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Air Traffic Control

Air traffic controllers help pilots keep aircraft safely separated from other aircraft or obstacles while in flight or on the ground, ensuring safe, orderly and efficient traffic flow. Controllers maintain vertical, lateral or time separation according to strictly defined criteria.

Control services are provided in high-density traffic areas where pilots fly by instruments (under instrument flight rules – IFR). Air traffic controllers work in Area Control Centres (ACC) and Control Towers, where they are supported by an array of sophisticated systems and technology – much of it designed and developed by NAV CANADA people.

  • Area air traffic controllers coordinate the safe, efficient and orderly flow of air traffic from seven Area Control Centres (ACCs) across the country. Each ACC is responsible for air traffic in a large section of Canadian airspace called a Flight Information Region (FIR). These are further divided into sectors. Controllers track flights within each sector, give pilots enroute instructions, and provide terminal clearances at certain airports.

  • NAV CANADA operates air traffic control towers at busy airports. Tower controllers provide pilots approaching and departing the airport with clearances and instructions to help them maintain separation from other aircraft. They also provide flight information to aircraft operating in airspace around their airports and monitor aircraft on the ground.

For information on a career in Air Traffic Services, visit our Take Charge career website.