Air traffic controller
Air traffic control specialists, abbreviated ATCS, are personnel responsible for the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic. They monitor the position, speed, and altitude of aircraft in their assigned airspace visually and by radar, and give directions to the pilots by radio. The ATC profession is consistently regarded around the world as one of the most mentally challenging careers.
About Air traffic controller in brief
Air traffic control specialists, abbreviated ATCS, are personnel responsible for the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic in the global air traffic control system. They monitor the position, speed, and altitude of aircraft in their assigned airspace visually and by radar, and give directions to the pilots by radio. The ATC profession is consistently regarded around the world as one of the most mentally challenging careers, and can be notoriously stressful depending on many variables. Controllers apply separation rules to keep aircraft at a safe distance from each other in their area of responsibility and move all aircraft safely and efficiently through their assigned sector of airspace, as well as on the ground. Almost universally, controllers are subjected to rigid medical and mental exams to ensure safety in the air traffic system. In the United States, for example, all air traffic controllers are required to take and pass a Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory before being hired by the Federal Aviation Administration. Conditions such as hypertension, while not disqualifying, are taken seriously and must be monitored with medical examinations by certified doctors. Many drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration such as SSRI antidepressants and benzodiazepines, are banned.
Although local languages are used in ATC communications, the default language of aviation worldwide is Aviation English. Most trainee controllers begin work in their twenties and retire in their fifties. This is due to an FAA requirement that trainees begin their training at the Academy no later than their 31st birthday, and face mandatory retirement at age 56. During busier times, there may also be a second Area controller assigned to the same area in order to assist the R-side controller. This can be done with the same radio frequency as the first Area controller. During times of increased air traffic, a third Area controller may be needed to assist with radio communications without the same frequency or to assist in the same way as the second Area Controller. Controllers who do not speak English as a first language are generally expected to show a certain minimum level of competency. In most nations they are known as \”D-side, or colloquially, in the US, as a ‘center’ or ‘R-side’ ATCOs are generally individuals who are well organized, are quick with numeric computations and mathematics, have assertive and firm decision-making skills, are able to maintain their composure under pressure.