An air traffic controller directs traffic in the air and on the ground. The air traffic controller alerts pilots as to obstructions that might be in their path, such as other aircraft and bad weather. The air traffic controller may sometimes have to reroute airborne aircraft when adverse weather conditions are present. The air traffic controller also assists aircraft with landing and take-off instructions.
The air traffic controller will carry out these duties with the assistance of radar devices in order to determine the position of aircraft. The air traffic controller must be alert at all times in order to avoid collisions from occurring. In emergency situations, the air traffic controller must be able to provide instructions to the pilot as to how and where to land. At times, the job can be monotonous. At other times, the air traffic controller will be expected to work in high-pressure situations where quick but accurate decisions must be made.
Prior to being hired, the air traffic controller should have current FAA air traffic controller certification. Strong knowledge of laws, regulations, and procedures relating to air traffic, towers, and radar is important. The air traffic controller should have knowledge of all safety procedures relating to air traffic control. Strong communication skills are important in order to adequately give instructions to pilots and other air traffic controllers. Most air traffic controllers will work for the Federal Aviation Administration, while others will work for the military or private air traffic control companies. Usually, the job is carried out in an air traffic control tower in which space may be confined. Some positions may have schooling requirements relating to air traffic control, including air traffic control courses or even a university degree in air traffic control.
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.