Air Traffic Controller - FAQ

Frequently asked questions

  1. What does an air traffic controller do?
  2. How can I apply?
  3. I have already participated in the recruitment process at skeyes. Can I enter again?
  4. Is a thorough knowledge of English important?
  5. What does the selection process for air traffic controllers consist of?
  6. What is the minimum age to register?
  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 speak Dutch or French. Can I register?
  11. What are the medical requirements?
  12. Is the training tough?
  13. How much does the training cost?
  14. Will I receive a salary during the training?
  15. How long does the training take and where does it take place?
  16. Where will I be employed?
  17. What is the working regime? Will I be working in shifts?
  18. Am I assured a job after having completed training?
  19. How do I prove the equivalence of my high school degree?

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 can I apply?

The registration period for the recruitment exam for air traffic controller candidates is closed. Do you want to become an air traffic controller? Subscribe here to our mailing list. We will inform you as soon as a new registration period opens.

Important: it is not possible to apply in English. You must choose to apply either in Dutch or in French. The language you choose determines not only the language in which you receive your correspondence from skeyes, but also the language in which you will have to take the interview.

If you want to be considered as a Dutch-speaking candidate, click here.
If you want to be considered as a French-speaking candidate, click here.

I have already participated in the recruitment process at skeyes. Can I enter again?

If you participated before 2021 and still meet all the conditions for registration, you may participate again. If you participated in the selection tests in 2021 and was not successful, you are not allowed to apply now.

Is a thorough knowledge of English important?

Yes, thorough knowledge of English is inherently associated with the job of air traffic controller. It is vital that you speak and understand English fluently. Your knowledge of English will be tested during the selection procedure.

What does the selection process for air traffic controllers consist of?

The selection process consists of different phases. The first step is a valid application, proving to fulfill all selection requirements. If you application is accepted, you will be invited for FEAST (First European Air Traffic Controller Selection Test). This testing method consists of 2 separate tests (FEAST I and FEAST II) and examines your analytical and structural thinking ability. These tests are conducted on a computer and are done in English. Only if you pass FEAST I, will you participate in a second round of testing (FEAST II). If you pass both FEAST tests, you are invited for a first oral examination round. During this oral examination round, you will explain your motivation to a jury and demonstrate that your English meets the requirements. You will also solve an individual exercise and present it to a jury. If you pass, you will have to fill out a personality test online. Thereafter, a competency oriented interview takes place in one of the national languages : Dutch or French. If you pass here as well, you will be invited for a medical examination. The medical examination determines if you are medically fit for a job as an air traffic controller. And finally, you need to be cleared by a security screening

What is the minimum age to register?

You must be at least 18 years old on 31 December 2022 and no older than 30 28 February 2022.

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 speak Dutch or French. Can I register?

Yes, you can register for the comparative recruitment tests but be aware that some steps in the selection process are in Dutch or French exclusively. There are no sessions in other languages. A thorough knowledge of Dutch or French is absolutely necessary to be able to participate in the selection process.

What are the medical requirements?

Throughout the training and your entire career, you will be medically examined on a regular basis and you will need to meet strict requirements. If you want to know more about these requirements, click here.

Is the training tough?

Do not underestimate the difficulty of the training. Because of the vast amount of theory, it is of the utmost importance that you keep up with your study. During the training, there will be several moments of evaluation. Depending on the results you can continue your training, or you will have to retake a specific part of the training, or your training can be stopped. The entire training is in English and all evaluations throughout the training (written and oral) will be in English.

How much does the training cost?

skeyes bears the entire cost of the training. There is a training clause at skeyes, that is entirely applicable to all selected trainee air traffic controllers. This clause implies that, should the candidate voluntarily leave skeyes during the 3 years following the succesful completion of the air traffic controller training ('the return period'), the candidate can be held to reimburse part of the training cost to skeyes. This amounts to a maximum of 80 % of part of the training cost during the first year, a maximum of 50 % of part of the training cost during the second year, and a maximum of 20 % of part of the cost of the training during the third year. The reimbursement may not exceed more than 30 % of the last active salary on yearly base.

Will I receive a salary during the training?

Yes, during your training you will already be considered an employee of skeyes. Therefore, you will receive a salary from the start, together with a number of extra-legal benefits.

How long does the training take and where does it take place?

The training takes about 2 years and prepares you for a job as an Air Traffic Controller in the air traffic control centre CANAC 2.
The first 3 modules of the training cover 1 year. After that you will follow during one additional year the on-the-job training. All training sessions will take place in Steenokkerzeel.

Where will I be employed?

You will be trained to work at one of the different skeyes sites: Steenokkerzeel, Ostend, Antwerp, Liège or Charleroi.

What is the working regime? Will I be working in shifts?

Air traffic control is a continuous service (24 hours a day and 7 days a week). You will be employed in a shift system: morning, afternoon and night. A normal dayshift is 7 hours 30 minutes (including breaks). A nightshift is 10 hours.

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 do I prove the equivalence of my high school degree?

There are several ways to have your diploma recognized.

1. Did you obtain your diploma in Belgium?

YES : add this document to your online application form. No other action required.

All degrees from the 4 different educational systems (general high school, technical education, vocational education, including a 7th year, and art education), dispensed by recognized educational institutions of the Flemish, Walloon or German Communities of Belgium are automatically equivalent. With these degrees you can register to participate in the comparative selection exams.

NO : Read on.

2. Do you have a diploma beyond high school?

YES : add this document to your online application form. No other action required.

If you can present a higher degree (e.i. bachelor or master), there is no need for equivalence of the high school degree. This is because to participate in the selection exams, you need to have at least a high school degree. If you have a bachelor or master degree, the previous condition is implicitly fulfilled.

NO : Read on.

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 authorized 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 : Read on.

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:
Read on.

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: Read on.

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.

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