The Swiss airspace is managed and monitored by skyguide, a provider of air navigation-related services. Part of the responsibility of skyguide is ensuring that the towers and centers are manned by only the most efficient air traffic controllers (ATCs).
Skyguide provides intensive air traffic controller training for the right candidates. Nevertheless, you have to complete and pass several air traffic controller requirements before you may become a skyguide trainee. Here are these requirements:
- Completed and passed an apprenticeship
- A Swiss national (with C residence permit)
- 18 to 30 years old at the time of training
- English language proficient
- Knowledgeable in German or French languages
Further, there are other requirements such as the ability to think logically, possess multi-tasking skill, ability to take mental stress, highly responsible, very reliable and a team player.
Now that you are ready to apply, here are the steps to follow.
First, you need to accomplish the medical questionnaire and vision requirements. Afterwards, scan the forms and send them as attachments through the e-recruitment form.
Second, you have to prepare your electronic documents as follows:
- Passport-sized photo
- A photocopy of ID, passport OR residence permit
- A photocopy of apprenticeship
- A photocopy of apprenticeship completion and graduation certificates
- A photocopy of employer references (if possible)
- A one-page letter of motivation
- Curriculum vitae
- Medical questionnaire
- Optician’s report
Third, you need to submit all of these through skyguide’s e-recruitment platform. You need to register first. You will receive an email confirmation upon successful registration to the platform. Complete the application process and a confirmatory email will be sent again. Activate your application afterwards. You will know the results of your application after a week. If you passed all the requirements, you will receive an offer to complete and pass the aptitude test.
Your journey on how to become an air traffic controller in Switzerland actually starts with completing and passing the aptitude test. The test is in three stages and you may only progress to the next stage after successfully completing the previous stage.
1st Stage: involves several tests that vary in duration.
2nd Stage: involves simulation exercises and reaction tests onwards becoming an air traffic controller. This stage also includes a ‘get to know us’ day wherein the candidate will be sent to an airport in Zurich or Geneva or any regional airport. The candidate is free to roam around the airport and the towers and centers. The mentor accompanies the candidate. You will get to know how an ATC actually works and what the air traffic controller jobs entail.
3rd Stage: involves group exercises and interviews. You have to pass the oral English exam and present the medical exam certificate before you may start the air traffic controller training course. The latter must be presented during the final interview.
If you are an SPHAIR graduate, you will receive a recommendation to complete all these three stages. Nevertheless, the first stage is waived. This means that even if you failed the first stage, you will still be able to complete the second stage only if you are an SPHAIR graduate.