Aircraft Controller

Service:Fleet Air Arm
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Aircraft controller

The role at a glance

What you’ll do

As an Aircraft Controller (AC) you will play a pivotal role in helping maintain the Royal Navy's front-line aviation capability at seas in the UK and around the world. At the heart of the ship you will be a key member of the war fighting team within the Operations Room. You will be the only person on board responsible for the safety of all Rotary Wing aircraft under your control. This involves monitoring your aircraft from a radar screen and acting as the ship's aviation advisor during all flying serials answering directly to the ship's Command Team. A challenging but rewarding role.

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Work with some of the most sophisticated aircraft in the world in all environments, including the wildcat helicopter and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
  • As the on-board Aviation expert, advise Command using your tactical insight whilst having courage in your conviction to ensure mission throughout.
  • Co-ordinate aviation on-board your ship or collectively as part of a task group in both UK waters and around the World as part of NATO.
  • Compile and deliver flying briefs to the ship's Command/Aviation team.
  • British or Dual National

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Management CMI level 3, with the opportunity to achieve Management CMI level 5 later in your career.
  • Study for GCSE's, A-Levels, NVQs or a degree.

Skills you'll develop

  • Regardless of age, background or educational achievement the AC branch will support you every step of the way, allowing you to grow in confidence your multi-tasking ability, master communication and leadership skills, and realise your full potential. It's never too early or late to live life to the full and experience challenges.

Career progression

What you'll need


  • You’ll need to be aged 18 to 34
  • No qualifications are required for this role
  • You must be a British/British Dual National
  • You need to be a minimum height of 151.5cm
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 28 (between 17 and 27 if under 18)
  • Must pass CBAT. Specialist Aviation Medical at OASC, RAF Cranwell
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test

Skills and interests

  • To be independent and adaptable                
  • To be out going, committed and driven
  • A high level of spatial awareness
  • A passion for aviation
  • An adventurous spirit
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows:

  • Submit an application

    Once you’ve registered your interest, we’ll be in touch to discuss your options

  • Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA)

    You’ll be tested on: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Work Rate, Spatial Reasoning, Electrical Comprehension and Mechanical Comprehension.
    To prepare, you can practise the DAA

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role. This is normally conducted using your own device over the Shine video platform

  • Medical and eye tests

    These are quite comprehensive and must be completed by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors

  • Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT)

    This involves completing a 2.4km run on a treadmill within a certain time, at a fitness centre near you

  • Candidate Preparation Course (CPC)

    This four-day induction to life in the Royal Navy, including a Swimming Test and a fitness assessment, is a pass or fail course

  • Start training

    Once you’ve passed a Security Check, you’ll be offered a place at HMS Raleigh

Initial training

Your Royal Navy career begins with 10 weeks’ basic training at HMS Raleigh, a shore base in Torpoint, Cornwall. The discipline, teamwork, organisational, firefighting and weapon handling skills you learn here will stay with you right through your career.

Aim to get yourself as fit as possible before you arrive. You’ll be doing a lot of physical exercise, and you’ll find it much easier if you’re already in shape. There’s also a swimming test, so if you can’t swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.