Air Traffic Controllers are responsible for coordinating the in air movements of air traffic around an airport, to ensure that planes do not enter each others airspace, and to organize landings and takeoffs in as efficient a manner as possible to prevent accidents and delays.
There are several different varieties of air traffic control including Terminal controllers, ground controllers, en route controllers and tower controllers. There are 20 air traffic control centers in the United States, each of which employ between three and seven hundred air traffic controllers at any given time, to maintain order in the skies.
One does not become an air traffic controler overnight, rather it takes years of training and experience to become qualified for the position. There are two basic forms of training that qualify an individual to be an air traffic control : military experience, or a 4-year degree in aviation administration, with several years of experience working in other areas of aviation. Even with an appropriate level of experience, every air traffic control applicant must undergo a physical exam, and fitness nest, criminal background checks, drug screening, and complete a 12-week intensive air traffic control course.
Air traffic controllers work a 40 hour week ,and may be required to work overnight or weekend shifts. They work behind desk, or switch board, and have little or no opportunity to move around their environment while at work. Aviation controllers make an average of $100,000 per year, dependent on their experience, and the size of the facility which employs them.
Air Traffic Controller Tasks
- Use proper inter and intra facility coordination techniques.
- Schedule and watch airspace.
- Monitors flight dispatch, base operations, ASR radar, PAR radar and approach control.
- Train and supervise other employees.