Structure of air traffic controller training.

To make sure you are able to make the right decisions, your training is made up of an equal mix of knowledge acquisition and experience gathering. Your training will be composed of broad-based classroom instruction of theory and interesting on-the-job training.

The basics: your first steps at the DFS Campus.

You'll begin your training in Langen near Frankfurt with practical lessons, realistic simulations and a monthly compensation of around €900 gross. There is a huge amount of input you and your fellow students will need to master in a maximum of 18 months:


  •  Navigation: speed, level, position determination, etc.

  •  Aviation law: who is allowed to do what, when, in the air and on the ground

  •  Recognition of aircraft types: engines, wingspan, capacity, etc.

  •  Meteorology: physics, atmosphere, weather and climate

  •  Radiotelephony / aviation English: everyone has to understand your instructions

You don't have to believe what we say

You can read first-hand accounts of what our trainees are thinking and doing on our Azubiblog (blog in German only).

to Azubi-Blog


Licence(s) to control.

The licences you acquire determine the duties and functions you are allowed to carry out. Every air traffic controller has to undergo examinations to demonstrate that they can handle the area they will be controlling.
In total, you can acquire up to twelve licences – six as a radar controller and six as a coordinator controller. As you will be doing a complex job, you have to renew these licences at specific intervals. Bit by bit, you take on more and more responsibility.


On-the-job training at a control centre or in a control tower.


Subsequently, you get down to business. You will have to put the theoretical knowledge you gained to the test either in a control centre or in a tower as you handle the airspace assigned to you. Specialised members of staff are assigned to permanently monitor, assist and advise you:

    •  Orientation: the scope and special features of the airspace you are handling

    •  Familiarisation: structure and details of the technical systems you have to use

    •  Coordination: instructing and controlling the aircraft under your responsibility

    •  Communication: passing on information and instructions using radiotelephony

    •  Qualifications: completing tests to acquire the different licences you need

    The printed word


    You can find lots of information in printed form at our download centre.

    Information material as PDF