Tips For Aspiring IFATC Controllers

Would appreciate it thanks

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Pro tip: Don’t stress. Stay calm and treat it like a training session and don’t freak out if you mess up. Take it one command at a time and you’re golden 🙂


It is also good to be proactive, not reactive @APH71

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Some tips of my own…

  1. Have a pencil and paper during your written test. This helps so much when drawing out scenarios in some of the questions they ask you.

  2. Don’t overestimate your capabilities once you get in. Way too many new apprentices (this is where you start off when you get in IFATC) go down in flames once they start off opening airports above their skill level. Just because you can because it’s a charlie, don’t open up the hub airport KMDW on FNF 2 days in.

  3. Have an open attitude to learning from your mistakes. We all made mistakes and grew from them, yes even the veteran controllers like Gary and Trio. If you aren’t open to growth then you really won’t do well.


Cough cough @Claudio

Nice advice

I really do enjoy the challenge, if I get it wrong I go back through it and search/google the correct way.
I appreciate feedback and advice.
My aim is to be the best.

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That is a great attitude!

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Great job here.

Another suggestion and error that I’ve committed on my first try:
Please, once you reach the Specialist tier and you can control class Bravo airspaces, do not go straight to EGLL, KLAX, etc. It is most likely that you might not be ready for a high flow and multitasking a lot. This may occur on some people as they think they are ready.
Start slowly, and do it step by step to prevent removals or warnings and at the end of the day, to provide a better service.

Tip: if you really desire to control a high flow airport and you are afraid of making mistakes or be overwhelmed try to open just 1 frequency.



I feel today there has been alot of IFATC talk. I like it. But, is it just me or does any one feel that.

My topic is more about becoming IFATC not what to do when you get there

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Totally fine, just adding an input :)


Yeah thanks for that

I think that my advice would be to accept feedback from others. Obviously, the people at your tracking thread are there to help, and your trainer, recruiter and are also resources as well. You will fail if you’re unable to take criticism and learn from your mistakes.

@RTG113 and @Echu made excellent points as well.


@Lil_Qaz this is all very good advice. I took my first ATC test and did not pass. I think I just have to calm down a little more and take my time!

I love this! Brilliant post. Let it be read by many.

In addition to the additional tips by Rocco and others, may I add one, which I think is important:

Have the IFATC mentality
Controlling is one, character and mentality is something else. In preparing for your IFATC, ask yourself if you will be able to find the balance between ‘providing a service to pilots’ and ‘your own idea of how you want to control the airport’. Will you have the patience to help a well-willing pilot who doesnt know but isn’t hindering anybody, and deal swiftly with a pilot that doesnt care about others. Are you prepared to face a report inquiry from someone you’ve reported and now can’t fly on Expert for a week, while in 2 days he wants to participate in a major Event.
Do you want to be an IFATC to ‘rule’ or to ‘serve’?


Thanks! I will include this as soon as I can

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How long does it take to become a specialists?

I think @Echu means if you known the foundation and know how to control a Charlie (small hub)…

As long as it takes for you to learn how to control to IFATC standards.

I won’t disclose the amount of time. Join us to find out. ;)