35-Air traffic controllers

Job Title: 

Air traffic controllers

Job Description: 

Coordinate the movement of air traffic to make certain that planes stay a safe distance apart.


Air traffic controllers direct aircraft movements in airspace and on the ground, using radio, radar and lighting systems, and provide information relevant to the operation of aircraft. They control aircraft flight traffic through all aspects of their flight with the priority of safety, followed by other aspects such as ensuring arrivals and departures are on time. They are primarily responsible for controlling and preventing aircraft incidences during flight, and look to maintain orderly air traffic flows and provide timely information and instructions to pilots for the safe execution of the aircraft in-flight. In cases of emergency they notify the relevant search and rescue agencies. Maybe required to be licensed, registered or certified to be permitted to work by a government authority, agency or approved certifying body.


Job activities and tasks include:

  • directing and controlling aircraft approaching and leaving airport and their movement on the ground
  • directing and controlling aircraft operating in designated airspace sector
  • examining and approving flight plans
  • informing flight crew and operations staff about weather conditions, operational facilities, flight plans and air traffic
  • applying knowledge of principles and practices of air traffic control in order to identify and solve problems arising in the course of their work
  • initiating and organizing emergency, search and rescue services and procedures
  • directing activities of all aircraft and service vehicles on or near airport runways
  • maintaining radio and telephone contact with adjacent control towers, terminal control units and other control centres, and coordinating the movement of aircraft into adjoining areas

Higher specialized knowledge of principles, concepts and techniques in field of work, discipline and/or professional practice

  • Advanced knowledge of analyzing, planning, managing and establishing ideas, policies, strategies, projections and/or conditions in the field of work, discipline and/or professional practice
  • Higher knowledge of research principles and methods
  • Higher knowledge of high level governance of systems, processes and procedures including legislative, regulatory, standards, codes and conventions
  • Broad knowledge of recent developments in the field of work, discipline and/or professional practice
  • Broad knowledge of principles, concepts and techniques in management, economics, finance, statistics and fiscal disciplines related to the field of work and/or professional practice
  • Broad knowledge of political, government, legislative and regulatory systems related to the field of work
  • Broad knowledge of laws, regulations, standards codes and conventions of the UAE and specific Emirates related to the field of work, discipline and/or professional practice and more general subjects including OHSE and cultural understanding and awareness
  • Broad knowledge of principles, concepts and techniques in sensitively managing complex ethical issues
  • Leverage information technology, management information systems, management techniques and tools for optimal field of work performance and/or professional practice
  • Skills in research, analysis, consultation and synthesis of information to evaluate ideas, policies, strategies, projections and/or conditions and produce recommendations and/ or relevant options
  • Manage higher level relationships and organize related activities of respective stakeholders
  • Higher skills and experience in broad based policy analysis, formulation and research, plus planning in sensitive and confidential environment
  • Develop concepts and convey strategic suggestions from the spectrum of development experience
  • Broad level negotiation cultural sensitivity and diplomatic skills
  • Use of information, tools, resources to support broad-level and complex work achievement
  • Work sensitively and effectively in a multi-cultural environment
  • Work with others to develop creative solutions to complex predictable and new contexts problems
  • Communicate with effect, and a proven record of developing and maintaining active partnerships across an organization and with diverse external clients and other key stakeholders
  • Highly developed higher oral and written communication, interpersonal and representational skills, and a proven ability to use these skills to prepare and present clear, concise, high quality advice
  • Highly developed leadership and effective management skills, with capacity to implement and sustain improvements within a team environment, as well as the ability to work flexibly and cooperatively as a member of a team
  • Personal drive and integrity, the ability to self-manage and the capacity to identify and effectively control risks associated with change, as well observe ethical standards related to complex ethical issues
  • Achieving results within tight timelines, and capacity to set and implement new policy directions
  • Highly developed broad organizational skills, including the ability to organize priorities and meet tight deadlines
  • Work Context: 

    Usually work in control towers at airports or at radar centres. Typically, work on a rotating shift basis as these workplaces operate 24 hours seven days a week. Environment can be quiet for periods and be very stressful during peak air traffic flows. Requires quick response reaction, with a level of calmness to be displayed, in the instance a potentially high risk incident may occur that could result in a catastrophe. They may travel locally, nationally or internationally to attend meetings and conferences, or visit other control centres and airports.


    Diploma/Associate degree in air traffic control, higher qualifications or equivalent.

    Required Work Experience: 

    5 Years and above.

    Probable Employers: 

    Abu Dhabi Aviation, ADAC, Air Force, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), Dubai Airports, Sharjah International Airport, Fujairah International Airport, related entity the Department of Civil Aviation, International Civil Aviation Organization.

    Occupational Size: 
    Less than 5,000
    Expected Earnings: 

    Above the industry average

    Projected Growth: 
    Very good
    Alternate Titles: 

    Examples of job titles:Air traffic controller
    Examples of some related occupations:
    Airport terminal controllers - Tower controllers, air traffic - Ground controllers - Local controllers - En route controllers, air traffic - Radar controllers - Controllers, air traffic - Flight service specialists - Terminal controllers, air traffic

    UAE Industry Groups: 
    International Careers(ISCO): 
    Source Of Info: 
    Occupations and Careers Handbook for UAE Nationals(Copyright NQA ). Referenced from New York University, Abu Dhabhi