- Using sophisticated radar and radio technology to track the progress of aircraft.
- Maintaining contact with the pilots on board each aircraft in their sector.
- Advising pilots on weather conditions and how this might affect their flight path.
- Instructing aircraft on the routes to be followed towards an airport.
- Coordinating a safe distance between planes whilst in flight.
- Instructing pilots as to the cruising height appropriate for their flight plan.
- Adjusting flight plans in unexpected circumstances or emergencies.
- Directing the movement of aircraft on the ground to and from runways.
- Coordinating the sequence of aircraft coming into land in an airport.
- Coordinating any traffic around the terminals, such as aircraft, ground crew, passenger buses etc.
- You will need excellent communication skills in order to relay information to pilots and instruct them on any changes to flight plans.
- You will need a great deal of motivation to succeed in a career as an air traffic controller. NATS UK only accepts a handful of applicants and even if you become a trainee, the course is demanding.
- The ability to remain calm under pressure is essential when faced with any emergencies with aircraft in the air or on the ground.
- You will need to be able to concentrate over an extended period of time as pilots and other controllers will be relying on the information that you provide.
- Your role will require confidence with technology as much of it will revolve around the use of sophisticated radar.
- You will then need to be able to interpret the data the technology is relaying and process large amounts of information in a short space of time.
- Being decisive with this information and communicating important aspects of it to pilots is essential for the safety of the airspace.
- You will also need to demonstrate good problem-solving skills in order to deal efficiently with unexpected circumstances and ensure the safety of passengers and crew.
- Teamwork is also an essential skill as you will have to work with other controllers and pilots to coordinate the positions of aircraft in the airspace.
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