The ATCO – By Duty Manager Air-side Operations, Lynden Leonce


Typical final transmission between ATC and pilot when a flight has landed safely concluding its journey.


Hi!! my name is Lynden Heath Leonce, former Air Traffic Control Officer (ATCO). The role of the Air Traffic Controller is critical within the Aviation Industry. In a nutshell, while pilots are responsible for the control of their respective aircraft - - be it a small, single-engine airplane, or a wide-body Boeing 777 commercial airliner - - the ATCO is responsible for ALL aircraft operating within a given airspace (and on the ground) at any given point in time.


As an ATCO, your primary responsibility is safety - - preventing collision between aircraft on the ground and, more importantly, aircraft in the air. Additionally, ATCOs must be expeditious, but orderly in the execution of their duties. Aircraft DO NOT stop in mid-flight to allow the ATCO to think. Invariably, an ATCO must NEVER assume and equally must be a sound and ultra-quick decision-maker. Their spatial awareness must be second nature. ATCOs must always be prepared to deal with an aircraft emergency at a moment's notice and remain calm throughout the entire event.


ATCOs can be considered as sky cops, policing the sky (airspace), but from a control tower. ATCOs provide Air Traffic Control to flights they can see within the vicinity of the airport, as well as those aircraft that are totally out of sight. The latter is possible by the ATCO achieving a specific rating, through a robust training regime.


A fundamental attribute of an ATCO is to be confident...but not OVERCONFIDENT.


I can safely say it has been a privilege working as an ATCO over the years. We are very well respected within the Aviation Industry for our chosen profession and professionalism.


To aspiring ATCOs, it's a job that requires self-belief, discipline, being proactive, the ability to work as a team member, and yes, providing good customer service.


Welcome to the world of the ATC where there is NEVER, the same exact situation.
It is exciting.
It is refreshing.


A... Always Alert
T... Talented
C... Confident and calm
O... Organized

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