What is air traffic controlling all about?
An Air Traffic Controller (ATC) is responsible for scheduling the landing and taking off of flights from any airport in India. This job involves keeping an eye on aircrafts flying across the vast airspace of Indian territory. The profession demands a high level of attention and involvement. ATC rely on radar and visual observations to update pilots flying commercial and private aircrafts. They work to keep planes and passengers safe and minimise delays. ATCs keep pilots informed on weather conditions and runway status during arrivals and departures.
What are the various ranks that an ATC officer can climb through?
- Junior Executive Officer
- Assistant Manager
- Senior Manager
- Deputy General Manager
- Joint General Manager
- General Manager
- Executive Director
What are the skills required for this profession?
ATCs must be well organised and quick with numerical skills. They should possess excellent hearing and speaking skills. They must be assertive but calm under pressure. Communication is a vital part of the job. Controllers are trained to precisely focus on the words they use because even a slight misunderstanding about an altitude level can result in a tragedy.
Where can one get employed?
In India, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) is the soul recruiter. One has to apply for the civil ATC entrance examination to apply for this job.
What is the basic educational qualification needed to apply for the civil ATC entrance exam?
You need an engineering degree in electronics, telecommunication or radio engineering or an equivalent master'degree with a first class to apply for the entrance.
What pay scale can one expect?
The pay package is similar to what a Schedule A public sector executive would draw in India, which is around 16,400 per month as the base plus some allowances. One can move up the ladder with experience.
What are the pros and cons of this profession?
- After duty hours, one is totally free.
- One gets to work in a challenging environment.
- One may have to work at odd hours, which is difficult and can result in health problems.
- It is hard to maintain a social life due to odd shifts.
What subjects do you need to be good at in school?
English, Mathematics and Physics.
PLACES WHERE YOU CAN STUDY
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT): IIT Bombay, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Guwahati, IIT Madras, IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur and others.
Jadavpur University, Tel: 033-24146666, Website: jadavpur.edu
Birla Institute of Technology (BIT): Ranchi, Allahabad, Deoghar, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lalpur, Noida and Patna. Tel: 0651-2275896/ 2275444, Website: bitmesra.ac.in