Become an Air Traffic Controller - FAQ - Selection 2018

  1. Competitive Recruitment Exam
  2. Age
  3. You do not possess one of the required documents?
  4. How to prove the equivalence of the secondary school diploma with the Belgian educational level?
  5. Medical requirements
  6. Training
  7. Where does the training take place? Where will you work?
  8. What is the task of an air traffic controller?
  9. Work system
  10. Salary
  11. Job security after training?


Q1: Competitive Recruitment Exam

A: The exam consists of a number of eliminatory parts:

  1. FEAST 1 – 23/04/2018 until 09/05/2018
  2. FEAST 2 – 16/05/2018 until 31/05/2018
    We use a test method from Eurocontrol, called FEAST (First European Air Traffic Controller Selection Test) which assesses general analytical and structured thinking abilities. This test method consists of 2 separate tests (FEAST 1 and FEAST 2) which are taken on PC and will be conducted completely in English. You cannot prepare for these tests in any specific way other than trying to upgrade your general level of English proficiency. The tests assess the general skills needed for the function of air traffic controller based on a test method that is used by 28 European countries.
  3. Test on oral English + critical behavioural interview - 03/09/2018 until 14/09/2018
  4. Group assessment – 24/09/2018 until 28/09/2018
  5. Medical examination – in October 2018

Attention: The critical behavioural interview must be taken in one of Belgium's national languages: either French or Dutch.

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Q2: Age

A: You are at least 17 years old and maximum 25 years old at the moment of closure of the registrations (on 22/04/2018). You are at least 18 years old on the first day of employment.

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Q3: You do not possess one of the required documents?


  • You have lost your identity card ?
    You can send us the paper "proof of notification of loss or destruction" of your identity card from the Registry Office or the police or a similar legal document that can be used as a temporary replacement for your ID card. At the latest on the first day of your training you must be able to provide us with a proper identity card.
  • You only have a residence card or EEA family permit?
    You can only register for the recruitment exam as soon as you have acquired the citizenship of a Member State of the European Union.  A residence card, family permit, etc. are not sufficient to obtain access to the function of air traffic controller.
  • You did not take the final exams for your secondary school diploma?
    You can only register for the recruitment exam when you have acquired the higher secondary school diploma. If you are currently in the final academic year leading to this degree, you  may apply as long as you can submit a certificate of the school as proof that you are following the last academic year.  In any case, the certificate or diploma must have been provided at the beginning of the training of aspiring air traffic controllers in training.
  • You do not possess a diploma or language certificate for the Dutch or French language ?
    You can register for the exam but the psychological evaluation interview and the group evaluation are only conducted in either Dutch or French. There are no sessions provided in English or any other language. Therefore, it is essential that you have a very solid knowledge of either Dutch or French in order to succeed in the recruitment exam.

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Q4: How to prove the equivalence of the secondary school diploma with the Belgian educational level?

A: 1. Did you obtain your diploma in Belgium?
YES:  attach this document in the online application form.
You have nothing further to do.

All diplomas from the 4 different branches of education (general education, technical education, professional education included the 7th additional year and artistic education) granted by educational institutions of the Flemish, French or German Community in Belgium, are mutually and automatically equivalent. With any of these diplomas you can access any function in Belgium.

NO:  Read on.

2. Do you have a diploma higher than higher secondary school level?
YES:  attach this document in the online application form together with your secondary school diploma.
You have nothing further to do.

If you present us with a diploma higher than higher secondary school level, or in other words a bachelor or master diploma, there is no need for you to request a certificate of equivalence for your secondary school diploma.
In order to gain access to the profession of air traffic controller you have to present us with at least a diploma of higher secondary school level. If you dispose of a bachelor or master degree the previous condition is implicitly fulfilled.

NO:  Read on.

3. Do you possess any of the following diplomas :  VWO (The Netherlands) diploma, European Bacc, Internat Bacc, diploma awarded by the international SHAPE school, a diploma from a school outside Belgium complying with the Belgian educational programme?
YES:  attach this document in the online application form.
You have nothing further to do.

