In India, an air traffic controller (ATC) is known as a Junior Executive or Superintendent. ATCs are trained through the AAI or Airports Authority of India. AAI is also the leading employer of ATCs although there are private airports that also do so provided that the ATC is trained or was previously employed by the AAI.
Further, AAI imparts the air traffic controller training only after a successful recruitment. Here are the air traffic controller requirements of AAI:
- An engineering degree in either telecommunication, electronics OR radio with electronics as the specialization OR an M. Sc degree OR 1st class equivalent
- Between 21 and 27 years of age at the start of the training
- High English proficiency
- Capability to concentrate in quiet and busy situations
- Capability to make high quality decisions
- High levels of intelligence considering the consistent information flow
- High standards of seeing and hearing including normal color vision
Applicants will become an AAI trainee after successfully undergoing these processes: written test, voice test, interview and medical examination. The written examination is composed of 50% on educational-related qualifications noted above and 50% on English proficiency and general knowledge, intelligence and aptitude. The medical examination, on the other hand, must be compliant with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 1.
If you meet all the requirements, you will be training for 15 consecutive weeks. There are a total of 8 training modules namely aerodromes and ground aids, air legislation, air navigation, air traffic services, communication procedures, meteorology, search and rescue and technical. If you passed the training, you are required to perform a service bond through working for AAI for 2 years.
The best part is every student is guaranteed an ATC job and thus a steady air traffic controller salary. Trainees receive about $120 (INR 7,500) as stipend. They also receive free boarding at Civil Aviation Training Centre (CATC). Once a student becomes an ATC, he or she will receive between $260 (INR 16,400) and $650 (INR 40,500).
In addition, an ATC receives different allowances based on the acquired skills. These are known as rating allowances which each air traffic controller receives although the amount of the allowance vary depending on the city with which he or she is assigned.
AAI ensures that students will focus on the training task itself and not concern themselves with other problems including financial constraints. Perhaps, this is the reason why AAI completely shoulders the training costs. AAI, however, requires that the students receive a passing grade of 70% and above otherwise he or she will be disqualified. AAI gives students two chances to pass all the modules.
Evidently, AAI is doing everything to make the lives of the students easy and worry-free. So, there is really no reason why you should not grab the opportunity to become the next important air traffic controller in India unless you did not meet all the air traffic controller requirements. Yes, the employment prospect of being an ATC is very interesting. More and more applicants are realized than the vacancies. It would be best to determine if you meet all the requirements and apply to become one.