International Virtual Aviation Organisation

International Virtual Aviation Organization VZW (IVAO) is a non-profit association which operates a free-of-charge online flight-simulation network.[2] Following free registration users can connect to the IVAO Network (IVAN) either as a virtual air traffic controller or as a virtual pilot and engage and interact with each other in a massively multiplayer environment utilising real-world aviation procedures, phraseology and techniques.[3]

International Virtual Aviation Organization
IVAO AERO Logo.png
AbbreviationIVAO VzW
FormationDecember 1998
TypeNonprofit organization[1]
PurposeProvide an environment for a realistic flight and Air Traffic Control simulation via the Internet
Open to the Public
Andreas Hempel
Main organ
General Assembly, Board of Governors, Executive Council


IVAO, with more than 210,000 registered members, is one of the largest online flight simulation networks that allow users to act as either a virtual pilot or air traffic controller.[4] IVAO relies solely on software developed by its own staff of volunteers.[5] Air Traffic Controllers can connect to the IVAO network using IVAO's radar client, IvAc, that emulates the interface of a modern, real-world air traffic control radar scope. Pilots can connect using their flight simulator and the built-in pilot client, IvAp. All pilots and ATC thereby interact on a dedicated, one-world server environment that tries to simulate world-wide air traffic on an "as real as it gets" basis. While the largest part of IVAO's active membership is based in Europe, new divisions are continually being created to spread the network coverage world-wide.

IVAO logs all flight and controlling hours and offers its members to obtain virtual pilot and ATC ranks by undergoing training and passing theoretical and practical exams based around real-world aviation regulations and procedures. A fully integrated VA system offers virtual airlines the ability to operate on the IVAO Network even with fictional airline callsigns and liveries. Events and regular gatherings are organised on a daily basis by divisions or members. With approximately 8,000 connections per day and an average weekday peak between 600 and 900 simultaneous connections, IVAO reached its current simultaneous connection record during the annual "Crowded Skies" event on December 10, 2016, with 3,004 members flying or controlling at the same time.


The first steps for setting up flight simulation in a massively-multiplayer online environment were taken with the creation of SquawkBox and ProController in the mid-1990s. These two programs were connected to FSD, a simple flight simulator multiplayer server, which allowed the evolution from a one-to-one (one ATC and one plane) environment to a many-to-many environment.

Using these programs, SATCO (now VATSIM) was the first large network to create an online air traffic simulation environment. On December 16, 1998 IVAO was founded when a group of people left SATCO to form a new network after management conflicts developed within the organisation.[6] In late 2005, another management conflict, this time within the IVAO organisation, led to a further split. The incumbent president of IVAO continued with, while other members of management continued the organisation under[7] In 2007, IVAO was officially registered as a non-profit organisation under Belgian law.[8]

IVAO also has took part in FlightSimCon 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, held in Hartford, Connecticut.[9]

The formal status of IVAO has been changed into advertising bureau on September 1, 2015 and therefore IVAO has to pay VAT since October 1, 2015.[10]

In December 2019, IVAO Launched its Official BETA of 3 new pieces of software; Altitude - The IVAO Pilot Client, Aurora - The IVAO ATC Client, and Artifice - The Connector (Formerly IvAI).[11] IVAO utilized its Virtual Sky media platform for the initial news release.[12]

Virtual SkyEdit

IVAO has an official online media outlet dedicated to the Flight Simulation Community as a whole. "Virtual Sky" . It is a source of high-quality and authenticated news the aims to facilitate and enrich the discussions within the flight simulation community.

Production is the responsibility of the Public Relations department, specifically the Virtual Sky Manager. Previously, in 2008, it was published in the form of an online magazine with quarterly updates.

Countries with active divisionsEdit

IVAO has active divisions in 73 countries spanning six continents. The active status means IVAO Headquarters has elected a staff team who represent it in the respective country and operates the division on its behalf. This ensures members of each active country are offered up-to-date charts and personal one-to-one trainings adapted to local procedures.

Some of the divisions are "multi-country" which means more than one country fall under one specific division.


  1. ^ "Articles of the Association". IVAO. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  2. ^ " Mission Statement" (Press release). IVAO Public Relations Department. May 28, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  3. ^ Jeff Van West (2007). Microsoft Flight Simulator X For Pilots: Real World Training. John Wiley and Sons. p. 677. ISBN 978-0-470-18331-1.
  4. ^ "Bust stress, conquer sky – the virtual way". July 20, 2010. Retrieved August 24, 2011. the International Virtual Aviation Organisation, the biggest community of virtual flyers and air traffic controllers
  5. ^ "IVAO SOFTWARE: WHAT'S COMING NEXT?". Virtual Sky. August 29, 2019. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  6. ^ Daniel Terdiman (December 16, 2006). "Into the wild blue virtual yonder". CNET Retrieved August 24, 2011. It formed in 2001 when internal politics in a precursor network, SATCO, caused a rupture that resulted in two rival networks
  7. ^ "Why". IVAO. December 2, 2005. Archived from the original on August 20, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  8. ^ "International Virtual Aviation Organisation" (PDF). Belgian National Paper. April 18, 2007. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Ondernemingsgegevens | KBO Public Search". Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  11. ^ "Home". IVAO New Software. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  12. ^ Belkhiria, Fares (December 15, 2019). "IVAO FINALLY ANNOUNCES DATE FOR NEW SOFTWARE BETA RELEASE". Virtual Sky. Retrieved January 9, 2020.

External linksEdit