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Air Traffic Controller » Learn More


Air traffic controllers may do some or all of the following

  • receive information about flights from flight plans, pilot reports, radar and observations
  • direct aircraft and manage aircraft traffic flows
  • advise pilots on weather conditions, the status of facilities and airports
  • give pilots permission to take off, land, and change altitude and direction
  • give airport workers permission to move around the tarmac and runway
  • monitor aircraft on a radar and look for possible conflicts
  • check equipment used for navigation
  • alert airport fire crew and rescue services in emergencies
  • write reports on incidents.

Air traffic controllers need to have

  • knowledge about flight planning and navigation
  • knowledge of technical flying terms
  • organisational skills and the ability to prioritise, plan and make decisions
  • the ability to solve problems quickly and effectively in a busy work environment
  • skill in interpreting information
  • understanding of civil aviation laws
  • an understanding of safety rules and emergency procedures
  • good spatial skills
  • a good short-term memory
  • skill in making calculations
  • communication skills and the ability to work well with others
  • good concentration and the ability to look at and scan computers, radar presentations and flight plans continuously for long periods of time.

Air traffic controllers need to be

  • mature, responsible and conscientious
  • adaptable
  • able to think logically
  • able to remain calm and collected if under pressure
  • confident.
Medium_dscf0383 David Hansen
Air Traffic Controller

Study   What did you study? To gain a job as an air traffic controller I studied towards a diploma in air traffic control with... read more »

Medium_natasha_hansen Natasha Hansen
Air Traffic Controller

Study   What did you study? Air Traffic Control. Why did you choose this course? When I was young, family friends were... read more »

Medium_connor_oloughlin Connor O'Loughlin
Air Traffic Controller

Study   What did you study? Air Traffic Control with Airways New Zealand. I am now an aerodrome and approach controller in... read more »