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Regulation 805/2011 - Rules for Air Traffic Controllers’ Licences

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Important Note: This Regulation has been repealed by Regulation 2015/340 - Technical Requirements and Administrative Procedures relating to Air Traffic Controllers' Licences.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 805/2011 of 10 August 2011 laying down detailed rules for air traffic controllers’ licences and certain certificates pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Councilfull text .

Objective and Scope

The objective of this Regulation is to increase safety standards and to improve the operation of the air traffic control system within the European Union through the issuing of an air traffic controller licence based on common licensing requirements.

The Regulation lays down detailed rules for the issue, suspension, and revocation of licences of air traffic controllers and student air traffic controllers, of associated ratings, endorsements, medical certificates and of certificates of training organisations and the conditions of their validity, renewal, revalidation and use.

This Regulation applies to:

  • student air traffic controllers,
  • air traffic controllers (ATCOs)
  • persons and organisations involved in the licensing, training, testing, checking or medical assessment of ATCOs.

With the objective to achieve a harmonised level of safety within the European airspace, Member States are encouraged to apply this Regulation to their military personnel involved in ANS provision.


Licences, Ratings and Endorsements

The Regulation establishes two types of ATCO licences:

  • Student air traffic controller licence, and
  • Air traffic controller licence

The air traffic controller licence can have the following ratings and associated endorsments:

  • Aerodrome Control Visual (ADV)
  • Aerodrome Control Instrument (ADI) with endorsements: Tower Control (TWR); Ground Movement Control (GMC); Ground Movement Surveillance (GMS); Air Control (AIR); Aerodrome Radar Control (RAD)
  • Approach Control Procedural (APP)
  • Approach Control Surveillance (APS) with endorsements: Radar (RAD); Precision Approach Radar (PAR); Surveillance Radar Approach (SRA); Automatic Dependent Surveillance (ADS); Terminal Control (TCL)
  • Area Control Procedural (ACP)
  • Area Control Surveillance (ACS) with endorsements: Radar (RAD); Automatic Dependent Surveillance (ADS); Terminal Control (TCL); Oceanic Control (OCN).

In addition 3 further type of endorsements are established:

  • unit endorsement, indicating that the licence holder is competent to provide ATC services for a particular sector, group of sectors or working positions;
  • English language endorsement;
  • instructor endorsement, indicating that the licence holder is authorised to provide on-the-job training and supervision at a working position for areas covered by a valid unit endorsement.

The minimum age for student ATCOs is set to 18 years and 21 years for ATCOs respectively.

The competent authority to issue, suspend or revoke ATCO licences shall be the National Supervisory Authority nominated by the State, except for the certification of training organisations in certain cases. The applicants for ATCO licences shall demonstrate to the NSA their competence related to knowledge, experience, skills and linguistic proficiency.

Annex I of the Regulation specifies the items to be included in the license issued by the competent authority.

A licence, rating or endorsement may be suspended when the competence of the air traffic controller is in doubt or in cases of misconduct. A licence may be revoked in cases of gross negligence or abuse.

Competent authorities shall ensure that a database is maintained listing the competencies of all licence holders under their responsibility and the validity dates of their endorsements.

Medical Certification

To exercise the privileges granted by the licence an ATCO shall hold valid medical certificate.

Medical certificates shall be issued by a competent medical body of the competent authority or by aero medical examiners or aero medical centres approved by that authority. The issuing of medical certificates shall be consistent with the provisions of Annex I to the Chicago Convention and the Requirements for European Class 3 Medical Certification of Air Traffic Controllers laid down by EUROCONTROL.

Medical certificates shall be valid for a period of:

  • 24 months until the ATCO reaches the age of 40;
  • 12 months after the age of 40.

Certification of Training Organisations

To obtain the certificate a training organisations shall fulfil the requirements established in Chapter IV of this Regulation, related to:

  • qualification and competence of staff, in particular of examiners and assessors;
  • content, organisation and duration of training courses, and where applicable unit training plans and unit competence schemes;
  • training environment;
  • management system.

The competent authorities (NSAs) are required to establish procedures for the application, issuance and maintaining the validity of training organisations’ certificates.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is the competent authority for the certification of training organisations that have their principle place of operation or, if any, its registered office, outside the territory of the EU Member States

Recognition of Licences

An EU Member State shall recognise the air traffic controller and student air traffic controller licences and their associated ratings, rating endorsements and language endorsements as well as associated medical certificates issued by other Member States in accordance with this Regulation.

Entry into Force

This Regulation entered into force in September 2011 and is directly applicable in all EU Member States.

Regulation (EU) No 805/2011 laying down detailed rules for air traffic controllers’ licences - full text.

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Further Reading

European Commission