Air Traffic Control is always a very important part of any airlines or Air Force. The organization cannot imagine working without air traffic control. It plays exactly the same role salt plays in our dishes. You take air traffic control out of the organization; everything is collapsed. Air Traffic Control (ATC) ensures that all the flights follow their schedule.
Responsibilities Of Air Traffic Control
The most important work of ATC is to maintain flow of air traffic. It aligns the fight system of Indian Air Force so that different scheduled flights do not interfere with each other. Keeping a track of flights of neighbouring countries is also crucial because not doing it can lead to air accidents. Different routes for every flight needs to be maintained at the same time. In addition to this, an air traffic controller needs to be very alert at every moment to ensure the safety of pilots and other staff members. He is responsible for providing directions and other instructions to the pilot. If the pilot is in need of any help, he contacts the air traffic controller only.
Air traffic controllers work in coordination with other ground staff officers to ensure minimum errors. They serve in the Air Traffic Services Complex of the Indian Air Force in the rotation cycles. They have to maintain close contact with nearest Air Force station every moment. These personnel are a vital part of Ground Duties Branch of Indian Air Force. As a result, their work schedules and timings are synced with other ground staff members.
Coordination With Civil Air Traffic Control For Smooth Functioning Of Flights
Air traffic controllers get their basic training at Air Force Academy, Dundigal. They are selected in the air traffic control unit based upon their training performance. Generally, they receive the training of air traffic controls same as civilian air traffic controllers in technical terms. However, they have the authority to control and command only military flights unlike civilian controllers who have that of both. The control of all the flights including civilian and military flights is done with the coordination of both organizations.
Becoming Air Traffic Controller in one of the strongest air forces of the world is not an easy task. It requires great mental focus along with capabilities to take quick decisions. An air traffic controller is expected to be a good multi-tasker as well.
How To Join ATC In Indian Air Force?
For joining air traffic control unit, candidates have to clear AFCAT written exam conducted by Indian Air Force. They have to choose Ground Duty Branch option for the same. However, ground duty branch also has two categories. To join ATC, one has to prioritize administration branch above logistics branch. Administration branch selects candidates under permanent commission and short service commission. After that, candidates are trained as per their job profiles. Male candidates can be selected for permanent commission but female candidates can join ATC only under short service commission criteria.
This job is not easy at all and therefore not everyone can take the responsibility of doing it successfully. An air traffic controller is the only contact for a pilot in emergency. It is a profession, which demands alertness and focus every moment. Hence, the air traffic control is responsible for safe landing of the pilot as well as aircraft. As a result, air traffic controller needs to have knowledge about technical aspects like radar and ground security systems etc. The skills and decisions of the staff along with the pilot makes the Indian Air Force; ‘guardian of the skies’ in true terms.