Air Traffic Controller - FAQ

Frequently asked questions

  1. What does an air traffic controller do?
  2. How do I apply?
  3. I have already participated in the skeyes selection procedure. Can I participate again?
  4. Is being able to speak a high level of English important?
  5. How does the selection procedure for air traffic controllers work?
  6. What is the minimum registration age?
  7. I’ve lost my identity card. Am I still allowed to register?
  8. I only have a residence permit. Am I still allowed to register?
  9. I do not have an upper secondary school diploma. Am I still allowed to register?
  10. I do not have a diploma or language certificate for Dutch or French. Can I still register? I do not speak Dutch or French. Can I still register?
  11. What are the medical conditions?
  12. Is the training course difficult?
  13. How much does the training course cost?
  14. Where does the training course take place? How long does the training course take?
  15. Where will I be employed?
  16. How are the work schedules arranged? Will I be required to work in shifts?
  17. How much will I earn?
  18. Am I assured a job after having completed training?
  19. How is equivalence of an upper secondary school diploma proven?

What does an air traffic controller do?

Air traffic controllers are responsible for the supervision and control of departing and arriving flights at all Belgian airports. They provide pilots with the necessary instructions regarding the altitude they are to fly at, the flight paths to be followed and ensure that aircraft remain at a safe minimum distance from each other, as determined by international regulations. Moreover, air traffic controllers must take external factors such as bad weather conditions, problems at airports, technical equipment breakdowns and difficulties with the aircraft into account.

How do I apply?

You can complete an online application form (NL) / application form (FR) on this website during skeyes air traffic controller recruitment periods. Outside of these periods you can subscribe to the mailing list so that you will be informed of new recruitment rounds.

I have already participated in the skeyes selection procedure. Can I participate again?

If you still meet all the criteria, you can register again for a new selection. You will however have to pass each of the different tests again.

Is being able to speak a high level of English important?

Yes, knowledge of English is an intrinsic part of working as an air traffic controller. It is important that you fluently speak English and are also able to understand it well. During the selection procedure your knowledge of English will be tested.

How does the selection procedure for air traffic controllers work?

The selection process consists of six phases, namely FEAST 1, FEAST 2, a personality questionnaire, a competency-based interview including a test of spoken English, a group assessment and finally the medical examination. FEAST (First European Air Traffic Controller Selection Test) assesses analytical and logically-ordered thinking skills. This testing method consists of two separate tests (FEAST 1 and FEAST 2) which are taken on a computer and are conducted entirely in English. Beyond refreshing your general knowledge of English, you cannot really prepare for these tests. If you pass both FEAST tests, you will be invited for the competency-based interview and you will also be tested on your spoken level of English. Please note that the competence-based interview must be conducted in one of the two national languages: Dutch or French. If the result of the competency-based interview and the test of your spoken level of English is positive, you will be invited to a group assessment. The final stage of the selection procedure is the medical examination.

What is the minimum registration age?

On the closing date for registration, you must be at least 17 years old and no older than 25 years old. Moreover, you must be at least 18 years old on the first day of employment.

I’ve lost my identity card. Am I still allowed to register?

You are permitted to use the ‘proof of declaration of loss or destruction’ document for your identity card that you received from the Citizen Services Department or the police as a temporary replacement of your identity card. You must present a valid identity card by the start of your training at the latest.

I only have a residence permit. Am I still allowed to register?

You can only register for the recruitment exam if you have acquired the nationality of one of the Member States of the European Union. A residence permit is insufficient.

I do not have an upper secondary school diploma. Am I still allowed to register?

You can only register for the recruitment exam once you have obtained an upper secondary school diploma: ASO, TSO, BSO. If you are currently in the last year of study resulting in this diploma, you may apply if you can present a certificate from the school as proof that you are enrolled in the last year of study.

I do not have a diploma or language certificate for Dutch or French. Can I still register? I do not speak Dutch or French. Can I still register?

You may participate in the recruitment exam, but the psychological and group assessments may only be conducted in one of these languages. There are no English or other language sessions available. Therefore, a comprehensive knowledge of Dutch or French is required for taking part in the examination procedure.

What are the medical conditions?

Both during your recruitment and throughout your career, you will regularly be subject to medical exams and will be required to meet certain strict conditions. To find out more about the medical conditions, click here.

Is the training course difficult?

The difficulty level of the training course is not to be underestimated. Due to the high amount of study material, the student is required and expected to keep up with these materials. Assessments will be carried out at different stages of the course. Whether you are able to proceed with the training course, need to repeat a course component or quit training is contingent on the results of these assessments. The training course as a whole is conducted in English and all assessments (written as well as oral) are also conducted in English.

How much does the training course cost?

Candidates are not required to pay for the course. Should you be allowed to start the course, you will become a skeyes employee, which means that you will receive a salary. During the course you will receive a monthly salary of approximately EUR 2,000 gross/month.

Where does the training course take place? How long does the training course take?

