Air Traffic Controller Job Description

by Writing Team on February 19, 2010

The Air Traffic Controller controls air traffic on and within vicinity of airport movement of air traffic between altitude sectors and control centers according to established procedures and policies.

Primary Objectives:

  • The Air Traffic Controller initiates and coordinates searches for missing aircraft.

  • The Air Traffic Controller inspects, adjusts, and control radio equipment and airport lights.

  • The Air Traffic Controller reviews records and reports for clarity and completeness.

  • The Air Traffic Controller must maintain reports as required by Federal laws.

The Air Traffic Controller has a lot of responsibilities that are mandatory in order to keep passengers safe while they are landing or taking off in the airplane. One of the major things that they must do is to alert airport emergency services in cases of emergency and when aircraft are experiencing difficulties. The Air Traffic Controller must also analyze factors such as weather reports, fuel requirements, and maps in order to determine air routes. The Air Traffic Controller must check conditions and traffic at different altitudes in response to pilots’ requests for altitude changes. This is very important to keep planes from colliding into each other. Weather conditions can prevent the pilot from seeing clearly and he depends entirely on the Air Traffic Controller for information on where he is located in comparison to other planes. The Air Traffic Controller instructs the pilots when they can land and when they need to keep circling the airport. The air traffic itself can become very dense with no space for an airplane to land causing the pilot to keep circling the runway until it is their turn to land. The Air Traffic Controller keeps out the watchful eye and informs the pilot when it is their turn.

In the same token it is the Air Traffic Controller who determines when the pilot can take off using the runway that is clear of other planes. The work of the Air Traffic Controller helps keep air flights safe for the passengers. It is important that the Air Traffic Controller be alert at all times in order to keep the runways safe for any airplanes that are leaving or arriving. The Air Traffic Controller conducts pre-flight briefings on weather conditions, suggested routes, altitudes, indications of turbulence and other flight safety information. All pilots know and respect the Air Traffic Controllers position as they know that they are depended on them in order to properly fly their airplanes. The Air Traffic Controller contacts the pilots by radio to provide meteorological, navigational, and other information.

The Air Traffic Controller must determine the timing and procedures for flight vector changes. The Air Traffic Controller directs ground traffic, including taxing aircraft, maintenance and baggage vehicles, and airport workers. The Air Traffic Controller directs pilots to runways when space is available, or directs them to maintain a traffic pattern until there is space for them to land. The Air Traffic Controller keeps the pilots informed about nearby planes as well as potentially hazardous conditions such as weather, speed and direction of wind, and visibility problems. The Air Traffic Controller is the one who organizes flight plans and traffic management plans to prepare for planes about to enter assigned airspace. The Air Traffic Controller must provide flight path changes or directions to emergency landing fields for pilots traveling in bad weather or in emergency situations. The quick action taken by the Air Traffic Controller can save hundreds of lives. The Air Traffic Controller usually works in a high tower over seeing the airport and many people never get too see or meet them but their job is very vital in all travel.

The Air Traffic Controller is the one who compiles information about flights from flight plans, pilot reports, radar, and observation. These reports are often studied by experts in order to determine safety measures for future flights. The Air Traffic Controller must relay to control centers such air traffic information as courses, altitudes, and expected arrival times. Then the Air Traffic Controller transfers control of departing flights to traffic control centers and accept control of arriving flights. The Air Traffic Controller must complete daily activity reports and keep records of messages from aircraft. These are many of the duties required to be an Air Traffic Controller.

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