Clarifying the Top-Down ATC figure - New Member Orientation

Hello everyone,
the other day I took the orientation test and gave a wrong answer to a question regarding the top-down ATC strategy.
Unfortunately, I relied too much on the figure given below question:

As we can see, the Delivery rectangle is next to Ground and this made me believe that the tower controller doesn’t give clearances when they are the only ATC online at that time.
(Never mind the fact that there was no “Tower & Ground” option, only three for each and an “All of the above”. These set of options could have led me to the correct “all above” answer, but still, I think it also contradicts the graphic.)

This same image is shown in the New Member Orientation Course. The video there gives a great overview although it doesn’t cover every ATC position.

Maybe I take it too literally but I think that it would be clearer if Delivery was under the Ground rectangle.
Something like this, is what I had in mind:

(Okay, I got carried away with this image; had more fun than expected putting it together :slightly_smiling_face:)

What do you think?


The first image is crazy confusing in my opinion. Why are there two arrows? Why is Delivery level with Ground? Why are there several yellow boxes divided by lines?

Top down means just that, a controller may provide service for any area below them.


They should simply refer to this interactive webpage: ATC on VATSIM (


I like your image :+1: