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The Selection Process

All applicants start by registering an application account at http://takecharge.navcanada.ca. Once registered, applicants will use this account to provide relevant personal information and track their progress through the hurdled application process.

Online Tests

Applicants complete two brief online tests, lasting approximately 30 minutes in total, to assess basic suitability for a career in air traffic control and flight information services. Applicants are notified via their account that they have either passed or failed. Those who pass are eligible to be invited to and Assessment Session.

Assessment Session

Eligible candidates receive an invitation to an in-person assessment session. The assessment includes a variety of tests that measure thinking and reasoning, communication, multi-tasking, attention, information processing, memory, motor ability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and knowledge. Note that not all eligible applicants will be invited as space is limited and based on projected training positions available. A fee of $250 is required to participate in this assessment.


The top scoring participants from the assessment session are interviewed by telephone, then in person. At this stage, NAV CANADA evaluates an applicant’s commitment and life experience, knowledge of the company, understanding of the career, and ability to follow and succeed through an intense, full-time training program.

Enter Candidate Roster

Once you have successfully completed the interviews, you are placed on a candidate roster and are eligible to attend future training programs. Your testing and interview results will determine the career you are best suited for: IFR controller, VFR controller or flight Service Specialist. Applicants are selected based on their overall qualifications and assessment scores, not by the date they were placed on the roster. Note that not all candidates that enter a roster will be selected for training. Training courses are only initiated when there is an anticipated requirement in your region.

Offer and Course Preparation

Once selected for an upcoming training course, you must undergo a medical exam (Category 2) and security check. NAV CANADA will provide you with the necessary information in order to complete these requirements. As your training start date approaches, NAV CANADA will send you a pre-course program called Introduction to Aviation. This 30 to 50 hour course must be completed before your training begins.


Training is delivered on a full-time basis, Monday-to-Friday. Class times vary by location, but they are typically eight hours per day. You are also expected to put in additional study and simulator time to prepare for the next day. You can expect to invest a further two to three hours after class hours to succeed.

Each program generally contains the following components*:

• Basic generic training: the basics of aviation and air traffic control

• Specialty training: the procedures for a specific sector, or section of airspace

• Simulation training: putting what you have learned into practice in a safe, simulated environment

• On-the-job training: you start doing the actual job, with an instructor by your side

*The order may vary depending on the program and training components can overlap.

Training Program Duration

Flight Service Specialist

Phase I: Classroom and simulator training (unpaid) - 4 to 6 months (basic generic + simulator)

Phase II: On-the-job training at an operational facility (paid) - 4 to 6 months (site specific and on the job)

VFR Air Traffic Controller

Phase I: Classroom and simulator training (unpaid) - 4 to 6 months (basic generic + simulator)

Phase II: On-the-job training at an operational facility (paid) - 4 to 12 months (Airport Control Tower)

IFR Air Traffic Controller

Phase I: Classroom and simulator training (unpaid) - 7 to 14 months (basic generic + site specific training + simulator)

Phase 11: On-the-job training at an operational facility (paid) - 6-12 months (Area Control Centre)

For More Information

Web Site: http://takecharge.navcanada.ca

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/takecharge.navcanada


In Memory of

Gil Strickland

May 26, 1946 - April 24, 2005


On April 24th, 2005 Gil died as a result of a tragic traffic accident.

As well, his wife Roxie, who was in the truck with him, passed away a short time later.

To say that they'll be missed, is an understatement.

Gil was the type of guy you could always count on to be there for you. In these days of hollow promises and see-through people, Gil was a decent, honest and caring person that we all wish there were more of in this world..

Gil spent over 33 years in Air Traffic Control in one way or another and he had a true passion for it. He had just retired from the Navy around November 1998 where he was a controller and was going to start working in a private tower out in Farmington NM. He was a controller at Salt Lake City Tracon on the morning of Aug 3, 1981 when the controllers walked off the job. He said it was a hard decision to make but having Roxie backing him up and believing in him, helped immensley. He also said that he had taken a moral stand (the FAA was not playing fair during these times) and although he lost, he still liked the person looking back at him in the mirror every day.

Family was important to Gil. He believed in what his mother told him one day, "Take care of the people around you, they are the true treasures in this life".

In his job at the Tower in Farmington, he brought the passion for the job and the style and professionalism gained by so many years in the ATC world to work with him everyday. While some of his co-workers did the job technically correct he said, they had no real passion for the job. Gil always tried to do his best to help the pilots he controlled and make things flow the way they should. No request was usually turned down (although he always made sure that the pilot knew who was in charge!). This is the mark of a true Professional.

I got to know Gil about 6 years ago through a program called ATCC. In the simulated ATC world, Gil showed the same type of passion he had for the real world ATC by helping many understand what ATC was all about. He was always there to answer questions and help those creating thier own sectors by offering support and encouragement.

He was a regular contributor to several lists for those wishing to create thier own sectors for ATCC and that is where I got to know him. As well, he created his own sector -- based on a very busy parcel of airspace up in Alaska and was in the process of working on another one for Denver Centre. For each of those challenges, he researched and made sure it was as good (or almost) as the real thing. There was never a question or request for help that he would not try to answer or sort out.

Aside from the ATCC program that we had in common, Gil had in him the wisdom to understand what life was all about and would never hesitate to help me and others understand it too. We shared a lot of emails back and forth over the years talking about our wives, our family, our jobs, our pets and likes and dislikes and rants about what we thought was wrong with things and was we thought was right with things.

Throughout those many emails I got to really get an image of someone who was in control of his life and not the other way around. Gil was not afraid to try something different.. At one point, he even started to grow a pony tail and was given the name "Steven SeGil" by his coworkers.

He spoke often of his British .303 gun collection often and sent me pictures of his "Girls" as he called them. He was very proud of them and was very interested in thier history. Another hobby was his blacksmith equipment. He said one time, how good it felt to take out his frustrations on a peice of metal while working on his creations!!

He also had plans to build his own airplane but soon changed his mind and went in a different direction and bought a 1992 Miata that he nicknamed Cleopatra. He said, "I dont get there any faster, just have a heck of a lot more fun doing it. Even waxing and caring for it has been a lot of fun."

For the last two years, he worked for H & R Block doing people's taxes. Although he grumbled sometimes about the company, I knew he really enjoyed helping people out. He was going to start into his third season and really was having fun and was using the extra money to add to his.303 rifle collection.

When it came to growing older Gil always said that time was moving fast and there was so much more he wanted to do. I think that he made excellent use of his time on this earth and got the very best out of life and what it had to offer. I think if anyone ever needed an example of how to live your life, Gil's would be the Best of the Best to look at.

I feel very honored that I got to know him and it is still a shock to me that he isn't around anymore to bounce questions off of or to shoot the breeze with.

I still don't understand why this happened but then again, I'm not at the helm of this voyage called life.

One thing I do know for sure though, is that there are two more bright stars in the skies at night looking over us.

I'll miss Gil and his caring ways.

Take care my friend.

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