The purpose of ATCO licensing is to enable each National Aviation Authority (NAA) to regulate air traffic controllers within their State. The system includes the issue, maintenance and, where necessary, the revocation of ATCO licences.
The ATCO licence identifies the holder:
- as a person who is qualified to provide ATC service
- it contains details, usually described as ratings and endorsements, of the type(s) of ATC service that the licence holder may provide and
- it may restrict the ATC Unit(s) where the holder may provide these services.
The acquisition of a valid licence requires that specified requirements relating to professional competency and medical fitness be met and, for retention, that these be checked at specified time intervals. Competency in the use of English Language may also have to be demonstrated and endorsed in an ATCO Licence.