All Air Traffic Controllers are regulated by Transport Canada. They require certification before you can start working in the sector.
An air traffic controller is responsible for coordinating the movement of air traffic, guiding pilots during takeoff and landing and monitoring the planes as they travel through the skies. They manage communication by transferring control of departing flights to traffic control centers and they accept control of arriving flights. The air traffic controller is also responsible for controlling all ground traffic at airports, including baggage vehicles and maintenance employees.
You will provide information to pilots, including runway closures, weather updates and other critical information, alerting airport personnel when there is any kind of aircraft emergency. A main expertise is using computers, radar or visual references to monitor and direct the flow of aircraft in the sky and ground traffic at the airport.
- Completion of secondary school is required.
- A basic radio telephone operator’s licence is required.
- Air traffic controllers and flight service specialists require completion of a NAV Canada training program which includes structured in-class and on-the-job training.
- Air traffic controllers require an air traffic controller’s licence.
- Flight dispatchers may require experience in air traffic control or flight operations and may require a private pilot’s licence
Air traffic controllers should possess the following qualities:
- Concentration. Because they maintain the flow of aircraft in and out of airports and in-flight, air traffic controllers are key to aviation safety. Doing this successfully requires total concentration
- Decision-making skills. Air traffic controllers must be able to make quick decisions that impact the safety of everyone onboard an aircraft.
- Math skills. Controllers must be able to calculate speed, time and distance and recommend changes in heading or altitude.
- Communication skills. Controllers must be able to give clear and concise instructions and use active listening skills to listen carefully to the pilot’s response or requests.
There are 2 other types of occupation in this category:
- Air Traffic Controller (Limited Rating)
- Flight Service Specialist