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Job Role
Aircraft Controller
Job Role

Aircraft Controller

You’ll provide the crucial link between the aircraft and its base, whether that’s at sea or on land.

AircraftHands onOutdoor jobsTechnologyAviationApprenticeships
  • £23,000 - £58,000
  • No qualifications
  • Fleet Air Arm
  • Aviation
  • Rating level

At a glance

You’ll train to be an air space expert, where a high level of responsibility comes as standard. Wherever you are in the world, you‘ll make the crucial decisions that help keep our state-of-the-art aircraft flying, our people safe and our operations on track.
Aircraft controller
Since I joined the Royal Navy I’ve been part of some major operations, from the Caribbean to the Persian Gulf. People of all ranks respect my opinion, which means I’m always involved in each mission.
Aircraft controllers in a control centre


Aircraft Controller, Fleet Air Arm

Role details

What you’ll do

 As an Aircraft Controller (AC) you will play a pivotal role in helping enable the Royal Navy's front-line aviation capability at sea. 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 directing the ships airborne weapon carrier from a radar screen to achieve the mission success. In addition, you will act as the ship's aviation advisor during all flying serials answering directly to the ship's Command Team. A challenging but rewarding role.

Your role

  • Work with some of the most sophisticated aircraft in the world in all environments, including the Wildcat and Merlin helicopters as well as the P8 Poseidon. As your career progresses, you’ll gain additional qualifications which will enable you to work with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
  • You will be the on-board Aviation expert, advising Command and using your knowledge and tactical insight to ensure mission success
  • Utilise your skills, expertise and knowledge to work with NATO and international partners around the world
  • Compile and deliver flying briefs to the ship's Command/Aviation team

Pay & benefits

  • Earn £25,200 after basic training
  • Earn £37,7111 as soon as you finish all LAC training
  • Earn over £58,000 as your career progresses
  • Seven weeks of paid holiday every year
  • Subsidised food, travel and accommodation
  • Excellent pension scheme

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Apprenticeship Level 3 in Data Information Management
  • Foundation degree in Aerospace Management on successful completion of JATCC
  • Chartered Management Institute Level 3 qualification in Coaching & Mentoring with the opportunity for Level 5 as your career progresses
  • Opportunity to gain human factors qualifications
  • Funding towards study or a qualification of your choice

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.


  • 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

Skills & 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

Joining process

From picking your role to starting on your first day, these are the steps you'll take to join as a rating.

Career progression

From responsibilities to pay, find out where this role can take you.

Got a question?

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