How to become an Air Traffic Controller in India

Air traffic controllers are people trained to maintain the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic in the global air traffic control system. The position of air traffic controller is one that requires highly specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities. They provide separation between landing and departing aircraft, transfer control of aircraft on instrument flights to the en route controllers when the aircraft leave their airspace, and receive control of aircraft on instrument flights coming into their airspace from controllers at adjacent facilities The controllers give pilots taxiing and takeoff instructions, air traffic clearances, and advice based on their own observations and information received from the National Weather Service, air route traffic control en route centers, flight service stations, aircraft pilots, and other sources. They must be able to recall quickly registration numbers of aircraft under their control, the aircraft types and speeds, positions in the air, and also the location of navigational aids in the area.

Air traffic control room

 Job Nature:

Because controllers have an incredibly large responsibility while on duty (often in aviation, “on position”) and make countless split-second decisions on a daily basis, the ATC profession is consistently regarded around the world as one of the most mentally challenging careers, and can be notoriously stressful depending on many variables (equipment, configurations, weather, traffic volume, human factors, etc.). Many controllers, however, would cite high salaries and a very large, unique, and privileged degree of autonomy as major advantages of their jobs.


  • Junior Executive
  • Assistant Manager
  • Manager
  • Senior Manager
  • Assistant General Manager
  • Deputy General Manager
  • Joint General Manager
  • General Manager
  • Executive Director (ATM)
  • Member (ATM) in AAI Board


  1. Regular Full time Bachelor’s degree (3 years) in Science (B.Sc) with physics and Mathematics from a recognized university with minimum 60 % marks


  1. Full time regular Bachelor’s degree in Engineering / Technology (B.E / B.Tech) in the disciplines of Electronics / Telecommunications/Information Technology with minimum 60 % marks from a recognized university.

Candidates whose result of final year is awaited are also allowed to appear in the examination but the condition being they have to present the result of final year in the interview.

  1. Maximum age can be 27 years, Age Relaxation given of 5 years for SC/ST and 3 years for OBC.

*upper age limit is relaxable up to 10 years for candidates who are in regular services of AAI.


The selection shall be made on the basis of a

  • Written test
    • 50% questions on subjects relating to educational qualifications prescribed
    • 50% on General Knowledge, General Intelligence, General Aptitude, English etc.
  • Voice test
  • Personal Interview
  • Medical fitness as per ICAO Annex-1

Standard reservation policy applies for SC/ST/OBC/Ex-Servicemen. Physically Handicapped candidates please excuse.

  1. Once a final batch of candidates is selected, they will be sent to Civil Aviation Training Colleges at Allahabad, UP or at Hyderabad, AP for further training.


  1. It is year-long ab-initio training (Under revision to make it in two sections of six months each)


  • Air Traffic Services
  • Aerodromes and Ground Aids
  • Air Legislation
  • Meteorology
  • Communication Procedures
  • Technical
  • Search and Rescue
  • Air Navigation
  1. Costs are borne by the Airports Authority of India – the recruiter
  2. If a candidate is unable to secure 70% passing marks in two attempts in any of the modules, he/she gets disqualified.

On successful competition of training, the students will be awarded with a post of Junior Executive (ATC).

Working condition:

become an air traffic traffic controller
become an air traffic controller


  • Airports Authority of India (AAI) is the sole employer of the civil ATCs, in India (Some small players do exist e.g. HAL and small private airports who also recruit ATCs mainly from the AAI employees).The training is imparted only after recruitment. So if one clears the training successfully he/she is guaranteed of the job.
  • During training, trainees are paid a stipend of INR 7500 pm with free lodging and boarding at CATC, Allahabad, UP.
  1. The pay scale for Junior Executive (ATC) is INR 16400-40500.
  2. The pay scale of Manager (electronics) is INR 24,900- Rs. 50,500
  3. The pay scale of Senior assistant (electronics) (non-executive cadre) is INR 14,500- Rs. 33,500

Additionally, a JE (ATC) is entitled to various allowances depending on the ATC skills one acquires (Rating Allowances) and the city in which they are posted.