept a flight with a flight plan not including an active transponder ("mode N").

The assignment of transponder codes on IVAO is under the initiative of ATC. Nevertheless, it is recommended to comply with the following instructions:

  • Assign the transponder code "1000" for all IFR flights departing and arriving within areas EUR A-B-C-D-E as depicted below:

  • For all IFR and VFR flights, the codes 7600 (radio failure) and 7700 (emergency) must be assigned by the ATC according to their meaning. The use of the code 7500 (hijacking) is strictly forbidden on the network.
  • It is reminded that following the Rules & Regulations §A.2.1.2, any reference concerning the use of specific transponder codes is not allowed in the ATIS.
  • It is recommended to all IvAc1 users to deactivate the "squawk code duplicate check" option in IvAc (menu PVD -> Label/Route Options).

3 - Separation Minima

Within the France division, the lateral separation minimums under radar control are:

  • 3 NM within all approach areas (TMA and associated airspaces).
  • 5 NM within all other airspaces.

In the case of ATC exams under the responsibility of the Training department, any radar separation (within a TMA and associated airspaces) greater or equal to 3 NM and lower than 5 NM is not sanctioned by an automatic failure. Nevertheless:

  • the separation strategy and the use of speed regulation must be coherent;
  • any airprox clearance (i.e. any clearance leading shortly to a loss of separation) is always sanctioned by an automatic failure;
  • the respect of wake turbulence separation minimums is specifically looked at;
  • the absence of airprox does not imply the success of the exam. Indeed, the strict respect of separation minimums does not substitute to an efficient and secure sequencing. More info here (French).

4 - Opening of DEL and DEP positions

The corresponding NOTAM of this rule is available here: N-FR-0415-1_EN.

Within the French division, the opening of DEL and DEP positions is as follows :

  1. The DEL position, wherever it exists, shall only be staffed if the corresponding GND position (or above) is active and according to the appropriate FRA.
  2. The DEP position, wherever it exists, shall only be staffed if the corresponding APP and TWR positions are active during events or full staff and after the approval of the FIR chiefs and AO department and according to the appropriate FRA.

5 - Opening of GND position

The NOTAM corresponding to this rule is available here: N-FR-0715-1_EN.

The French Training Department is in charge, among other activities, of tower position trainings and ADC rating exams. Within this framework, all procedures and skills proper to ground and delivery control are also taught and evaluated. As a consequence, during the following activities:

  • Practical ATC School modules with a trainer connected on a LFXX_T_TWR position 
  • ADC training with a trainer connected on a LFXX_T_TWR position 
  • ADC exam with an examiner connected on a LFXX_X_TWR position 

the GND position cannot be staffed.

Any member connected on the GND position during these activities has to disconnect from the concerned position, even if he booked the position, whenever asked by the trainer/examiner (or eventually any staff member of the Division). Moreover, according to §4 of these ATC Rules, the DEL position cannot be opened either.

6 - ATC positions during events

The NOTAM corresponding to this rule is available here: N-FR-0715-2_EN.

6.1 Planning

An ATC schedule is established by the FIR chiefs involved in the event and is approved by the French AO department. Only ATCs included in the approved schedule (or exceptionally authorised by the FIR chiefs or the French AO Department) can open the positions concerned by the event.

Whenever a member who is not included in the ATC schedule has booked a position concerned by the event, the FR-AO department is in charge of contacting the member and deleting his reservation.

6.2 Award

Some events are eligible for the « ATC Event Award” ». This award is given to any ATC member who has cumulated 10 points. The assignment of the ATC points is made by the French AO department based on the ATC list provided by the FIR chiefs.

7 - FIS Position

The NOTAM corresponding to this rule is available here: N-FR-1117-3_EN.

It is possible to open a position called “AFIS” on IVAO. This type of position is controlled in a slightly different way than a conventional "tower". This is why, in order to announce to the pilots that there will be no control service but only information and alert services, we recommend two things to the controller:

  1. Write in the ATIS the name of the position: "Pétaouchnok Information" instead of "Pétaouchnok Tower"
  2. Connect to the network with the following callsign: "LFXX_FIS_TWR"

We insist on the fact that these two "rules" are recommendations only. Indeed, nothing would forbid to open an AFIS position with the callsign "LFXX_TWR".

8 - FSS Position

The NOTAM corresponding to this rule is available here: N-FR-1018-1_EN.

The « Flight Service Station » position is used on IVAO as the position which provides the information and alert ATC services. It corresponds to the ATC-units which we commonly call “Information”.

In French Division we do not use the FSS Positions because the “Information” ATC-units are bound to an Approach position. In practice, this means that an Approach position managing one (or more) TMA also manages one (or more) SIV (“Secteur d’information de vol” which translates to “Flight Information Sector”).

It’s worth mentioning that when the Approach services are provided by a Centre position, the “SIV” is always considered open and that the “Information Service” is due to pilots. However, if traffic does not permit the ATC to provide such service, it can be temporarily suspended as long as an explicit indication is written in the remarks of the ATIS.