Air traffic controllers and related occupations (NOC 2272)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Air traffic control and related occupations:

  • direct air traffic within assigned airspace, and control moving aircraft and service vehicles at airports
  • authorize airline flights over assigned routes
  • provide pilots with flight information essential to aviation safety
  • work for NAV Canada , the armed forces and airline and air services companies
Common job titles
  • air traffic control chief / officer
  • air traffic controller (ATC)
  • controller, tower - air traffic
  • flight service specialist (FSS)
  • officer, flight operations


Air traffic controllers:

  • control flow of air traffic within assigned airspace using radar monitors, radio and other communication equipment and visual references
  • issue aircraft takeoff and landing instructions to pilots, and relay meteorological, navigational and other information to pilots in flight
  • keep radio and telephone contact with nearby control towers, terminal control units and other area control centres, and co-ordinate movement of aircraft into adjoining areas
  • alert airport emergency services when aircraft are experiencing difficulties and report missing aircraft to search and rescue services
  • direct activities of all moving aircraft and service vehicles on or near airport runways

Flight dispatchers:

  • analyze environmental conditions and assess aircraft for load and fuel capacity, and other factors to determine flight routes
  • brief flight crew before takeoff on weather conditions, status of navigational facilities and airports en route
  • co-sign flight authorization with aircraft captain
  • monitor progress of flight and communicate as required with aircraft during flight
  • delay or cancel flights if necessary
  • prepare and maintain flight plans, flight logs and other reports

Flight service specialists:

  • provide pre-flight information concerning current and forecast weather conditions, radio frequencies, terrain, airports and related data to assist pilots in preparation of flight plans
  • check flight plans for completeness and accuracy, and forward flight plans to air traffic services facility
  • respond to radio calls from aircraft preparing for takeoff or landing, and supply information such as weather conditions, wind speed and direction, and presence of local air traffic
  • help air traffic control operations by relaying radio requests for flight clearances, arrival and departure information, and position reports
  • alert airport emergency services of aircraft experiencing difficulties and start communication searches when aircraft become overdue
  • observe, record and report weather conditions at airports

Work environment

Work in this occupation is typically performed in a structured environment, such as an office.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Air traffic controllers with experience and appropriate NAV Canada endorsements may move to units with higher volumes of air traffic.

Additional resources

Additional resources are not currently available for this career.