• A Student Air Traffic Controller Licence permits the holder to provide an Air Traffic Control service but only under the supervision of a fully qualified Air Traffic Controller, who holds an on-the-job training instructor licence endorsement.

    The service being provided must be in the ATC discipline for which initial training has been successfully completed at an approved initial training organisation.

    Unit training in that discipline must commence within 12 months of having completed the approved initial training course.

    Student ATCO licence holders who fail to meet this criterion will be required to complete an assessment of previous competence.

    Requirements to be granted a Student ATCO Licence

    Applicants for a Student Air Traffic Controller Licence must:

    • be at least 18 years of age
    • have successfully completed an approved basic and at least one rating course of initial training at an approved initial training organisation
    • hold a certificate, issued by an approved ATCO language assessment body, which demonstrates the competence to speak and understand the English language to at least level 4 of the ICAO Language Proficiency Scale
    • hold a current UK issued Class 3 medical certificate

    How to apply for a Student ATCO licence

    What happens next?

    • A CAA Licensing Assessment Officer will assess your application.
    • After checking that the application is in order, the application will then be processed, and the licence produced and dispatched to the applicant’s unit or home address as appropriate.
    • We will contact you if we have any queries regarding your application.

    Processing time

    • CAA ATS Licensing Assessment endeavours to process all applications within the shortest possible time, however; regulation 2015/340 allows for a maximum processing time of eight weeks. Information about the eight-week grace period can be found on this page.
    • A Student ATCO Licence will be issued as soon as possible following receipt of the application providing the application is complete and correct.

    • 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, 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. 
    • This section relates to a process available with a limited time period of two years until 1 January 2023.
    • Following EU withdrawal, EU Student ATCO licences issued under CR (EU) 2015/340, after 31 December 2020 will not be recognised by the UK CAA.
    • EU Student ATCO licences issued by an EU competent authority before 1 January 2021 will be recognised by the UK CAA for the grant of a UK ATCO licence, following a process of verification of such documents with the associated EU competent authority.
    • Ratings contained in an EU Student ATCO licence that were obtained after 1 January 2021 will not be recognised unless evidence is provided, and verified with the relevant competent authority, that the course, from which the rating was obtained. was approved before 31 December 2020.
    • EU medical certificates will no longer be recognised, and applicants should obtain a class 3 medical certificate from a UK CAA Approved Aeromedical Centre before making application.
    • Holders of EU Member State issued Student ATCO licences who wish to work in the UK must have a place of employment in the UK prior to making an application.
    • Holders of EU Member State issued Student ATCO licences wishing to obtain a UK CAA Issued Student licence must apply to the UK CAA on form SRG1411F.
    • All applicants must complete the appropriate sections of the application form. Be sure to read the guidance notes attached to the form to ensure that it has been correctly completed.
    • You must include appropriate fee. The charge for the issue of a UK ATCO Licences is shown in the CAA Scheme of Charges (Personnel Licensing).
    • Various methods of payment are detailed on the SRG1411F application form.