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How to become a Controller?... in T&T

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

In Trinidad & Tobago all ATC are employed by the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA); the Air Navigation Service Provider and Aviation Regulator for the national (T&T) airspace and for the Piarco Flight Information Region**.

Becoming an Air Traffic Control Officer (ATCO) involves three phrases:

  1. theoretical learning (an accredited programme)

  2. one-the-job training (TTCAA)

  3. certification as an ATCO by the regulator (TTCAA)


Theoretical Learning ( an accredited programme)

The Civil Aviation Training Centre of the TTCAA is a locally an internationally accredited institution that conducts a number of certification course and programmes. To become an ATCO persons must successfully obtain a Diploma in Aerodrome & Approach Control. Details of the requirments for this programme can be found on CATC's Facebook page.

For more information on CATC click here.

On-the-Job Training (TTCAA)

Persons possessing the aforementioned diploma, now qualify for On-the-Job Training at TTCAA. Job vacancies will be posted through various media by the TTCAA and successful applicants will be placed in an Aerodrome Control Tower (Piarco International Airport) where they will undergo training with live traffic under the guidance of a certified Instructor.

Certification as an ATCO

On completion of on the job training criteria; with its numerous checks and balances, an ATC Examiner will then perform a Proficiency Check. The ATC Examiner will then make recommendation to the TTCAA on successful trainees to be issued an ATC License.


Types of Controllers in Trinidad & Tobago

Additionally there are three classes of "controllers" who provide Air Traffic and Air Navigation Services within the PIarco FIR, these are:

  • Aerodrome Control - ATS within the vicinity of the aerodrome

  • Approach Control - ANS within the Approach of terminal sector

  • Area/En-route Control - ANS within the upper flight levels of the PIARCO FIR

For each type of controller the same three phases must occur, theoretical study, on the job training and certification through a proficiency check.


What is the Piarco Flight Information Region?

A Flight information region (FIR) is a specified region of airspace in which flight information service and alerting service are provided. It is the largest regular division of airspace in use in the world today. Every portion of the atmosphere belongs to a specific FIR.

Trinidad & Tobago through the TTCAA is responsible for the Piarco FIR (TTZP) and provides Air Navigation Services throughout the Eastern Caribbean ( from Antigua in the north to Trinidad in the south) and east of Barbados stretching almost half way across the Atlantic Ocean to Africa. It should be noted that each country is responsible for ANS within their own airspaces which resides from the surface to its TMA (Terminal Control Area, it used to be called Terminal Manoeuvring Area) which varies between 15,000 - 25,000 feet over each country.

The National Airspace of Trinidad & Tobago | Piarco Approach Sector

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