If you want to learn how to become an air traffic controller in Canada, the go-to website is NAV CANADA. Air Navigation Service is responsible for providing services to Canadian aircraft operators. NAV CANADA has 7 are control centers, 42 control towers, 8 flight information centers, and 57 flight service stations. You may work in any of these centers as an air traffic controller (ATC) provided that you undergo the air traffic controller training that NAV CANADA also provides.
NAV CANADA offers intensive ATC training that may run from 1 up to 2 years and 6 months, depending on the training program you chose. Nevertheless, whichever program you choose, you are required to commit, focus and exert hard work to complete the program. You must also have exceptional problem-solving skills, sharp judgment and strong motivation. Physically, you must have good memory, keen hearing and clear voice. These are the qualities that can help you in becoming one of the best air traffic controllers in Canada.
NAV CANADA provides full-time training from Mondays thru Fridays. Classes generally vary depending on the location of the training. A typical class, however, is 8 hours daily in addition to 2 to 3 hours of simulator time after each class. This is not a hard requirement, but trainees are encouraged to devote such time, so that they will come prepared for the next class. The premise is that the air traffic controller training that’s why you have to keep focused on completing the training.
The training usually includes basic training, specialty training, simulation training and on-the-job training. These training components may overlap and their order depends on your chosen program.
Further, NAV CANADA has very specific selection requirements. There is no need for prior aviation-related knowledge or experience, but you must be:
- Not less than 18 years old at the time of application,
- Canadian citizen or hold a permanent residency status,
- High school graduate
- English speaking or a fluent bilingual (English and French),
- Available to train for the next 18 months or so continuously,
- Willingly train,
- Willingly relocate,
- Willingly undergo medical examinations, and
- Prepared for a security check.
Further, the actual selection process is in six important steps. NAV CANADA trains area and airport air traffic controllers. To become a trainee in either of these roles, first, you have to apply online. It will only take 30 minutes to accomplish the application form.
Second, you need to complete the computer-based tests. There will be two tests to complete which can be finished in 30 minutes as well. The results of the test will be sent through an email notification.
Third, you have to partake in an evaluation session. You will be invited to the in-person session only if you passed the tests. The evaluation session lasts up to 3 hours and 30 minutes. An evaluation fee of $200 applies.
Fourth, you have to undergo a teleconference interview and an in-person interview. You will only proceed to the second interview if you passed the first one.
Fifth, your name will be entered in the candidate roster. Based on the results of your interviews, the training that best fits you will be determined. This is not a guarantee that you will be training as an ATC.
Sixth, if chosen, you will be offered the training. Six months prior, a pre-course entitled Introduction to Aviation will be sent to you.
You are on your way to becoming the next important air traffic controller in Canada once you complete the training.