  • The Dutch VWO diploma is recognized by NARIC-Vlaanderen as being equivalent to the Flemish secondary school level diploma ASO.
  • The European baccalaureate is awarded by the High Council of European Schools at the end of the 7th year of secondary education in one of the European schools in Europe. There exist at this moment 14 European schools in : Alicante, Brussels I (Uccle), Brussels II (Woluwé), Brussels III (Ixelles), Brussels IV (Laeken), Frankfurt am Main, Mol, Bergen, Karlsruhe, Munich, Varese, Culham, Luxembourg I & Luxembourg II.  Holders of a European Bacc do not have to request an equivalence certificate.
  • The IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization) is an official educational institution located in Geneva. 2.218 schools in 125 countries are authorized by the IBO to award  an international baccalaureate.  Holders of such an international Geneva Bacc  do not have to request an equivalence certificate.
  • Holders of a diploma awarded by the international SHAPE school or by any school outside Belgium complying with the Belgian educational programme are exonerated from requesting the equivalence certificate for their secondary school diploma.

NO:  Read on.

4. Je beschikt over een Nederlandstalig diploma hoger secundair onderwijs?
JA:  Dit is de procedure die je moet volgen om de gelijkwaardigheid van je diploma te bekomen.  Surf naar de website van NARIC-Vlaanderen:
Je vindt hier de volledige procedure voor de aanvraag van het gelijkwaardigheidsattest terug.
In het kort :

  • Download het formulier "Aanvraag van de gelijkwaardigheidserkenning van een buitenlands studiebewijs met een Vlaams studiebewijs op secundair niveau".Vul het formulier in als diplomahouder en geef aan dat je de gelijkwaardigheid van je diploma hoger middelbaar onderwijs aanvraagt om de opleiding van luchtverkeersleider bij Belgocontrol te kunnen volgen.
  • Voeg toe  :
  1. een kopie van je diploma van hoger middelbaar onderwijs
  2. een kopie van je identiteitsbewijs
  3. een puntenlijst van het eindexamen of het rapport van het laatste jaar van het hoger middelbaar onderwijs
  • Lees ook de andere voorwaarden na en vul de eventueel benodigde verdere gegevens aan.
  • Stuur alles via post (of ga ter plaatse afgeven) :
    Agentschap voor Kwaliteitszorg in Onderwijs en Vorming
    Afdeling Dienstverlening EVC
    Koning Albert II-laan 15
    1210 BRUSSEL

    NEE:  Lees verder.

5. Tu disposes d'un diplôme d'enseignement secondaire supérieur en français?
OUI:  Ceci est la procédure à suivre afin d'obtenir l'équivalence de ton diplôme.
Surfe au site du Service des Equivalences de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles :
Tu trouveras ici toutes les conditions à remplir afin d'obtenir l'équivalence de ton diplôme d'enseignement secondaire supérieur afin de poursuivre une formation professionnelles en tant que contrôleur aérien chez Belgocontrol.
En bref :

  • Il faudra constituer un dossier consistant de :
  1. ton diplôme du Baccalauréat et le relevé de notes l'accompagnant.  Ces 2 documents doivent être fournis en copies certifiées conformes ou en version originale dépendant de ta patrie (voir site web du service des Equivalences).
  2. Un document prouvant que ta demande a pour but la recherche d'une formation professionnelle.
    Belgocontrol te fournira sur demande une lettre attestant que la demande a pour but de participer à l'examen de recrutement d'aspirants-contrôleurs. Envoie-nous un mail à l'adresse suivante :
  3. Un extrait d'acte de naissance original.
  4. Le formulaire de motivation.
  5. La preuve ORIGINALE de l'exécution du paiement des frais administratifs.   
  • Envoie le tout par courrier (cachet de la poste faisant foi) à l'adresse suivante (ou va déposer sur place, uniquement sur rendez-vous) :

Service des équivalences de l'enseignement obligatoire
Rue A. Lavallée, 1
1080 Bruxelles

NON / NO / NEE:  Read on and find out what you have to do when you are neither Dutch nor French speaking.

