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Traditionally, air traffic controllers regard themselves as conservative in their

profession. The controllers' tasks are generally rule-based with the objective of

preventing collision between aircraft whilst maintaining an expeditious flow of

air traffic. Within this system of rules and procedures, however, controllers

develop ways of working which allow other controllers to operate in a similar

manner. Each knows what their colleague is doing or is about to do.

Likewise, aircraft usually fly along designated tracks so that their flight paths

and relative positions can be predicted by the controllers. Change to this

system meets resistance - the unknown situation is perceived as disruptive.

However, the inherent conservatism in air traffic control has dictated the way

in which people are trained and from this perspective there has been little

change in the last fifty years. Typically, all the theory will be covered by

classroom lectures (to gain knowledge) before undertaking a series of

practical exercises on a simulator in order to apply the basic operating

procedures. Following this, there is a period of On-the-Job Training (OJT) at

an operational unit.

The success of the training is often evaluated on the basis of the number of

trainees who pass the various examinations, which are set at different phases

of training, leading to final checkout.



All student controllers must demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge in

at least the following subjects: air law, air traffic control equipment, general

knowledge of principles of flight, human performance and limitations,

language, meteorology, navigation and operational procedures.