Prepare for success as an air traffic controller in the Aims state-of-the-art simulation lab. In your first semester in this air traffic controller associate degree program, you’ll start out in the classroom learning air traffic control language and procedures. For the following three semesters, you’ll be immersed in the lab environment, gaining hands-on experience using radar and non-radar simulators.
Air traffic control can be a challenging and rewarding career for those who qualify. Currently, there are strict requirements for entering the FAA academy.
- Be U.S. citizens.
- Be no more than 30 years of age at the time of hiring by the FAA.
- Pass extensive background checks prior to receiving an employment offer.
- Be able to read, speak and understand the English language (meet International Civil Aviation Organization level 4 standards).
- Obtain and maintain a second class medical certificate (must meet or exceed standards for vision, hearing, cardiovascular, neurological, psychiatric and psychological exams. Diabetes and substance abuse/dependency will be reviewed and extensively investigated).
- Adhere to current FAA regulations requiring controllers to retire from controlling aircraft at age 56.
How to get started
Step 1 – Apply
- Apply to Aims Community College
- Select Pre Aviation AAS as your intended major.
- Apply for Financial Aid if applicable.
Step 2 – Are you a VA or Transfer Student
- If you are a VA Student, submit your DD214 and Certificate of Eligibility to the Financial Aid Office.
- If you are a transfer student, please have your previous institution send an official transcript to Aims. Learn more on the Transfer Information webpage.
- If you are not a VA or Transfer Student, go to step 3.
Step 3 – Aviation Medical Certificate
- If you want to apply for the Air Traffic Control (ATC), Professional Pilot, or General Aviation Pilot degree, it is a requirement that you obtain a valid First- or Second-class FAA Medical Certificate before applying.
- You must schedule an exam with an FAA-approved Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) and pay for this exam. You can find a Colorado Aviation Medical Examiners list here or on the FAA's website.
- A Second-class Medical is highly recommended for Air Traffic Control (ATC) applicants. The FAA requires all air traffic controllers to carry a Second-class Medical Certificate.
Step 4 – Complete the Aviation Application
- Complete the Aims Aviation Application
- Applications must be completed no later than:
- Fall Term: First Day of Classes
- Spring Term: First Day of Classes
- Summer Term: Aims Aviation does not accept new students for Summer Term