Tuesday, 22nd May 2018


Required Qualifications

In order to be an air traffic controller a licence and a lot of intense training is needed. There are different routes into obtaining an air traffic control licence, with the most common entry route is to gain a position as a trainee with NATS. The NATS is a major air traffic control company that offers a number of traineeships. There are other air traffic control companies which may take on assistants and sponsor them to train as an air traffic controller.

To become a trainee with NATS Ltd, applicants must have at least five GCSES (grade C or above) in English and maths. Applicants must also be at least 18 and pass a medical assessment that checks for physical fitness to work including eyesight and hearing.

NATS candidates who pass through the initial online application stage must then pass a number of selection stages, including an online test, an initial assessment session, a computer test day and a final assessment day. Successful applicants, who pass all the stages, then undergo up to 11 months of training at the NATS training college in Bournemouth.

Another option of entry into the career is to pay for training independently and then apply for trainee positions at an airport. Accredited courses are available from the following providers:

The final route is to join the Royal Air Force or Royal Navy as an air traffic control officer which then gives the option of converting to the necessary Civil Aviation Authority licences later. Please the visit the Civil Aviation Authority for more information on entry into this job and what it entails.