About profession

They are often called air traffic controller, air traffic control specialists, and they call themselves the air traffic control operator (ATC) or simply flight dispatcher.

Who are they – the air traffic controllers?

The air traffic controllers are the specialists who control and ensure safe, orderly, cost-effective aircraft movements on the ground and in the air in order to prevent their collision, and in special situations occurring during the flight, - to provide the necessary assistance to the aircraft crew.  The air traffic control is carried out from the time of starting the engine before takeoff at the departure aerodrome before the engine shutdown at the end of taxing-in after landing at the airport of destination. ATCO navigates the aircraft on a designated route at the aerodrome and further on his area of responsibility in the part of airspace, called sector, and then transfers the control to the air traffic controllers of other areas. For successful conducting of this function the air traffic controller uses the knowledge of normative legal documents regulating the procedure of flight operations and the implementation of the ATC, the aircraft performance, the air navigation, the aviation meteorology, the English language, the radio-technical aids of flight support, etc.


What does it take to become an air traffic controller?

If you want to become an air traffic controller, you need to have certain qualities and abilities required, namely:

  • Be able to orient and imagine an object in space;
  • Have a good spatial imagination and imagine an aircraft movement of in the space;
  • Have fluent English;
  • Remember required number of figures and words;
  • Stay calm and confident in stressful situations;
  • Have a high sense of responsibility for flight safety;
  • Be able to analyze situation and to creatively apply established rules.

The air traffic controller must be able to select relevant information from a large volume of messages, as well as have developed spatial imagination, which allows properly represent the position of the aircraft in the airspace and predict their position after a certain time during the flight.  One of the most important factors for air traffic controller is a health condition. Throughout whole professional activities the air traffic controllers’ health is under scrutiny of highly qualified specialists in the field of aviation medicine. The air traffic controllers regularly undergo medical commission as well as the medical check-up before going on duty.


Here's how talks about their profession specialists of the air traffic management division:

Among a large number professions, rightly called the professions of the XXI century, the work of air traffic controller, aircraft operations management has a special place. As shown by numerous studies, this kind of activity is highly intellectual and emotional focus.

The air traffic controller profession emerged immediately as soon as the aviation began to acquire a mass character, first of all there was a need to establish specific rules of flight operations, their support by radio-technical aids of   communication, navigation and control.So there was a whole system of air traffic control (ATC), where the air traffic controller (the Head of Air Traffic) is the main level to the direct management of the aircraft movement process. The safety and capacity of the air traffic control system as a whole depends largely on the degree of reliability and efficiency of this particular level.

Today it is hard to imagine what would have happened in the air if ATC service stopped its work for a few minutes: hundreds of planes flying with a high speed on a collision and intersecting courses with climb and descent would be in a catastrophic situation and if we add to this the severe weather conditions, the complete absence of visibility…In this dynamic environment the air traffic controller should have a good understanding, give commands clearly and correctly.

To become an air traffic controller is not an easy task. This profession is one of the most complicated, dangerous and responsible: the slightest inaccuracy or delay in air traffic control can cost many lives.

The profession of air traffic controller makes very high demands on its psycho-physiological and moral qualities. In addition to the absolute health for successful work the air traffic controller must be sustained attention (distraction is not allowed), besides it is important aspects such as distribution and ease of switching attention. The air traffic controller should have a good recent memory, be proactive and self consistent, to be able to predict the air situation. He should have developed spatial imagination, to be able to quickly identify the air situation. The air traffic controller should have good diction, correct and expressive speech, as the voice exchange of air traffic controller occupies a large place in his activity. So the dreaming to master this profession is subject to rigorous medical screening before entering educational institution.

Throughout whole professional activity the air traffic controller every 2 years passes medical and flight expert committee by analogy with the civil aviation pilots.

The main task of an air traffic controller is the continuous monitoring of the air traffic situation and air traffic control within the area of ​​responsibility. The air traffic controller has to simultaneously monitor multiple sites and control them, command the air and at the same time listen to negotiate of their colleagues working on related sectors, monitor the radar screen and keep records on the chart.  For the air traffic controller can successfully address these tasks, his workplace is equipped with the monitors displaying of air situation, meteorological situation, the different signal panels, reference information, communication facilities and others.

The work of ATC specialist is multifaceted and interesting. The work reliability is assured a high level of professionalism and sense of responsibility for their work. To ensure a high level of flight safety for the air traffic controllers automated ATC system is currently helping, which allows clearly control an air situation, analyze and predict it, helps to make the right decisions.

Currently, the air traffic controllers use in their work the satellite technology with the automation of basic technological operations and the integration of airborne and ground systems.  In contemporary conditions, the air traffic controller is also required to have a high level of the Aviation English language.


Social benefits and guarantees

The air traffic controller profession is complicated and very responsible, but also has significant attractive sides. First of all, it is demand, and young people who have signed contracts with the Enterprise after graduation in the specialty “Air Traffic Controller” will not have problems with employment.The work of air traffic controller adequately rewarded and protected by a full package of social benefits and guarantees.

If you are interested in our information, we invite you to enter to the institutions of civil aviation in order to obtain an interesting aviation profession - engineer of traffic control.