• EU exit

    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.

    Maintenance of the ATCO Licence

    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 completed.

    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 Endorsement).

    Format of the ATCO Licence

    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 required.

  • Requirements

    To be granted an Air Traffic Controller licence you must:

    • Hold a valid Student Air Traffic Controller licence,
    • Have successfully completed the Unit Endorsement Course,
    • Have successfully completed Training in Abnormal and Emergency Situations (ABES) and Human Factors,
    • Have successfully demonstrated competence at rating level,
    • Hold a current medical certificate of the appropriate class.


    • The cost of the grant of an Air Traffic Controller's licence is £891.
    • Costs above are correct as at March 2018. Current charges are shown in the CAA's scheme of charges.

    Processing time

    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.

    Further reading

    • SRG 1411 (Air Traffic Controller Licensing Form) for the grant of an ATCO licence, rating, rating endorsement, unit endorsement, renewal of unit endorsement or English language proficiency endorsement.
    • CAP 1251'Air Traffic Controllers - Licensing' for information on the requirements and guidance associated with ATCO Licensing.

    What do I need to include with my application?

    • Completed application form: SRG 1411
    • Relevant fee

    How do I apply?

    If you are applying for the grant of an Air Traffic Controller Licence:

    • Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 of SRG 1411 should be completed - ensure that you complete section 2 in full.
    • Please also ensure that the declaration is signed by yourself and the appropriate unit representative.

    See also guidance on licence endorsements.

    What happens next?

    • A Licensing Assistant or Officer will assess your application.
    • After checking that the application is in order, the application will then be processed and the licence issued, signed and dispatched to the correspondence address. If this is the first issue of the ATCO licence this will be sent to the unit to hold until the successful completion of the initial unit endorsement has been completed by the ATS Inspector.
    • We will contact you if we have any queries regarding your application and may keep your application on hold whilst awaiting any additional documentation to be submitted.
    • A refund fee may be charged if the application is found not to be in order and results in the rejection of your application. This will also be applied if you choose to cancel your application.
  • Use of the eight week grace period

    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.