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What is Air Traffic Controller?

Meaning of Air Traffic Controller

To separate aircraft traffic in the airspace and at airports in a safe, fast and organized way, the air traffic controller comes into play.

The air traffic controller is the professional who works issuing authorizations to pilots, provides the necessary information and instructions within their jurisdiction, in order to prevent collisions and obstacles in the vicinity of airports.

Controllers provide instructions and flight clearances, according to the operational characteristics of the aircraft and the conditions at a given time. The clearances can be on the route, altitude and/or speed proposed by the aircraft operator, for a given flight, and the pilots must comply with the instructions and clearances received.

It is an activity that requires a lot of responsibility and attention.

Before called flight controllers, professionals went through courses and with the growing specialization of this activity, the nomenclature used is Air Traffic Controllers.

To become an Air Traffic Controller, candidates must go through the selection process at ICEA – Air Space Control Institute or at EEAR – School of Aeronautical Specialists. Both institutions belong to the Brazilian Air Force.

In most countries, this activity is already recognized as a profession, but in Brazil, despite the great importance of this role, there is still no recognition of this activity as a profession.

This is because before the fatal accident between the Boeing de Gol and the Embraer Legacy, on September 29, 2006, most Brazilians were not even aware of its existence and importance.

The Air Traffic Controller activity is becoming increasingly complex due to the increasing number of aircraft crossing space and also the appearance of increasingly modern and faster aircraft.

In addition to the theoretical classes, the Controllers need various skills to perform their work efficiently, such as:

  • Have reasoning agility
    Have emotional control and spatial reasoning.
    Have the ability to quickly adapt to operational changes.
    Ability to work in a team
    Physical and organic capacity to act day or night.

In activity, the Comptroller works with norms and rules that are approved and defined by national and international aeronautical entities, in charge of regulating the circulation of air traffic.

They are located in an aerodrome control tower and are also responsible for the movement of people and vehicles in the maneuvering area, such as runways and circulation paths (taxiways).

In addition to men and women, the control towers are equipped with complex air traffic control systems.

And in each sector, depending on the type of flight and class, the professional can issue instructions that pilots must follow or simply flight information to assist them.

During periods of high aircraft traffic, such as holidays and the end of the year, in the United States alone there are more than 5,000 planes that cross the sky every hour, which means around 50,000 planes operating in the sky daily.

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