Discover your career path

TRACON Arrival Controller

Track in-bound planes and keep your Flight Controllers updated.

What does a TRACON Arrival Controller do?

Pilots rely on a team of Air Traffic Controllers to help them maneuver those massive vehicles through the skies and into a parking space along the terminal. One expert they rely on is the TRACON Arrival Controller, who uses radar to make sure the Pilot’s approach to the airport is incident-free.

As a TRACON Arrival Controller, you’re perched in the Terminal Radar Approach Control room or building at the airport. Your job is to communicate information to the Pilots of incoming flights.

This job requires a lot of teamwork. Before he was passed on to you, the Pilot was guided by a Tower Local Controller, a TRACON Departure Controller, and an En Route Controller. Once he gets to within 30 to 50 miles of you, it’s your turn to monitor the flight.

Your TRACON Arrival Controller screen identifies every flying object in the sky, so you can be that extra set of eyes that keeps a safe buffer between the Pilot and any other plane. That might mean changing lanes (adjusting altitude or heading) in order to leave a cushion. In addition to directing traffic at 20,000 feet, you also provide information about weather and runway conditions.

You verify landing information and approve approach clearance as the plane nears the airport. Once the Pilot is lined up and ready for landing, you turn him over to the Tower Local Controller who authorizes landing while you redirect your focus on the next plane coming in.