ATC Requirements – Be Prepared!

atc requirementsWhile application requirements differ depending on the air traffic control school, the bottom line is there are many requirements that you need to prepare and undergo if you want to become an air traffic controller (ATC). There are several ways to determine if you are eligible to become an ATC, some of which are discussed below.


1) Legal

Depending on the country where you are residing and where you want to work as an ATC, you must have all the legal documents allowing you to work anywhere on this country.

2) Academic

One of the air traffic controller requirements is that you must be 18 years old or above. You must also possess 5 GCSEs as a minimum or the equivalent such as Grace C or higher that should include Math and English.

3) Medical

Medical certificate that is compliant with the requirements of the authorities having jurisdiction like Civil Aviation Authority in Europe is also required before you undergo an air traffic controller training. Basically, you have to be physically and mentally fit. Here are other medical requirements.

  • You must possess a normal BP. You mustn’t have any cardiovascular diseases or heart diseases.
  • You mustn’t have any respiratory diseases. If you previously have an asthma, this would be acceptable provided that there are no significant symptoms when you apply as a trainee otherwise you will be disqualified.
  • You must have no progressive nervous system diseases. If you previously have epilepsy, you might be disqualified. You will be qualified if you are seizure-free for 10 years or more with no medication.
  • You will be disqualified if you have high propensities for any cerebral dysfunction.
  • You must be free from any gastro intestinal diseases.
  • You must be free from any urinary diseases.
  • You must not be diabetic.
  • You must not be obese. You will not qualify if your body mass index is below 35 on most cases.

Further, apart from having no past criminal record, you must be drug-free. Aviation authorities are very strict when it comes to these issues considering the nature of the ATC job. These authorities have zero tolerances on using recreational drugs. You must be able to adhere to the alcohol consumption level as well. Information regarding these air traffic controller requirements will be revealed during a security check.

The information provided above is only intended for a quick guidance. There are many other requirements like visual and auditory standards, psychiatric conditions and anthropometric considerations. You need to meet all these requirements for you to qualify as a trainee. You need not apply if you do not meet even one of these requirements.

Before enrolling in an air traffic control school, it would be plausible to acquire a complete list of all the requirements. In this way, you can cross check if you meet all of them and then, prepare all the necessary documentations. You might also ask the authority like the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) if you are residing in the US and National Air Traffic Services (NATS) if in the UK how these requirements apply and if there are any exemptions applicable on your case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *