The Sky is in Your Hands

The Air Traffic Control profession is a highly dynamic and challenging one. It demands a high degree of alertness, confidence and decisiveness as no two situations are the same; and as air travel grows, air traffic controllers will have to deal with increasingly crowded skies while ensuring continued safety standards. However, the job can also be very rewarding.

As an Air Traffic Control Officer (ATCO), you will be aided by state-of-the-art technology to handle aircraft movements safely and efficiently. Regular upgrading and training will be part and parcel of the job, as new technology will be harnessed to meet the demands of the increasingly busy skies and to keep abreast with changing times.

If you are keen to join the Air Traffic Control family, read on to learn what the job entails:


You will start out as a Probationary Air Traffic Control Officer (PATCO) during the first year where you will attend specialised courses at the Singapore Aviation Academy and receive on-the-job training (OJT) at the operational unit. Upon successful completion, you will attain your professional ATC qualification.

List of Specialised Air Traffic Control Courses:

  1. Primary Air Traffic Control Course

  2. During this 12-week course, you will be exposed to the theoretical background of Air Traffic Control and aviation-related subjects. At the end of this course, you will be streamed into (a) Aerodrome* Control, (b) Approach Control or (c) Area Control Streams for the next phase of training.

    *An aerodrome refers to any area that is used for aircraft operations (i.e. arrival, departure and surface movements). Airports are a subset of aerodromes.

    (a) Aerodrome Control Stream

    To obtain the aerodrome rating, you will have to complete a 20-week Aerodrome Control (Changi or Seletar) course and a 18-week OJT.

    As an Aerodrome Controller, you will work in either Changi or Seletar Tower to guide aircraft for safe arrival or departure and ground movements.

    After accumulating sufficient experience in the first Aerodrome Control rating, you will be eligible for the next Aerodrome Control (either Changi or Seletar) course to attain your second ATC rating.

    (b) Approach Control Stream

    To obtain the approach rating, you will have to complete a 18-week Approach Control (Arrival) course and a 16-week OJT

    As an Approach Controller, you will be responsible for the control of aircraft within 40 nautical miles of Changi Airport. You will have to ensure that departing and arriving aircraft are allocated safe flight levels, and apply various control techniques to maintain a safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic.

    After accumulating sufficient experience in Approach Arrival Control, you will be eligible for the next Approach Control (Terminal) Course to attain your second ATC rating.

    (c) Area Control Stream

    To obtain the area rating, you will have to complete a 18-week Area Control (Procedural) course and a 16-week OJT.

    Upon completion of the training, you will be deployed to the Singapore Air Traffic Control Centre. Over there, you will provide ATC services to aircraft beyond the approach sector (40 nautical miles from Changi Airport) and within the Singapore Flight Information Region (FIR) to ensure the expeditious flow of air traffic in the airspace managed by Singapore.

    After accumulating sufficient experience in Area Procedural Control, you will be eligible for the next Area Control (Surveillance) Course to attain your second ATC rating.

Training Bond

All successful applicants will be required to serve training bond(s) in accordance with prevailing CAAS policies.

Working Hours

As an ATCO, you will follow a roster to provide round-the-clock ATC services over Singapore’s airspace. Because of the non 9-to-5 nature of the job, it comes with the flexibility of shift work.

Career Advancement

As an ATCO, you can look forward to opportunities in both managerial and operational roles.

For officers who display leadership qualities, you may be groomed to take on managerial positions in air traffic management, planning and policy formulation.

The Specialist Track is designed for officers with in-depth interest and knowledge for the various initiatives and areas in Air Traffic Management (ATM). You will be able to progress along a route enabling you to take on new roles in different areas to advance ATM in Singapore.

Remuneration and Rewards

As an aviation professional, you will enjoy attractive remuneration packages as an ATCO.

During training, you will receive your monthly salary and allowances, and upon attainment of your first ATC rating, a one-off gratuity.

As a qualified ATCO, you will receive operational allowance, rating allowance and recall allowance, in addition to your monthly salary.

You will enjoy a wide range of staff benefits such as annual leave, medical and dental benefits, as well as the Flexi-Benefits Scheme.

An exclusive benefit for ATCOs is the Private Pilot Licence (PPL) Sponsorship Scheme where you will be sponsored up to 90% of the expenses incurred for PPL flying lessons and up to 50% of the total cost of maintaining the PPL.


To be part of the ATCO Service, you have to:

• Be a Singaporean
• Training in any discipline
• Possess a keen interest in aviation 
• Detail-oriented and excel in multi-tasking under pressure
• Compose and able to respond decisively to dynamic situations in operations environment
• An aptitude for working with technology 
• Possess strong communication skills
• Demonstrate good problem-solving skills
• Pass assessment tests, a voice test and panel interviews


The application window for the May 2024 Probationary Air Traffic Control Officer (PATCO) Intake has closed. 

Stay tuned to our website and Careers@Gov page for updates on the upcoming application window in May 2024. The next PATCO Intake is estimated to start in September/October 2024.