VATSIM's Europe, Middle East and Africa region is the largest in membership population encompassing 50% of current VATSIM active members.
Europe, Middle East and Africa is split into sevent Divisions:
- Europe Division (VATEUD) which comprises 68% of the Europe Region's membership includes: Ireland, continental Europe, the Balkans, Scandinavia, Turkey and the Mediterranean islands.
- Israel Division (VATIL)
- Middle East & North Africa Division (VATMENA) - Covering the Persian Gulf, the Middle East and North Africa
- Russian Division (VATRUS) comprised of the Russian-speaking communities of the region, e.g. Russia, Central Asian countries and Eastern European countries like Ukraine and Belarus.
- Sub-Sahara Africa Division (VATSSA) covering the Southern part of the African continent
- UK Division (VATUK) which comprises 24% of EUR’s membership includes only the United Kingdom.
Europe Division (EUD) is further split in to 32 VACCs (its countries), UK Division is split in 3 FIRs and Russia Division is split in Russia’s 12 FIRs and the Ukraine VACC.
Altogether Europe Region (EUR) has 3 Divisions which are comprised of 48 local institutions. These institutions are mostly governed locally by their own staff but they all follow the regulations of their 3 Divisions. In all three Divisions some basic infrastructure, related mainly to Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) theory training & exams, is provided centrally by Division for the VACC’s/FIR’s and the local institutions take care of the practical part of the training & examinations. At the same time local institutions take care of keeping up communications between registered members, organization of events and provision of training and information resources needed to pilots & ATC.
The magnitude in population, the actual geographical size, the culture gap between countries all having their own history, members having their own vision of how the hobby should be and language barriers, have altogether produced a big challenge in day to day operations as well as long term planning for Europe Region.
There have been many cases related to the real geopolitical environment when actions needed to be taken in order to try to get close to real life procedures. Still the aim has always been in trying to maintain the “fun factor” and the “learning environment” that mainly characterizes VATSIM. These cases have been from simple issues related to how the (real) neighbor FIR’s cooperate with air traffic handling up to more complicated issues related to politically sensitive areas (PSAs), outcomes of real conflicts between nations members of the same region. Also there have been cases of conflicting ideas related to the ever present “as real as it gets” vs “simple and fun” ethos dilemma when it comes to simulating real aviation procedures in this hobby. Europe Region (EUR) has always tried to keep it somewhere in the middle.
Europe Region (EUR) in its existence since 2001 has managed to maintain a friendly environment between the local institutions of 96,000+ co-hobby-ists and for the future hopes to bring VATSIM closer to less developed countries of its geographic region.
Africa and Middle East are always increasing in membership numbers, covering more and more areas and ever striving for excellence and fun, Africa and the Middle East cover a large fascinating part of the globe: from the wild savannas of Africa to the deserts of Arabia; from desolated territories to modern cities like Johannesburg, Tel-Aviv, Dubai or Cape town; from rural uncontrolled airstrips to huge modern airports.
Countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa Region:
Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Armenia, Ascension Island, Austria, Azerbaijan, Azores, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (DRC), Cote d’Ivorie Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Faeroe Islands, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Luxembourg, FYR of Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius Moldavia, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, San Marino, Sao Tome & Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), United Kingdom, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.