Fascination, performance, teamwork, technology are just some aspects of the profession of Air Traffic Controller (ATCO). ATCOs control the aircraft moving through their areas of responsibility – from takeoff to landing. They work in tower and approach, area control centers or as Tactical Fighter Controllers in the air defence and direction center.
An intensive training for an exciting job
Whether you’re a young professional in an aviation-related or any other professional area wanting a new challenge, or a highschool graduate looking to enter an attractive domain in constant evolution, here is a summary of what ATCO training covers:
Controlling the skies
Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) in the Area Control Center (ACC) regulate and ensure the safety of traffic movements in the airways. Their most important working tools are their ability to speak articulately, and to master radio, radar and flight plans. As well as most of Switzerland, ATCOs in the ACC in Geneva and Zurich also control airspace in parts of Austria, France and Germany. This extends from a height of 7,000 ft (2,100 m) to 66,000 ft (20 km). The airways and crossing points within that space are among the most important in Europe and carry a very high traffic density. ATCOs ACC work 24/7 and represent the majority of air traffic control operations personnel.
Working in the tower
Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) in the Tower (TWR) organise taxiing, take-offs and landings and the traffic in the immediate vicinity of the airport. In the Approach sector (APP) , they control approaches and departures in a radius of about 50 km.
Skyguide ATCOs TWR/APP work at both civil and military airports and airfields. We offer work at 14 different locations!
Civil airports and airfields: Geneva, Zurich, Bern, Buochs, Grenchen, Locarno (mixed), Lugano, St.Gallen-Altenrhein and Sion (mixed).
Military and mixed (both civil and military) airfields and airports: Alpnach, Dübendorf, Emmen, Locarno (mixed), Meiringen, Payerne and Sion (mixed).
On a military mission
Tactical Fighter Controllers (TFC) are civil air traffic controllers who work for one of our closest partners: the Swiss Air Force. They are guaranteed an exciting and unpredictable work day.
TFCs monitor and control military air traffic and tactical missions – some of which cross borders – out for the Air Defence and Direction Center (ADDC) in Dübendorf. They also take part in training exercises abroad.
Tactical Fighter Controllers undergo the same basic training as regular air traffic controllers and receive specialised training after about one year.