Air Traffic Controller - How to become an Air Traffic Controller

Air Traffic Controller is the person responsible to manage the flow of Air machines in the sky, be it Fighter, Commercial, Airbus or any other planes. With the globalization of the world and increasing use of the airways the responsibility of ATC's has increased a lot. This job is also considered as adventurous as they may get a chance flying one of the planes themselves. This profession not only provides thrill but also provides an opportunity to face challenges on daily basis. But to reach this post, one has to be really dedicated and hardworking.

Air Traffic Controller Job Description: The job of an Air Traffic Controller demands intensive training with loads of added responsibility of the safety of lives of hundreds. For this one needs to be highly disciplined, patient, responsible, punctual, committed and self-confident. The job requires a lot of hard work, stamina, alertness of mind, adaptability to follow difficult time schedules and good team spirit as well. Although a number of subordinate staff personnel are there, to share this responsibility but an ATC is one of  the most important person on an aerodrome because he never gets a chance to rectify his mistake if committed during discharging his duties where as others can get away with a few.

To discharge his duties efficiently and effectively he requires special training and knowledge in more than one area like air navigation, interpretation of meteorological reports, operations of sophisticated electronic and mechanical controls, leading the aircraft under adverse circumstances.


Air Traffic Controller Eligibility

1. Educational Qualification

To be eligible for becoming an Air Traffic Controller in India, one should have an Engineering Degree in Electronics / Telecommunication / Radio Engineering / Electrical / Master’s Degree in Electronics OR equivalent, with First Class (60% or above).

2. Age

Lower age limit is 21 years, while the upper age limit is 27 years.

3. Physical Standards

Contrary to popular belief, one does not need perfect health or perfect eyesight to become a ATC. However, general physical fitness is mandatory. One must be free of any disease that can hamper normal function. Your vision in one eye must be perfect. In general medical terminology, it is called 6/6 eyesight. In the other eye, you could have an imperfection of 6/9, which must be correctable to 6/6. However the above given one or more condition can vary to some extent with state/Country.


Air Traffic Controller Required Skills

  • Air Traffic Controllers should have an interest in the aviation industry, good spatial orientation, a good memory, able to think fast and ability to make quick decisions.
  • They also possess multi-tasking ability, comfortable with numbers, enjoy working in a team, able to work shifts and be assertive and confident.
  • They should be stress resistant and stay calm under pressure; able and willing to adapt and service-oriented.
  • Air Traffic Controllers should have excellent eyesight and hearing, and excellent health in general.


How to become an Air Traffic Controller?

To become an Air Traffic Controller one has to follow the below given steps:

Step 1

To become an ATC, one has to apply for the civil ATC test taken by the Civil Aviation Authority from time to time as per their requirements.

Step 2

After passing through this preliminary test one has to undergo other following given tests-

  • Voice Test
  • Personal Interview
  • Medical Fitness as per ICA

Step 3

After passing the test, given at Step 2, the selected candidates are sent for one year long training schedule at Civil Aviation Training College, Allahabad, UP. In this year long training, the selected candidates are imparted training on modules like Air Traffic Services, Aerodromes and Ground Aids, Air Legislation, Meteorology, Communication Procedure, Technical, Search and Rescue and Air Navigation etc.

Step 4

After successful completion of the training the candidates are employed as Junior Executive (ATC) and after two years are promoted to Assistant Manager (ATC).


Air Traffic Controller Career Prospects

Regarding scope of a successful ATC candidate, Airports Authority of India (AAI) is the sole employer of the civil ATCs, in India and training is imparted only after recruitment. So if one clears the training successfully he/she is guaranteed of the job.

Hierarchy of ATC:

  • Junior Executive
  • Assistant Manager
  • Manager
  • Senior Manager
  • Assistant General Manager
  • Deputy General Manager
  • Joint General Manager
  • General Manager
  • Executive Director


Air Traffic Controller Salary

During training, trainees are paid a stipend of Rs.10,000 p.m. with free lodging and boarding at CATC, Allahabad, UP. After completion of the training and joining as ATC the pay scale for Junior Executive (ATC) is approx. Rs.8600-250-14600. They also get attractive remuneration and incentives including contributory provident fund, gratuity, medical facilities and free/concessional air passage etc. They are also provided with a range of benefits and allowances in addition to housing facilities, medical expenses and out - station allowances, as well as free/concessional air passages for their immediate family members and dependants.

  Page Views: 11413 | Updated On: 09-Jul-2014