The Initial ATC Training is intensive. It begins with an EU certified Basic Air Traffic Control (ATC) training course, in which Air Traffic Control applicants learn ATC theory and methods of application. This is then followed by Rating Training; specialist training within individual ATC disciplines.
The training comprises of classroom theory, computer based training (CBT) and hands-on simulation training. The simulation training is designed to teach participants about the real life working environment within each individual discipline of Air Traffic Control.
Integral to the role of an air traffic controller is the professional use of radio, and in some aspects radar. They also receive training in the principles of aerodynamics, the importance of meteorology in aviation, aircraft types and performance, aviation law and telecommunications services.
Participants finish their initial training at Entry Point North with a series of examinations after which they are awarded a student licence. This is the admission certificate needed to start on Unit Training. In practice unit training involves working for 6-18 months with their assigned ANSP.