Aurora first steps !


This tutorial will show you the steps required to join IVAO as a virtual Air Traffic Controller (ATC) using AURORA Software. It is meant to give you a short overview about the tools used, and some very basic instructions how to “behave” in this new environment.

If you have not yet done so, you will need to join IVAO to create your personal user account.

Note that this is required only once, and valid for both a controller and pilot career!

More specifically, we will show you how to…

  • Download, install and set up the required software
  • Add and load a sector file for your favourite airport
  • Connect to the IVAO Network (“IVAN”)
  • Set up an ATIS
  • Obtain further information and training


The first thing you need to do is download our ATC client, AURORA, which will allow you to connect to the network. This can be downloaded from the Software Development Pages.

Once you have downloaded the program, you should run the executable file and install the program.

You can find a manual in the same page. Make sure you read it during you first online hours to acquaint yourself with operation of the software.


A sector file is the “map” displayed on your radar screen. It contains data layers with information about airport location and layout, navigational data like navigational aids, navigation fixes and airways as well as airspace boundaries. Depending on the detail provided, it also shows geographical information like runway/taxiway layout at an airport or coastlines, rivers and roads.

To work at an ATC position, it is essential for you to obtain such a sector file. Most of the time, your local division will have prepared one already and offer it for download in AURORA Software.

Once you have downloaded your sectorfile, you have to open as you can see in the following figure.


We will now connect you as an Observer at your favourite airport. As an Observer, you are free to watch the traffic fly around and you may listen to active ATC. You have no duties, that means you are not in charge of any traffic yet.

Load AURORA and open the desired sector file, as described in the step above.

Your first connections should be as an Observer, without actual ATC duties. This will help you to make yourself familiar with the software and IVAO while avoiding trouble with pilots who will contact you for a clearance sooner or later. Use the chance to listen in on active ATC frequencies and learn!

Now, press the LOGIN button.

Enter the details in the connection window:

  • Callsign: Your callsign. At this time, you will connect as an Observer, so the callsign can be anything, but must end with “_OBS”. 
  • VID: Your IVAO VID that was assigned to you when you joined.
  • Password: The IVAN password you were assigned when you joined IVAO.
  • Real Name: Your full name that you registered with IVAO.
  • Server Address: The server you are connecting to. For best performance, use the one auto selected. Do not use the Training server. It is for scheduled training sessions only!
  • Port: Leave this box as it is!
  • Voice: Select on to have IvAc connect you to a TeamSpeak server automatically.

Once all of the above details are entered, press the Connect button.

When you have successfully connected, you will receive a welcome message in the MSG tab of IvAc’s COMMBox, and the LOGIN button will now read LOGOUT.


Your first connection as an Air Traffic Controller on the IVAO network requires a basic understanding of the procedures employed at the place you will control. Check your division’s website for those procedures and charts for the aerodrome.

Some important things to consider before connecting to the network:

  • Before connecting as an active ATC station, make sure you have the proper sector file and required documents and charts ready. Pilots will rely on you having a basic knowledge of your airspace and airport as well as its procedures.
  • For your first steps it is strongly recommended that you connect as a Ground or Tower Controller at a less crowded place (which might not be your favourite airport, and clearly not the fancy big international field of your capital!) to get used to your new environment and duties.

Once you have prepared those items, you can attempt a connection. Use the steps as provided in the chapter “First Connection”, with these changes:

  • Callsign: Enter [ICAO]_GND (for a Ground Position) or [ICAO]_TWR (for a Tower Position) accordingly. Replace [ICAO] with the proper ICAO-Code of your airfield.
  • Voice: As it is highly recommended to use voice procedures, tick the box and select a suitable server.

Once all fields are completed, press the LOGIN button.

  • Aurora gives you automatically the frequency of your position, like in the following figure. To put manually the frequency in case if not generated automatically, select the first tab in the COMMBox and type //123.456, replacing the numbers with your frequency and hit ENTER. Observe the caption of the tab change to the entered frequency.


The most important information about an aerodrome is included in the ATIS. “ATIS” stands for AutomaticTerminal Information Service. As an ATIS transmits important status information about an airfield, it is important to set it up properly. The weather data is included automatically. You should add runway information (the current runway in use for departures and arrivals), transition altitude/transition level and if necessary some important information in the Remarks field.

Even though runways are mainly assigned by wind direction, and the transition values can be obtained from charts, actual procedures might differ. You should therefore seek information from your local division about standard procedures beforehand!