FABEC ATCO Basic Training Course certified

21.12.2016.-  FABEC Supervisory Authorities have certified the common Basic ATCO Course. This is a first step towards the harmonization of the basic training of air traffic controllers. The approval is based on a two-year pilot in which the course was further improved and validated. The curriculum takes into account the new European requirements in terms of training and also integrates more ambitious pedagogical objectives because of the complexity of air traffic management in the FABEC airspace. It addresses content which is fundamental for all ATCO trainees, such as aircraft types, phraseology, weather, ICAO rules etc. The length of the course varies between 16 and 22 weeks. The courses are conducted at the DFS academy in Langen, the French academy ENAC in Toulouse, at LVNL in Amsterdam/Schiphol and in Switzerland at the skyguide academy in Dubendorf.

In 2014, the first pilot course started with contents drawn up jointly by FABEC air navigation service providers and training organisations with the objective of gathering experience for later courses and setting one FABEC-wide standard with common training material. In addition, it facilitates the training of air traffic controllers at partner organisations and the possible exchange of instructors and training material as well.

The airspace of the six FABEC States of Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland is one of the busiest and most complex in the world. Most major European airports, major civil airways and military training areas are located in this area. FABEC airspace covers 1.7 million km² and handles about 5.5 million flights per year – 55% of European air traffic.


DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,650 employees as at 31 December 2015. DFS ensures the safe and punctual flow of air traffic over Germany. Around 2,000 air traffic controllers guide up to 10,000 flights in German airspace every day, and about three million movements every year. This makes Germany the country with the highest traffic volume in Europe. The company operates control centres in Langen, Bremen, Karlsruhe and Munich as well as 16 control towers at international airports in Germany. In addition, DFS is represented at the EUROCONTROL Control Centre in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Additional areas of activity include consulting, provided by the Aeronautical Solutions Division, and aeronautical data, grouped in the Aeronautical Information Management Division.