The Important Duties and Responsibilities of Air Traffic Controllers
When many individuals use air travel to get from place to place, it is easy to take notice of those individuals whom they have contact with during their trip. However, there are many other individuals involved with air safety and airline issues than just the pilot, customer service representatives and flight attendants.
The air traffic controllers who work behind the scenes are those individuals which have very important responsibilities to flight passengers everywhere.
What Are Air Traffic Controllers?
Air traffic controllers are the individuals who work in the airport towers next to the runway. These individuals complete a wide array of duties to ensure that planes take off, travel and land safely. They are the men and women behind those airline and airport workers which travelers see every time they fly. Although not in sight, their presence is extremely important as air travel would not be possible without them.
What Are The General Responsibilities of Air Traffic Controllers?
In general, air traffic controllers are individuals who control air traffic not only in the airport vicinity but between destinations as well. They are required to abide by strict federal regulations as well as specific policies and procedures. These individuals regulate and control commercial airline traffic in accordance with regulations posed by the federal government and airlines/airports.
What Are The Specific Duties of Air Traffic Controllers?
One of the primary duties of air traffic controllers is to control the flow of air traffic so that it is most efficient and safe as can be. More specifically, air traffic controllers engage in a number of tasks relative to this objective such as direct pilots to the runway, alert the pilots as to additional air traffic in the area, issue instructions for takeoff and landing, direct airplane pilots while en route to their destinations and maintain contact with the pilots during the travel. The air traffic controllers are responsible for aiding the pilots in reaching their destination.
The air traffic controllers are also responsible for doing preparation work before the flights take off. They will be responsible for checking weather statistics at both the current airport and future destination to ensure the safest route of travel and issue any possible weather delays. These individuals will also need to prepare specific flight information prior to the flight taking off.
The job of the air traffic controller does not always entail pilot contact alone. There are many clerical duties which go along with being an air traffic controller. There are many documents needed to be filled out and paperwork which must be completed each day by the air traffic controller. Certain clerical tasks may include analyzing weather reports and fuel requirements, compile pilots reports and flight plan documentation, complete daily logs, keep messages from the aircraft and review all reports for clarity and completeness.
The pilots are not the only ones who receive instruction from air traffic controllers. Also part of an air traffic controller’s duties is to instruct ground workers at the airport and/or airline in certain duties. This is necessary to ensure that the airplanes receive baggage workers and maintenance workers at the right place at the right time.
Air traffic controllers are also vital in the case of an emergency. Should an airplane encounter problems, the air traffic controller’s role is extremely important. The air traffic controllers will maintain contact with the pilots, aid in overcoming any flight problems, provide flight path changes for bad weather and in extreme circumstances, direct pilots to a specific area for emergency landings.
The air traffic controller must also efficiently hand over control to the airplane’s destination traffic control tower. Therefore, it is imperative that air traffic controllers maintain contact with one another so that they can let the destination tower know which airline is coming into their vicinity and let them know the approximate time of arrival.
Lastly, air traffic controllers must ensure that they are doing their jobs in strict compliance with federal regulations. They will also need to comply with specific airport rules and regulations while working at that particular airport. In order to complete their jobs to the fullest of their potential, air traffic controllers must be alert and effective while in the tower.
What Traits Must An Individual Have to Be An Air Traffic Controller?
There are many different traits which an air traffic controller must possess to enable them to do the best job possible. One of the more important traits which air traffic controllers should have is precision. There is a lot at stake when it comes to controlling air traffic and it is easy to see why precision is so important. One wrong move by an air traffic controller could cost the lives of many.
Air traffic controllers must also be alert at all times in order to be the best controller possible. They need to watch the monitors at all times and constantly be available to airline pilots should they need the assistance of the tower. Alertness is another important trait for air traffic controllers to possess.
A positive attribute for air traffic controllers to possess which is desirable yet not required is experience. An experienced air traffic controller will most likely feel more comfortable in their position then their less experienced counterpart. In addition, those who have past experience may be able to jump into the job faster than those who have never done it before. However, experience is only a desired trait as opposed to a necessary one since everyone has to start somewhere.
Lastly, air traffic controllers should love what they do. Those individuals who are happy in their occupations are more likely to excel in the position than those who are not. Everyone has bad days but an overall enjoyment for one’s career as an air traffic controller is a good trait to possess.
Air traffic controllers have extremely important jobs. They are responsible for the safety and well-being of large numbers of individuals and need to constantly be alert in order to do their job to the best of their ability. The duties and responsibilities mentioned above are just some of the more noted ones yet there are many job responsibilities unique to each air traffic controller which may not be listed above. The aforementioned factors provides an overview for those who may be interested in acquiring a career in this field and will help those people to decide if pursuing this occupation any further is right for them.