Career as an Air Traffic Controller


Summary

An Air Traffic Controller directs and monitors aircraft, maintains safety, and informs pilots about weather conditions and flight paths. Some controllers direct aircraft through airspace, while other controllers regulate arrivals and departures.

Air Traffic Controllers primary concern is safety, but they also must direct aircraft efficiently to minimize delays. They manage the flow of aircraft into and out of the airport airspace, guide pilots during takeoff and landing, and monitor aircraft as they travel through the skies.

Controllers usually manage multiple aircraft at the same time and must make quick decisions to ensure the safety of the aircraft. For example, a controller might direct one aircraft on its landing approach while providing another aircraft with weather information.

The duties of Air Traffic Controllers includes to regulate air traffic either within an airport's airspace or air traffic between airports. They communicate weather changes, visibility issues, wind conditions and nearby aircraft to pilots, using radar, computers or visuals to monitor aircraft in the assigned airspace. Air traffic controllers may give landing and departure authorization and instructions. They may also determine and direct flight path changes as necessary. Controllers supervise ground traffic, such as baggage vehicles, airport workers and taxiing airplanes, and other critical information and alert airport response staff, in the event of an aircraft emergency.

Work Environment

Most Air Traffic Controllers work full time, and some work additional hours. Controllers may rotate shifts between day, evening, and night, because major control centers operate continuously. Controllers also work weekend and holiday shifts. Less busy airports may have towers that only operate part time. Controllers at these airports have more normal work schedules. Air Traffic Controllers work in control towers, approach control facilities, or en route centers. Many tower and approach/departure controllers work near large airports. En route controllers work in secure office buildings located across the country, which typically are not located at airports.

Entry Level Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering in Electronics, Tele Communication, Radio Engg, Electrical with specialization in Electronics.
  • M.Sc or its equivalent with Wireless Communication, Electronics, Radio Physics or Radio Engg.

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