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Who We Are

We are the voice of Canada's air traffic controllers.

CATCA is a trade union and an association of professionals. We are a progressive organization looking to the future while focused on the issues of today.

Our team is composed of elected officials, administrative support staff, and many dedicated volunteers. Our main function is to promote and establish fair and progressive working environments. We negotiate many programs that are beneficial to our members.

CATCA is dedicated to listening to our members, fighting for them at the bargaining table, as well as addressing the issues that face our members every day.

We are proud members of Unifor. For more information about Unifor, please visit

What do Air Traffic Controllers do?

Air Traffic Controllers (controllers) work in a high paced, exciting environment. Each day they are faced with new challenges while following strict safety and procedural protocols. The high level of training that controllers receive prepares them for the ever-changing situations that they face. Canadian controllers provide one of the safest air spaces in the world.

Controllers work in two different capacities in Canada – either an Area Control Centre (ACC or Centre) or in a Tower (Control Tower). Similar to pilots, controllers are rated and licensed according to the specialized training they receive.

Tower controllers work in the Towers you can see when you are at the airport. These controllers give pilots taxi, take off, and landing clearance. They work with aircraft within a certain jurisdiction around the airport. Beyond the Tower jurisdiction, the aircraft are “handed-off” to Centre Controllers.

Centre controllers work in Area Control Centres, of which there are 7 in Canada. These controllers work in radar rooms which can be located close to airports or in completely separate sites far from airports. They work with aircraft when they leave the Tower jurisdiction until they enter their destination airport Tower jurisdiction.

All controllers work seamlessly together to provide service to commercial and private aircraft. Their professionalism and dedication mean that you will arrive safely every time you fly.

How to become an Air Traffic Controller

Interested in becoming an Air Traffic Controller? Click here.

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