The training course takes approximately 2 years. The first three training modules take approximately one year and will take place in Steenokkerzeel. After that period, the on-the-job-training starts for one year at one of the various skeyes sites in Belgium.

Where will I be employed?

You are allowed to indicate your preference for the workplace; however, the final placement decision depends on where there is a need for air traffic controllers at the different units. Once your workplace has been determined, you will receive training specific to that airport. The intention then is that you also work at the same place for several years. During skeyes’ recruitment rounds, the airports seeking new air traffic controllers are always clearly stated.

How are the work schedules arranged? Will I be required to work in shifts?

Air traffic control is a continuous service and therefore operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means that in practice it is a shift system: morning, afternoon and night. A normal day shift lasts a total of seven and a half hours, including breaks. A night shift is ten hours long.

How much will I earn?

As from the first day of your training, you are entitled to a salary. This amounts to approximately EUR 2,000 gross/month. Once you have passed the initial training your salary will be raised to approximately EUR 3,600 gross/month. Once you have passed the unit training you will receive a salary of at least EUR 6,700 gross/month.

Am I assured a job after having completed training?

Yes, every candidate who successfully completes the full training course is guaranteed a job as an air traffic controller.

How is equivalence of an upper secondary school diploma proven?

There are several ways to have your diploma recognized.

1. Did you obtain your diploma in Belgium?

YES : Add this document as an attachment to the online application form. There is nothing else you are required to do.

All diplomas from the four different education tracks (general education ASO, technical education TSO, vocational education BSO including the 7th additional year and art education KSO) issued by accredited educational institutions of the Flemish, French or German-speaking Community of Belgium are automatically recognized. These diplomas enable you to register for participation in the recruitment exams.

NO : Continue reading.

2. Do you have a diploma that is higher than an advanced secondary schooldiploma?

YES : add this document as an attachment to the online application form.There is nothing else you are required to do.

If you can submit a diploma higher than an upper secondary school diploma, i.e. a Bachelor or Master, recognition of an upper secondary school diploma is not required. In order to start a career as air traffic controller, you must be able to submit a general upper secondary school diploma at minimum. If you have a Bachelor or Master then the aforementioned condition has been implicitly fulfilled.

NO : Continue reading.

3. Do you have one of the diplomas below: Dutch VWO, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate?

YES : add this document as an attachment to the online application form. There is nothing else you are required to do.

  • The Dutch VWO diploma is equivalent to the Flemish upper secondary school diploma (ASO) requested by skeyes.
  • The European Baccalaureate is issued on behalf of the Board of Governors of European Schools at the end of the 7th year of secondary school in a European school. There are currently 14 European schools: Alicante, Brussels I (Uccle), Brussels II (Woluwé), Brussels III (Ixelles), Brussels IV (Laeken), Frankfurt am Main, Mol, Bergen, Karlsruhe, Munich, Varese, Culham, Luxembourg I & Luxembourg II. Holders of a European Baccalaureate are not required to apply for recognition of their diplomas.
  • The IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization) is an official educational institution based in Geneva. 2,218 schools in 125 countries are authorised by the IBO to issue a Geneva International Baccalaureate. Holders of such an International Geneva Baccalaureate are not required to apply for recognition of their diplomas.

NO : Continue reading.

4. Do you hold a Dutch-language upper secondary school diploma?

Yes: The required procedure for obtaining recognition of your diploma can be found on the NARIC-Vlaanderen website: https://www.naricvlaanderen.be/en/submitting-an-application


NO:
Continue reading.

5. Do you hold a French-language upper secondary school diploma? 

YES : The required procedure for obtaining recognition of your diploma can be found on the Service des Equivalence de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles website: http://www.equivalences.cfwb.be/index.php?id=524 

NO: Continue reading.

6. Your mother tongue is neither Dutch nor French?

You obtained your higher secondary education diploma in a country other than Belgium. The diploma is drafted in another language than Dutch or French.

You will need to request a certificate proving the equivalence of your secondary education diploma with the Belgian educational level.

Important! Where you decide to apply for recognition will determine your language group (Dutch of French) during the recruitment process.

The language group you belong to does not only determine the language in which you will receive correspondence from skeyes, but also determines the language in which you have to take the psychological evaluation interview during the exam.

In other words :

  • If you choose to send your request for equivalence to the Flemish Community, you will be considered as of this moment as a Dutch speaking candidate ----> follow point 4 under JA.
  • If you choose to send your request for equivalence to the French Community,you will be considered as of this moment as a French speaking candidate ----> follow point 5 under OUI.

We may use session cookies in order to enhance the service we provide on our Website. A session cookie is a small data file sent from our Website to your internet browser, which is stored in the temporary memory of your computer (this file is erased when your browser is closed). A session cookie will allow us to track the pages that you have visited and thereby facilitate your use of the Website.

You can set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie, giving you the chance to decide whether or not to accept it.