Job Opportunities In Air Traffic Control Sector
What is Air Traffic Control ?
Air traffic control is a job that demands ultimate attention and care. One slight wrong move and the whole system will get messed up. But, air traffic control is one of the best domains that engineering students can aim for. The unprecedented traffic rush in sky paths have created many a lot job opportunities in the air traffic control sector. The basic job of air traffic control officers is to ensure that both the earth and sky are all safe for the planes to travel. Thousands of lives and stuffs that are worth billions are literally in the hands of these air traffic control officers. In the light of air port expansion projects under consideration and increasing number of airway services, it is assumed that India needs the service of more than 1500 ATC officers.
Responsibilities of Air Traffic Control Officer
Mainly there are five units in Air Traffic Control. They are Clearance Delivery Unit (CDU), Surface Movement Control (SMC), Aerodrome (Tower) Controller, Approach Control (Radar Control) and Area Control Unit.
CDU handles all the details of an aero plane including the paths, needed fuel, number of passengers etc. It is this unit that issues the consent for take off as well. SMC controls the movements on the runway. The signals for take off and landing are being issued by the Aerodrome Control. Approach Control gives instructions concerning an area of around 100 kms from the air port. After that, Area Control takes charge. Area Control gives instructions on the heights at which the plane should fly etc. Each Area Control Unit transfers the control to the next unit and then to the next until the plane safely reaches the destination.
Eligibility and Admission:
60% aggregate in Engineering (Electronics, Telecommunication, Radio Engineering, Electrical with Specialization in Electronics) or M.Sc (Wireless Communication, Electronics, Radio Physics, Radio Engineering etc. with specialization) or and equivalent is the basic eligibility. Age must be between 21 and 27.
ACT entrance exam will be conducted according to vacancies. 50% of the questions will be subject related and the rest 50% will be based on general knowledge, general intelligence, general aptitude and English proficiency. There will be voice test, personal interview and medical fitness examinations too.
Training for Air Traffic Control Jobs
In India,oOnly the Airport Authority of India can issue training in Air Traffic Control sector. The training is conducted at the Civil Aviation Training College of Allahabad. The finalists will be sent from here to the Civil Aviation Training College of Hyderabad for Area Control training. Debates are on regarding the privatization of Air Traffic Control training. (Even though training is being issued by HAL of Bangalore, that’s not for civil aviation needs.)
Main Challenges of a Air Traffic Control Officer
Passing the ATC entrance exam is not the end of everything. Air Traffic Service, Aerodromes and Ground Aids, Air Legislation, Meteorology, Communication Procedure, Technical, Search and Rescue, Air Navigation etc. needs to be studied for one year.
The whole thing must be passed with an aggregate of 70%. Only two chances are there to pass the exam. Hundreds of planes will be there under a single control unit at a time. Obviously, ATC officers undergo severe job pressures. Head phone, remaining alert all the time for conversations of pilots, spending time before computers and radars etc. are just a few of the complexities that accompany this job.
Night shifts will be norm. At the same time, there are people who take advantage of the night shift for higher studies. The greatest challenge of this job is to avoid even the minutest of errors. Instructions regarding career options are available at www.atcguild.com, the website of ATC Guild, the association of air traffic controllers.