Air Traffic Controller - YMC
Tower air traffic controllers work at one of 41 airports across the country. These controllers have a direct view of the airport and aircraft and use radio communication to issue instructions and clearances.
The instructions and clearances they provide help maintain a safe and orderly flow both in the air within a defined airspace which is referred to as the “control zone”, as well on the ground on runways and taxiways. Each tower operation varies according to volume and complexity of the traffic, geography, local weather and procedures. Tasks will range from handling large commercial aircraft to small recreational aircraft on training circuits and anything in between.
Training to become a tower controller starts at the regional training unit located at one of seven area control centres. The first stage of training consists of classroom and simulator training. You’ll start by learning the manual of operations and phraseology, moving to simulation training in a fictitious airport setting (known as March airport). Depending on the location that you will be posted, you may complete some of your training in a high-fidelity simulator that closely represents a specific, real airport environment. This is followed by on-the-job training, where you’ll be paired with an experienced tower controller who will serve as your on-the-job instructor.
Using surveillance displays, flight data processors and communications systems, area air traffic controllers coordinate the safe, efficient and orderly flow of air traffic in enroute or terminal (approaching an airport) sectors. Unlike their colleagues at control towers, they safely direct pilots that can be flying on airways thousands of kilometres away.
These men and women do their jobs from one of seven area control centres (ACCs) located in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Moncton and Gander. Each ACC is responsible for air traffic in a large section of Canadian airspace known as a Flight Information Region. Flight Information Regions are further broken down into smaller “sectors” and handled by controllers who know that airspace.
Training to become an area controller happens at the training unit located in one of seven area control centres. The first stage of training consists of classroom and simulator training. You’ll start by learning the manual of operations and specific phraseology used when speaking to pilots, gradually moving to specialty training to prepare you to handle a specific sector. This is followed by on-the-job training, where you’ll be paired with an experienced controller who will serve as your on-the-job instructor.