Air traffic controllers direct the safe and orderly movement of aircraft while they are flying, landing, taking off and taxiing. The most important aspect of their work is to keep airport traffic flowing smoothly, safely and efficiently. To do they provide pilots with instructions based on information received from equipment, such as radar, other controllers, the weather bureau, other airline pilots and other sources.
Strong communications skills are at the core of their skill set, they must be able to speak clearly and articulately and give easy-to-understand directions to pilots and must be able to maintain a high level of concentration at all times.In airport control, air traffic controllers are concerned with all aircraft moving on the surface of the airport and all aircraft taking off and landing during good weather conditions. In approach control, they give instructions, particularly during bad weather conditions, to incoming aircraft until the runway is in sight and to departing aircraft until level flight is reached. In airway control, instructions to pilots ensure that safe distances between aircraft are maintained.
The career of an operational controller is structured and depends on your progress in attaining and maintaining the necessary levels of proficiency and experience. You could spend your whole career as an operational controller, or as you acquire more experience and follow technical and operational developments, your progress could lead to the grade of principal controller.
The job carries a high level of responsibility and requires a high level of professionalism.
Specific skills and training are required to work in this safety-critical environment. But job satisfaction is very high; air traffic controllers remain enthusiastic professionals throughout their careers.