Currently, there are more than 700 air traffic controllers in Sweden. If you want to work as an air traffic controller (ATC), you need to undergo a special training in one of the air traffic services academic institutions in Europe. In Sweden, the necessary first steps are divided into four major activities.
1) The admission
You need to contact the air traffic control service provider first which is the LFV. The deadline of application is the 15th of August which is intended for the training program the following year.
2) The application
You also need to contact the LFV or ACR for your application form.
3) The pre-screening
The applicants including you will be prescreened on the basis of the general admission requirements of the provider. Those who meet these air traffic controller requirements will be invited for the next stage towards becoming the next air traffic controller in Sweden.
4) The selection
This activity is divided into four phases, all of which are directly related to First European Air Traffic Controller Selection Test (FEAST). Applicants will be given a leaflet that provides a detailed overview of FEAST and what any applicant must know before taking the test.
FEAST is actually a portfolio of assessment tools that gauge the basic knowledge and skills of the applicant. There is not one air traffic control school in Europe that does not offer this test. FEAST has two parts: computer-based test and multi-tasking test.
The first phase is the FEAST computer-based test that runs for about 2 hours and 30 minutes. One of the fundamental parts of this test is the English proficiency test although it also includes tests on logical reasoning, decision making, spatial orientation and visual perception among others. The results of the test are automatically evaluated. Highest scoring applicants, who usually comprised the top 30%, will be invited to partake in the second phase.
The second phase is the FEAST SDM. SDM stands for Strip Display Management. This test aims to measure an applicant’s abilities to multi-task. FEAST SDM is evidently more complex and more challenging since the applicant needs to do different tasks simultaneously. Additionally, the test also includes a paper and pencil test that gauges the applicant’s solving problem abilities. It requires 3 hours to complete the FEAST SDM test.
The third phase is the interview. Semi-structured interviews are conducted the goal of which is assessing the motivation, determination, flexibility, communication and consciousness of the applicant. It also gauges the applicant’s social adaptability and emotional stability. Finally, the interviews are geared towards knowing if the applicant is aware of his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Successful applicants will move on towards the fourth phase.
The fourth phase before starting the air traffic controller training is the medical and security control. The applicants must pass documents including medical certificates as well as security approval. This step will be conducted by Sweden’s national recruitment functions (LFV and ACR) and the number of qualified applicants will be forwarded to the training provider. One popular air traffic control school in Sweden is Entry Point North.
These are the things that you have to go through if you want to be an air traffic controller in Sweden. The real training begins once you are deemed qualified to become a student by either LFV or ACR.