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Navy Air Traffic Controllers


AC Community Overview

AC Career Path

General Description
Navy Air Traffic Controllers perform duties equivalent to their civilian counterparts and play a key role in the effective use of Naval airpower throughout the world in operational and training environments.  Navy ACs are responsible for safely and effectively conducting operations to and from airfields in normal and expeditionary environments, aircraft carriers, and amphibious ships by issuing flight instructions to pilots by radio.  Standards in the AC rating are high as the career is demanding but highly rewarding.  This is a five-year enlistment program.

What They Do

Organize and expedite the flow of air traffic at airfields and on aircraft carriers and amphibious ships using radio, radar, and other signaling devices; provide pilots with critical information on other air traffic, navigation systems, and airfield conditions essential to safe operations; operate and adjust computer-based ground/shipboard-controlled navigation and radar approach systems; interpret data shown on radar screens and plot aircraft positions; maintain aeronautical charts and publications.

Working Environment

ACs usually work in a control tower at an airfield or a radar room located onboard ships and at Naval Air Stations, but may also be afforded the opportunity to work in an expeditionary field environment.  They also work rotating shifts, including nights, weekends and some public holidays.


Must be physically qualified IAW MANMED P-117
Must have normal color perception
Must have normal hearing
Must have no speech impediment
Security clearance required
Must be a U.S. Citizen
Notes: Visual acuity must be correctable to 20/20. When specified, uncorrected visual acuity must not be greater than that indicated (i.e. 20/100), and must be correctable to 20/20. Must be 18 years old upon AC(A1) school entry. No history of drug abuse. Persons convicted by Federal/State statutes for drug offense(s) are not eligible.
ACs must be decisive, self-confident, attentive and be able to handle crisis under stressful conditions.  They also must possess excellent short-term memory and visual memory abilities and be able to perform quick mental math calculations.


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