12 Air Traffic Controller Skills: Definition and Examples

By ResumeCat Editorial Team
Published September 1, 2022

An air traffic controller is a professional who manages the movement of aircraft to maintain safe operation of the airspace. The skills required to be an air traffic controller include the ability to think and act quickly, to make decisions under pressure, and to maintain a high level of concentration.

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Air Traffic Controller Skills

Communication

Air traffic controllers need excellent communication skills in order to provide clear and concise instructions to pilots, often in high-pressure situations. They must be able to speak clearly and confidently, and must be able to listen carefully to pilot requests and questions.

Coordination

Air traffic controllers need excellent coordination skills in order to direct aircraft safely and efficiently. They must be able to track multiple aircraft at once and give clear instructions to pilots, often under high pressure.

Problem Solving

Air traffic controllers need to have strong problem solving skills in order to be able to effectively manage the flow of aircraft in and out of an airport. They need to be able to quickly identify potential problems and develop solutions to keep the airport running smoothly.

Time Management

Time management is a critical skill for air traffic controllers, who must be able to juggle multiple tasks and priorities at once. Controllers must be able to keep track of aircraft in their sector, communicate with other controllers and pilots, and make split-second decisions in order to maintain safe operations.

Stress Management

Air traffic controllers must be able to manage stress effectively in order to do their job properly. They need to be able to remain calm and focused in a high-pressure environment, and make quick decisions in potentially dangerous situations.

Teamwork

Air traffic controllers need teamwork to effectively manage air traffic. They need to be able to communicate and coordinate with each other to ensure that aircraft are safely spaced and routed.

Active Listening

Active listening is a skill that is used in many different professions, but it is especially important for air traffic controllers. This is because they need to be able to listen to multiple conversations at once and pick out important information. This can be difficult, but it is necessary in order to keep everyone safe.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally, understanding the logical connection between ideas. It involves the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking.

As an air traffic controller, you need critical thinking skills in order to make quick and accurate decisions in a fast-paced environment. You must be able to understand complex information and spot potential problems. This requires you to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions.

Monitoring

The ability to monitor is critical for an air traffic controller because they need to be able to track the progress of aircraft in the sky. This involves keeping track of the location, altitude, and speed of each aircraft.

Judgment

The ability to make sound judgments is essential for air traffic controllers, who must constantly make decisions that could have life-or-death consequences. This skill allows them to quickly assess a situation and make the best possible decision.

Flexibility

Air traffic controllers need to be flexible in order to be able to adapt to changes in the environment and ensure the safety of all aircraft.

Patience

Patience is a virtue, and it is especially important for air traffic controllers. They need to be able to stay calm under pressure and not let anything get to them. This can be a difficult skill to master, but it is essential for keeping the skies safe.

How to improve air traffic controller skills

Air traffic controllers are the people who keep track of all the aircraft in an area and make sure that they stay safe distances apart. They work in air traffic control towers at airports or in en route centers. The job can be stressful, and controllers must be able to think quickly and make good decisions. They must also be able to communicate clearly with pilots.

There are several ways to improve air traffic controller skills. One way is to get more experience. This can be done by working in a simulator or by working as an assistant controller in a tower. Another way to improve skills is to take courses offered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). These courses cover topics such as airspace, communications, and emergency procedures.

Controllers can also improve their skills by staying up-to-date on changes in the aviation industry. This can be done by reading trade publications, attending conferences, or taking part in online forums. In addition, controllers should try to shadow more experienced colleagues and learn from them.

Finally, it is important for controllers to maintain a high level of physical fitness. This will help them stay alert and focused while on the job.

How to highlight air traffic controller skills

As an Air Traffic Controller, you will need to be able to effectively communicate with pilots in order to provide them with instructions and information. You will also need to be able to multitask and pay attention to detail in order to ensure the safety of all aircraft under your control.

On a resume

In order to highlight your skills as an Air Traffic Controller on a resume, you should list any experience you have in the field, as well as any relevant education or training. You should also list any special skills or certifications you have that would make you a good candidate for the job. Finally, you should mention any awards or recognition you have received for your work in the field.

In a cover letter

In your cover letter, you will want to highlight your skills as an Air Traffic Controller. You will want to detail your experience in the field, and how you have helped to keep planes safe in the skies. You will also want to highlight your ability to stay calm under pressure, and how you are able to think quickly in order to make decisions that could potentially save lives.

During an interview

In order to highlight your skills as an Air Traffic Controller during an interview, you should first discuss your experience with the interviewer. Then, you should describe how you are able to effectively communicate with pilots and other air traffic controllers in order to ensure the safety of all aircraft. Finally, you should explain how you are able to maintain a high level of concentration in a fast-paced environment.