6. Your mother tongue is neither Dutch nor French?
YES:  Read on.
You obtained your higher secondary education diploma in a country other than Belgium. The diploma is drafted in another language than Dutch or French.

You will need to request a certificate proving the equivalence of your secondary education diploma with the Belgian educational level.

!!! The choice of where you put in the request of the equivalence will determine your language group (taalrol/rôle linguistique) : Dutch or French.

!!! The language group you belong to determines the language in which you will have to take the psychological evaluation test during the exam, the language in which you will receive your documents from the company if and when you are recruited, etc.
Or in other words :

  • If you choose to send your request for equivalence to the Flemish Community, you will be considered as of this moment as a Dutch candidate ----> follow point 4 under JA.
  • If you choose to send your request for equivalence to the French Community, you will be considered as of this moment as a French candidate ----> follow point 5 under OUI.

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Q5: Medical requirements

A: At the time of your recruitment as well as during your whole career, you will have to undergo medical examinations and to meet strict requirements as set out in the European Commission Regulation 2015/340.  See Annex 4, section 2

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Q6: Training

A: If you successfully pass the complete recruitment exam you will be invited to attend a training course that will be organised by Belgocontrol. Maximum 15 people may start the required training course.

You will be assessed during the training at different periods. Following the result of each assessment you either go on to the next training course, restart the previous one or stop the training all together.

All training courses and assessments (written or oral) are completely conducted in English.

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Q7: Where does the training take place? Where will you work?

A: The first 3 modules of the training which take about 1 year will be given in Steenokkerzeel.  As an air traffic controller, you will be trained on-the-job and work at one of the sites of Belgocontrol (Charleroi, Liège), depending on the company's needs and on the assessments during your training.

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Q8: What is the task of an air traffic controller?

A: Air traffic controllers ensure guidance and control of incoming and outgoing flights at all the Belgian airports and of flights that cross the Belgian airspace as well as some parts of the airspace of neighbouring countries (such as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg). This represents about 50.000 flights a month.

They issue the necessary instructions to the pilots regarding the flight level to be used and the trajectory to be followed. They make sure that aircraft keep the minimal safety distances laid down in international regulations. Furthermore, air traffic controllers apply the imposed environmental regulations.

The pilot contacts air traffic control via a designated radio frequency. The air traffic controller gives him the proper instructions to allow the pilot to operate his flight expeditiously and safely.

At the Brussels Airport control tower for instance, the air traffic controllers manage up to 60 flights per hour, but this number might still increase during peak periods. External factors such as bad weather conditions, restrictions at the airports, breakdown of technical aids and problems with the aircraft itself can add to the workload.

This is the reason why air traffic controllers are selected on the basis of some of the following mental abilities:

  • Motivation
  • Perseverance
  • Stress resistant
  • Team player (24/24)
  • An aptitude for analytical thinking
  • A sense for synthesis
  • A good capacity of judgement
  • A high concentration level

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Q9: Work system

A: Air traffic control is an uninterrupted service that runs round the clock and seven days a week. In practice it is a shift system : morning, afternoon and night.
A normal dayshift comprises 7.30 hours, breaks included. A nightshift lasts 10 hours.

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Q10: Salary

A: From the first day of your training period you are entitled to a salary, amounting to some € 1.880 euros gross/month.
After you succeed the initial training your salary will be increased to some 3.400 euros gross/month.
After you succeed the unit training your salary will amount to at least € 6.200 gross/month.

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Q11: Job security after training?

A: Every candidate who passed the complete training successfully is guaranteed a place as air traffic controller.

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AIM Briefing

Annual report 2017  
The Control Tower at Brussels Airport - For optimal safety of air navigation   (0.63 Mb)
The Sky within your reach: become an air traffic controller   (0.16 Mb)
CANAC 2: performance-oriented air traffic control   (0.84 Mb)
Video: Air traffic control - Main task  
Video: The airspace - Organisation