Aircraft Controller

Service:Fleet Air Arm
Hands on
Outdoor jobs

The role at a glance

What you’ll do

As an Aircraft Controller in the Fleet Air Arm you’ll be enabling our global aviation missions. When you’re based at a Royal Naval Air Station you’ll monitor aircraft movement in your air space. And when you’re at sea, you’ll work with the Pilot and Engineer to focus on looking after a specific helicopter or fast jet. Whether you’re in Yeovilton or off the coast of Yemen, you’ll make crucial decisions that help keep our state-of-the-art aircraft flying, and our people safe.

Your role

  • Advise Command on all things aviation, using your extensive knowledge, tactical insights, and the courage of your convictions to make help ensure each mission is safe.
  • Work with some of the most sophisticated aircraft on the planet, from Wildcat helicopters to the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. 
  • Make crucial decisions and judgements, on shore and at sea, about aircraft safety.
  • Travel the world as a key part of a team that keeps the Royal Navy flying, and protects our nation’s interests.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Study for GCSEs, A-Levels, NVQs or a degree
  • Gain specialist vocational qualifications as your career progresses

Skills you'll develop

  • How to keep our aviation missions safe using your extensive technical knowledge of our world-class kit
  • How to use your high level of responsibility to our advantage

Career progression

What you'll need


  • Minimum qualification 2 GCSE's Grade A*-C in any subject. After 2017 Any grade above 4 
  • You’ll need to be aged at least 15 years and 9 months old when you apply, and under 26 years old when you begin basic training
  • You need to be over 16 years old on entry
  • You need to be a minimum height of 151.5cm and within the healthy range for Body Mass Index (BMI)

Skills and interests

  • A passion for working with different types of aircraft
  • A willingness to learn new skills
  • A thorough and diligent approach to work
  • A high level of spatial awareness
  • An adventurous spirit
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows:

  • Submit an application

    Once you’ve registered your interest, we’ll be in touch to discuss your options

  • Naval Service Recruitment Test (NSRT)

    You’ll be tested on general reasoning, verbal ability, numeracy and mechanical comprehension

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role

  • Medical and eye tests

    These are quite comprehensive and must be completed by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors

  • Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT)

    This involves completing a 2.4km run on a treadmill within a certain time, at a fitness centre near you

  • Pre-Royal Navy Course (PRNC)

    This four-day induction to life in the Royal Navy is a pass or fail course

  • Start training

    Once you’ve passed a Security Check, you’ll be offered a place at HMS Raleigh

Initial training

Your Royal Navy career begins with 10 weeks’ basic training at HMS Raleigh, a shore base in Torpoint, Cornwall. The discipline, teamwork, organisational, firefighting and weapon handling skills you learn here will stay with you right through your career.

Aim to get yourself as fit as possible before you arrive. You’ll be doing a lot of physical exercise, and you’ll find it much easier if you’re already in shape. There’s also a swimming test, so if you can’t swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.