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Course code: RGATC

Duration: 2 days (or customised: 1-3 days)

Course code: RGATC

Duration: 2 days (or customised: 1-3 days)


Course aim

The Rough guide to Air Traffic Control (ATC) course is intended to serve as a complete introduction to Air Traffic Control. It is designed for people who work within the aviation industry, either in a peripheral/supporting role or in an administrative/ managerial position, but it is also addressed to people working within complementary industries that have contact with the ATC environment. The course describes the challenging and fascinating world of Air Traffic Controllers.

The course is designed to explain the essential role of the Air Traffic Controller (ATCO) and give participants the opportunity to gain some “hands on” experience in the working methods used by professional controllers. To achieve this, and provide a deeper level of understanding of the real working environment, practical simulators will be used in the course, as well as a study visit to an ATC facility.

“Rough guide to Air Traffic Control” course is recommended as a key tool for supporting staff working at all levels within Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), from administrative employees up to management positions. It is also recommended for staff working within other areas that cooperate or liaise with ATC and the aviation industry. For example: aviation media, technical & IT staff, HR, safety related industries.

Course objectives

After completing the course, participants shall have:
  • An understanding of the overall ATC environment, the different levels of ATC, and the responsibilities and duties each of these different controllers have.
  • Knowledge of operational aspects that ATCOs deal with in their day-to-day work.
  • An understanding of specific language used in the ATC environment: phraseology, definitions, rules.
  • Basic knowledge about the interactions between ATCOs and other roles within the aviation environment. E.g.: Pilots, ATCO Assistants, Flight Data Officers and Briefing Officers
  • Basic knowledge about safety, and the traffic handling procedures in Air Traffic Services.
  • An understanding and knowledge about the equipment and technologies used and the related environmental issues.
  • A real working experience from actively participating in simulator exercises and a study visit.

Course overview

“Rough guide to Air Traffic Control” course is providing the participants with the perfect balance between theory and practical exercises. Dedicating 1 day for theoretical learning and 1 day for practical training, the course is aiming at helping participants to first understand the ATCO environment and then experience being a part of it.


As the course is aimed at staff with professional interest in ATC environment, there are no prerequisites.

Compliance with regulations

The course is fully compliant with ICAO training guidelines Cir 298 AN/172.

Content in brief


The course can be customised to your specific training needs. The standard course includes theoretical lessons in subjects covering the following aspects:
Introduction to the course including the following: basic aspects of the ATC environment, regulations and definitions, Air Navigation Service Providers’ overall mission.
ATCO work
Different ATCO roles and their corresponding working environment: Tower (TWR), Approach (APP), and En-route (ENR) control.
Orientation within different subjects such as: phraseology, abbreviations, aircraft, equipment used, flight plans, safety.
Controller - Pilot interaction.
Environmental impact
Modern navigation methods that reduce environmental impact, such as: fuel consumption, emissions, noise, green approach concept.
Simulator exercise Preparation
ATCO duties, working methods, exercise briefing, phraseology.


The instructors will run a live demonstration in a Tower (TWR)/ Approach (APP) environment.
Simulator training
After the demonstration is completed the participants will take the controller seat for “hands on” training with experienced instructors, including:
Tower (TWR): start-up, pushback, taxi, take-off, landing.
Approach (APP): Holding procedure, vectoring arriving IFR traffic, speed control, ILS Approach procedure, departing IFR traffic.
Study visit
To an ATC facility.
Questions & answers session. Summary of the course with emphasis on the key learning aspects about the ATCO work. Conclusions.
The participants will provide feedback for the overall delivery of the course, in terms of content and structure.
Entry Point North
T +46 40 694 43 00