13 September 2020
An Incredible Milestone for VATSIM
I am writing to you today to announce and congratulate all VATSIM members on an amazing accomplishment for our network. As of last Saturday, 05 September 2020, VATSIM has eclipsed 100,000 active members!
We are in the middle of the busiest development cycle that VATSIM has seen in its almost 20 year history as we continue to work to ensure you, our members, have the best experience possible with your hobby - but it would be remiss if we did not stop and take pause at this accomplishment and what it means.
VATSIM has evolved from a small network of flight simulation enthusiasts into a well respected global community where we not only fly and control virtual aircraft, but also make real connections with people all around the world. This has led to lifelong friendships, connections and real world career opportunities within aviation.
This amazing community would not be what it is without our members volunteering their time and resources in all aspects of the organisation. The network works because you make it work, and it’s getting bigger and better every day because of you - our members.
Whilst we reflect on this significant milestone in VATSIM’s history, work continues on major projects to improve the core experience for every VATSIM member. We welcome the newest generation of VATSIM members, many who have joined us with the release of the new Microsoft Flight Simulator. We are providing these members, and indeed all new members, with the education and tools they need to be successful on VATSIM. In line with our commitment to provide better support for new pilots, we recently soft-launched a compulsory new member orientation process for those joining our network - all new members who register with VATSIM will now be welcomed with an interactive orientation process, including a knowledge check, which must be completed before they can connect to the network for the first time. This knowledge check ensures the new member is comfortable with the basic principles of the network and aviating in their aircraft, and also signposts them to further learning material. Thank you to Ethan and the Pilot Training team for developing the content and the tech team for deployment.
We have also recently rolled out the new member hub: myVATSIM. myVATSIM is the new place to be for VATSIM members, with training materials, upcoming events, news, a new flight plan filing area in ICAO format, and much more. A new radar client simulating the Australian TAATS system called vatSys has entered public beta. We continue work on bringing updated position reporting to production so that users can experience smoother movement from other users' aircraft
A new back end system called Terminal has entered the final stages of testing before being put into full production, which replaces our CERT system which has been the backbone of VATSIM since its inception, with a modern interface and capabilities. This replacement will allow VATSIM staff to provide better service to membership for account related inquiries.
Finally, we are about to implement our new leadership structure which involves condensing our six regions into three, each led by a new Regional Vice President who will sit on the Board of Governors. This restructure will finally see each division on VATSIM being given an equal voice, with a direct line of communications from each Division Director into a Vice President, enabling the Board to take feedback directly from its membership much more easily and to act on that feedback. This is a huge opportunity for growth and a better way of governing the network: I am particularly excited for the opportunities this framework will give to developing areas of the globe which are building their profiles on the network.
In closing, I would like to welcome all of our new members and thank all of our current members for their contribution and participation that make VATSIM such a great community.
See you in the skies.