October 20 is The International Day of the Air Traffic Controller. This day not only marks the anniversary of IFATCA (the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations was founded on October 20, 1961), it also celebrates the men and women who help to make air travel the safest mode of transport 24/7.

On any given moment, thousands of flights (anywhere from 8,000 to 20,000, according to Flightradar24) fly through the international skies. On average, close to 10,000 planes are sky-bound, carrying well over a million people. These people all rely on Air Traffic Controllers, who efficiently and safely coordinate the movements of these planes.

What does it take to be an Air Traffic Controller?


What does it take to be an Air Traffic Controller? Certainly a lot of dedication. Also, there are strict age limits and countless tests that you have to pass. A medical exam that includes vision, hearing, psychological, substance abuse, cardiovascular, and neurological screenings is part of the selection process. Are you exited yet? You’ll find more information here.

Besides the NATO phoenetic alphabet, countless aircraft types, complex rules of the air and challenging weather phenomena, there are many interesting things that you’ll learn as an Air Traffic Controller. Did you, for example, know that managing the takeoffs are more difficult than the landings?

ATC Humor


Despite the seriousness and high responsibility of the job, there’s some room for humor on the frequency. Aviationhumor.net has a big collection of ATC quotes and jokes. Rather listen than read? Here’s a video with funny ATC conversations.

ATC: Lufthansa 948, are you an A330 or an A340?
Lufthansa 948: An A340 of course, why?
ATC: Well then, would you mind switching on your other two engines as well and expedite your climb?

Thank you!


On October 20th, we celebrate ATC’ers around the world and thank them for the highly specialized and skilled work that they do. Thank you for keeping us all safe while non-revving to our next destination!

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