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 : 22/04/2021

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).

2.1 - Assignation of discrete transponder codes for flights towards the United Kingdom

For all flights meant to cross the airspace of, or land in the United Kingdom, a discrete transponder code (≠ 1000) should be assigned as part of the departure clearance received in the airport of origin.

As long as the traffic density allows it, the ATC of French-sectors handing off a flight to the ATC of a UK-sector will make sure a discrete transponder code is assigned.

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 civil secondary positions

The corresponding NOTAM of this rule is available here: N-FR-0421-1_EN.

Within the French division, the opening of civil secondary positions (DEL, DEP and U_CTR) is as follows :

4.1 DEL Positions

DEL positions, wherever they exist, may only be opened if the corresponding GND position (or higher) is active and according the current applicable FRAs.

4.2 DEP Positions

DEP positions, wherever they exist, may only be opened if the corresponding APP and TWR positions are active and according the current applicable FRAs.

Moreover, before any opening of a DEP position, the controller of the APP position must have given a written consent to the controller wishing to open the DEP position.

4.3 U_CTR Positions

U_CTR positions, wherever they exist, may only be opened if all the primary CTR positions belonging to the same FIR are active and according the current applicable FRAs.

Moreover, before any opening of a U_CTR position, the controllers of all the primary CTR positions must have given a written consent to the controller wishing to open the U_CTR position.

In general, primary CTR positions will delegate their airspace above FL295 whenever U_CTR positions are active.

Diagrams and operational details relative to these positions are available in the LoAs of the Division.

The list of primary and secondary CTR positions can be found hereunder:

  • Bordeaux - LFBB
    • Primary Position: LFBB_CTR
    • Secondary Position: LFBB_U_CTR
  • Reims - LFEE
    • Primary Position: LFEE_CTR
    • Secondary Position: LFEE_U_CTR
  • Paris - LFFF
    • Primary Positions: LFFF_CTR and LFFF_F_CTR
    • Secondary Position: N/A
  • Marseille - LFMM
    • Primary Positions: LFMM_NW_CTR and LFMM_S_CTR
    • Secondary Position: LFMM_U_CTR
  • Brest - LFRR
    • Primary Position: LFRR_CTR
    • Secondary Position: LFRR_U_CTR

5 - Opening of ATC positions during activities of the Division

The corresponding NOTAM of this rule is available here: N-FR-0121-1_EN.

5.1 - Activities of the Events Department


An ATC schedule is established by the FIR Chiefs involved in the event as well as the Event Department and is approved by the ATC Department.

The only people allowed to open the ATC positions related to an event are the ones which were registered in the ATC schedule (or the people exceptionally allowed to do so by the FIR Chiefs or the ATC Department).

Whenever a member who is not registered in the ATC schedule has already booked a position concerned by the event on the IVAO ATC Scheduling System, the ATC Department will contact the member and delete his booking.


Some events are eligible to a point counting toward the attribution of the « ATC Event Award ». The points are given by the ATC Department based on the list of people present during the event.

5.2 - Activities of the Training Department

Opening of the Ground position (GND)

The 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.

Therefore, during the following activities:

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

The GND position cannot be opened. This also includes the DEL position.

Any member connected on the GND or DEL position, notwithstanding if he has booked the position or not, will have to leave his position when asked by a trainer/examiner (or any staff member of the division).

Opening of ATC positions during a Training Department activity

The activities linked to the Training Department (ATC School modules, Trainings, Exams) systematically go in pair with a booking on the IVAO ATC Scheduling System by the concerned member. However, if the booking cannot occur because another booking already exists, the ATC activity of the Training Department takes precedence over the existing booking. In this case, the ATC Department will delete the booking of the member not concerned by the Training activity after having informed him.

Regarding the ATC positions which are directly adjacent to the one where a training activity occurs:

  • APP for a TWR activity
  • TWR and CTR for an APP activity
  • APP and neighboring CTR for a CTR activity

Any member is free to book these positions on the IVAO ATC Scheduling System. However, it is actively recommended to contact the controller in training to inform him and ask if one’s booking is acceptable.

If the controller in training has foreseen specific controllers to open the directly adjacent positions, a systematic booking on the IVAO ATC Scheduling System shall be done by these controllers. However, if the bookings cannot occur because other bookings already exist, the will of the controller in training takes precedence over the existing bookings. In this case, the ATC Department will delete the bookings of the members not foreseen by the controller in training after having informed them.

In any case, no booking will be deleted less than 12h before the activity linked to the Training Department.

6 - 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".

7 - 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.