Please note that, in the event of UK participation in EASA and mutual recognition of licences and certificates ceasing, some CAA website content and application forms may continue to carry the EASA logo or reference the EU or EASA rather than the UK CAA in the short term. These will be updated in due course following the outcome of the transition period negotiations on the long-term aviation relationship between the UK and the EU. In the meantime, the guidance provided and the application forms accessed via the CAA website portal will continue to be valid.
Before providing an Air Traffic Control (ATC) service, an individual must be appropriately qualified and licensed.
They must hold an Air Traffic Controller’s (ATCO) Licence that includes an associated rating and rating endorsement
appropriate to the task. ATCO licences are issued by the CAA following completion of the appropriate approved initial
training courses, examinations and assessments.
Ratings indicate the type of ATC service you may provide, while their associated rating endorsements indicate
specialist tasks within those ratings.
The assessment of competence for revalidation of a unit endorsement may be carried out within the three month period
preceding the date of expiry of the current unit endorsement. If the revalidation process is completed before the 3
month period, then its’ validity period shall start not later than 30 days from the date on which the assessment is
Provided the controller is assessed as competent, the unit endorsement will be revalidated for 12 months from the
date of expiry of the current endorsement unless an alternative validity period has been authorised by the CAA. Where
the unit wishes to align the expiry dates of all unit endorsements held by a controller, a unit endorsement may be
revalidated for a shorter period. This information is recorded on form SRG 1416 (Record of Revalidation of an ATCO Unit
The format of the licence has been determined by Regulation (EU) 2015/340 and each page does not include the name of
the holder as was previously the case with Regulation (EU) 805/2011 licences.
You must not cut up your licence into separate pages. The licence must be kept whole but can be folded as
To be granted an Air Traffic Controller licence you must:
An ATCO Licence will be issued as soon as possible following receipt of the application providing the information provided by the applicant is complete and correct. Note that this process can take up to eight weeks.
If you are applying for the grant of an Air Traffic Controller Licence:
See also guidance on licence endorsements.
Regulation 2015/340 AMC1 ATCO.AR.D.001(a) Procedure for the issue, revalidation and renewal of licences, ratings, endorsements and authorisations states that the CAA may allow the privileges of a licence to be exercised for a period of eight weeks after successful completion of the applicable examination(s) and assessment(s), pending the issue of the licence, rating or endorsement.
The CAA may allow this grace period to be used (which is only to allow the CAA processing time of the licence), however this will only commence once the applicant has received an acknowledgement of their application back from the CAA.
It is not to be assumed that this will automatically be given. CAP 1251 will be updated in due course.
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