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Air Traffic Controllers

Air traffic controllers prepare flight plans, authorise flight departures and arrivals and maintain radio, radar and/or visual contact with aircraft to ensure the safe movement of air traffic.

More about this Career

Average Salary


New workers start around £48590. Normal pay is £84308 per year. Highly experienced workers can earn up to £164768.



Job counts include both employed and self-employed persons, and do not distinguish between full- and part-time jobs.

Daily Tasks

  • Handles emergencies, unscheduled traffic and other unanticipated incidents.
  • Discusses operational requirements with pilot, issues duty schedules for flight deck and cabin crews, maintains records of flight progress and authorises flight departure.
  • Calculates fuel consumption and optimum flying height, plans route and prepares flight plan for aircraft pilot.
  • Obtains information regarding weather conditions, navigational hazards, landing conditions, seating arrangements, loading of cargo, fuel and catering supplies.
  • Directs movement of aircraft and motor vehicles on runways, taxiways and in parking bays.
  • Gives landing instructions to pilot and monitors descent of aircraft.
  • Directs the movement of aircraft en route to its destination and ensures minimum distances are maintained between planes.
  • Maintains radio and/or radar or visual contact with aircraft and liaises with other air traffic controllers and control centres to direct aircraft in and out of controlled airspace and into holding areas ready for landing.

Skills Employers are looking for

Soft skills

Soft skills are non-technical skills that include how you interact with colleagues, solve problems, and manage your work

  • Active Listening


  • Monitoring


  • Critical Thinking


  • Learning Strategies


  • Active Learning


  • Speaking


  • Reading Comprehension


  • Mathematics


  • Science


  • Writing


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