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Air Traffic Control

Air Corps Air Traffic Control Tower

The basic function of Military Air traffic Control Section is to provide an Air Traffic Service (ATS) within military airspace which enables military pilots to conduct their flights in a safe and expeditious environment, while at the same time providing them with tactical freedom in all weather conditions. This comprehensive service is achieved by Air Traffic Controllers transmitting instructions to pilots in the form of 'air traffic control clearances' and by providing vital flight information and navigational assistance.

In addition, air traffic controllers are responsible for providing an 'Alerting and Emergency Service' and initiating 'Search and Rescue' (SAR) action for aircraft which may require assistance. Civilian aircraft operating within, or transiting through military airspace are also provided with an Air Traffic Service appropriate to their particular needs.

The ATS service is provided by a number of controllers who man a variety of co-located and interdependent control positions, collectively called the 'ATC Watch. A standard ATC Watch normally comprises of the following control positions.

ATC Watch Supervisor

The ATC watch supervisor is responsible for management and coordination of the ATC watch on a daily basis. The ATC Watch supervisor is an Air Traffic Control officer who is experienced in all the control positions. The ATC Watch supervisor also coordinates military requirements with civil ATC units on a national basis.

Aerodrome Controller

The Aerodrome Controller is responsible for controlling aircraft which are operating on the airfield and its immediate environs. This includes aircraft which are taxiing, landing, taking-off, operating locally, or transiting through the immediate vicinity of the airfield.

Approach Radar Controller

Unlike their colleagues in the Tower, Approach Radar Controllers are the unseen part of the team. They operate from Radar Centers which are either located below the level of the actual Tower or in the Dublin Airport Radar Center. Based on radar observations the Radar Controller is responsible for providing an ATS to aircraft operating in the wider military airspace, which incidentally extends from Baldonnel to the midlands and extends upwards to an unspecified limit.

Irish Air Corps ATS Training is conducted in accordance with ESARR International Standards. The Syllabus complies with the European Common Core Content, a syllabus created to harmonize and standardize Air Traffic Controller training throughout Europe.