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Center Boundaries - Who to Contact

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How can I determine which Center to contact prior to departing in a Charlie for VFR?

https://www.vatsim.net/pilot-resource-centre/general-lessons/airport-atc-procedures-cd-gnd-twr tells me:


CTR boundaries are available on servinfo and from numerous other sources.

I found servinfo here, but it brings me to a 404



I was planning to fly KGSO -> KLWB, and there were a lot of centers online. Ultimately went offline prior to pushback because I was confused.

Accidentally cropped it out, but no Approach, Tower or Ground was available.


Edited by Dylan Reichstadt
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When there's more than one Center online  within a given ARTCC it is often a crapshoot.  VAT-Spy will just depict them as if they all cover the whole ARTCC.  What they really cover might change depending on how many are online, which can change in an instant.

Double-clicking on them will bring up their Controller Info which occasionally will have some direction on what sub-sector of the ARTCC their position is covering.  You can also check the ARTCC's website for some help (Minneapolis has a very nice sector map published: http://www.minniecenter.org/split ) but most do not publish sector info.

The best strategy is often to call one at random, report your location, and let them tell you which one you should be on. 




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Rob's strategy was absolutely correct. If you call up on one of our frequencies, or message one of us you will be pointed in the right direction to whom to contact. 

In your case for your flight you would need to contact the Atlanta ARTCC controllers. Luckily for you there was only one online at that time, and as long as you asked you would have been fine. We controllers are here to assist you in the best way we can, and pointing you in the right direction is our goal 😀

There are only a select few ARTCCes who have graphic information available readily available without searching through pages upon pages of documents; the two prime examples in VATUSA are Minneapolis and Cleveland who both have graphic and information available for pilots.

Happy Flying, and remember to ask we are here to help! (also search on https://airnav.com/ with your airport if you are flying in U.S. airspace to find relevant ARTCC information)

Aidan Deschene
Training Administrator
[email protected]

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5 hours ago, Daniel Mckee said:

Just wondering, does Vatsim Viewer Vatsim Viewer   ATC circles show who controls what area?


Hi Daniel, this is the Audio For VATSIM map. What it shows is the radio range of each station, be it a pilot or a controller. To see who is online and what they cover you can use https://map.vatsim.net/ or VATSPY (a very small app that you can install in your PC that shows you a map of online controllers and pilots). There are more options than those two, however, no are perfect to my knowledge in showing the exact sector boundaries. As Matt said before, in more complex airspaces it gets even more confusing for this type of software to correctly show what is what.

The best thing to do is to ask in those situations, I think all controllers would be happy to help you in a pm. Apart from this, you can also be sent the "Please contact me on..." message, but remember that it's the pilot's responsibility to watch out for and make contact with ATC.

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Assistant to the Vice President
Europe, Middle East and Africa Region
Senior Network Supervisor
VATEUD Division Director (Acting)
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