CAREER OPTION : Air Traffic Controller


Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers (ATC) are professional who has the responsibility to handle safe flow of air machines in the sky be it aeroplanes, air buses or commercial flights. As an ATC, you will controlling the movement of aircrafts both on and off the sky. You will encounter with a technology that allows you to see air traffic in the sky. With the help of this technology you can co-ordinate and ensure the safety of flights will take off, landing and passing through. You will communicate with pilots and guide their movement. You will also guide the activities of airport personnel on the ground.

Different kinds of ATCs will have their own responsibilities. If you work in airport control towers, you will be responsible for directing activities on the runway or ensuring that different aircrafts in the sky stay at a distance safe from each other. If you work in traffic control centres between airports, you will monitor and guide the traffic going through the air space. It is a challenging job where you require special training and knowledge in domains like air navigation, interpretation of meteorological reports, electronic and mechanical controls etc.



  • You must have qualifying marks in your H.S.C. (10+2) examination under a recognised board of education with Physics, Chemistry and Maths being your core subjects.
  • In order to be eligible to work as an air traffic controller, you must have an engineering degree in electronics, telecommunication, radio engineering etc. or a master’s degree in electronics with specialisation in physics, maths, telecom, radio physics etc.
  • The minimum age limit to join as an ATC is 21 years and the maximum is 27 years.
  • There is no perfect physical health or eye sight required, but a basic physical standard has to be met.


Required Skills

  • Interest in aviation industry, good spatial orientation, good memory, ability to think fast and make quick decisions.
  • You must possess multi-tasking abilities and be comfortable with numbers.
  • You should be confident and assertive and enjoy working in a team and take shifts and different time schedules.
  • You should be stress resistant and stay calm under pressure.
  • You have to be highly disciplined, patient, responsible, and punctual and committed since you have the responsibility of saving hundreds of lives.
  • Your mind must be alert and note that even if there will be a number or other professionals, you will be the most important person in an aerodrome since a small mistake from your side can then be never rectified and will have adverse effects.


How to become an Air Traffic Controller

STEP 1: You have to apply for the Civil ATC Test conducted by Civil Aviation Authority from time to time as per requirements. It is a written exam and will comprise of 4 papers namely; paper of concerned engineering branch, general English, general knowledge and numerical/logical ability.

STEP 2: After qualifying in your written exam, you will have to undergo a voice test, personal interview and medical fitness as per ICA.

STEP 3: After qualifying in above mentioned exams, you will be sent for a 1 year training program at Civil Aviation Training College. You will be imparted knowledge and training on topics like air traffic services, aerodromes, ground aids, air legislation, meteorology, communication procedure, technical search, rescue operations and air navigation.

STEP 4: After completing your 1 year training, you will be appointed as Junior Executive ATC and will be promoted to the senior post position with time.


Best Institutions

  • Civil Aviation Training College – Allahabad
  • Area Control Training Centre – Hyderabad


Career Prospects

The only employer of ATC in the nation today is AAI (Airports Authority of India). There are a hierarchy of positions that you will take up. The order is Junior Executive, Assistant Manager, Manager, Senior Manager, Assistant General Manager, Deputy General Manager, Joint General Manager, General Manager and Executive Director.



During your training, you will be paid a stipend amount of Rs.20, 000 to Rs.30, 000 per month along with free food and accommodation. The salary of a junior executive will be around Rs.60,000 per month. This can get as high as Rs.2 lakhs or more per month for an Executive Director.