An air traffic controller directs air traffic within assigned air space, and controls moving aircraft and service vehicles at airports. This is a busy position that requires total concentration. Traffic controllers analyze information, such as weather conditions, and load and fuel capacities, and determine strategies from this information. They monitor flights in progress and communicate with and direct pilots and ground crews. Employment is usually with the federal government or at a public, private or military airport.


  • Use radar, two-way radios and other communication
  • Use visual tracking equipment
  • Direct activity of moving aircraft and service vehicles on runways
  • Issue navigational and other information to pilots
  • Maintain radio and telephone contact with other control towers
  • Co-ordinate movements of planes
  • Alert emergency services when necessary
  • Prepare and maintain flight plans, logs and other reports

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • An eye for detail
  • Good organizational skills
  • Good judgment
  • Good communication skills
  • Good health, hearing and vision
  • A willingness to continually upgrade skills
  • A willingness to complete a Transport Canada training program
  • A willingness to relocate
  • Computer and technological skills and interests an asset
  • Time management skills an asset
  • Leadership and teamwork skills an asset
  • Emergency and disaster management skills an asset
  • A second language an asset
  • Secondary school diploma required
  • Transport Canada Air Traffic Controller’s License required
  • Basic radio telephone operator’s license required

Possible Future Career Paths

  • Flight Dispatcher
  • Flight Service Specialist
  • Air Traffic Control Chief
  • Tower Controller

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