- Stage 1
- Stage 2
- Stage 3
- Stage 4
- Stage 5
- Stage 6
Stage 1 – Selection by documents
In order to acquire the license to perform the Air Traffic Controller (ATCO) profession, you must meet certain requirements, pass through the individual selection stages and successfully complete the vocational training for the position. In case you do not have some of the required English proficiency certificates, BULATSA will provide you with conduction of a free entrance test in English to determine your level of proficiency in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, as well as a free test FEAST 1 and 2. In the selection of candidates for air traffic controllers, BULATSA uses FEAST and WOMBAT tests. After you successfully pass through the selection stages, a contract will be concluded with you for raising your professional qualification. The training throughout the contract period will be free of charge for you whereby, in order to be fully involved in the ATCO profession, you will also receive a scholarship.
REQUIREMENTS TO THE CANDIDATE FOR ADMISSION TO ATCO SELECTION
Must be a citizen of a state – member of the European Union or a state – party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area. Must not be put under judicial disability, has not been adjudged to jail for committing a deliberate crime of general nature and has not been legally deprived of the right to occupy the position for which he/she applies. Must have completed higher education with a minimum educational-qualification degree “Bachelor”, under the meaning of Art. 42, para. 1, point 1, “b” of the Higher Education Act. Must have English language proficiency at a level, whereby holding one of the following certificates issued not earlier than 5 years before the date of application:
- For IELTS – 5.5 or higher;
- For TOEFL – 87 or higher;
- For Cambridge ESOL Exams-First Certificate in English (FCE) – grade B or higher;
The candidate who do not have a certificate complying with the specified requirements or, when passing an English language test organized by BULATSA in a previous selection for air traffic controllers, have not successfully completed Level B2, must pass a test for determining the level of English language proficiency according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), organized by BULATSA, and show a result corresponding to level B2 or higher.
Must have Bulgarian language proficiency at level C2, according to the Common European Language Framework for Languages (CEFR), in the case the candidate is not a Bulgarian citizen.
Must be under the age of 30 years on the date of applying.
After failing the FEAST and WOMBAT psychomotor tests, the candidate will be re-admitted to a next selection of air traffic controllers, after not less than 24 months from the date of the previous appearance, whereby not more than two appearances on each of the tests is allowed.
Must have not dropped out at stage: “Practical exercises on a simulator” during the last 24 months of his/her last participation in selection of candidates for ATCO training for the ATS authorities of BULATSA’s Area/Airport ATC Centres.
Must have not dropped out of stage “Interview” at previous selections. Must have not dropped out of training for acquiring Student ATCO License (SATCL) or ATCO License (ATCL).
- The updated requirements enter into force as of 30.10.2020.
REQUIRED APPLICATION DOCUMENTS:
Application documents are submitted electronically by filling in an online application form.
ONCE YOU SEND YOUR DOCUMENTS TO US, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ADD MORE DOCUMENTS TO YOUR PROFILE, THEREFORE PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE PREPARED THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS IN ELECTRONIC FORMAT FIRST AND THEN FILL IN THE FORM:
- Self-signed Curriculum Vitae (CV) in Europass format, in PDF;
- Cover letter, in PDF;
- Copy in PDF format of one of the following language certificates – IELTS – 5.5, TOEFL – 87 or Cambridge ESOL Exams – First Certificate in English (FCE) – grade B. Each page must be inscribed with “True with the original” and signed. The maximum admissible file size is 5 MB.;
- The candidates, who do not have a certificate complying with the specified requirements, must, when completing the application form, declare their willingness to take a test for determining the level of English language proficiency in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), organized by BULATSA. The candidates who, not earlier than 5 years before the date of application, in a previous selection for air traffic controllers, have passed the English language test organized by BULATSA and have successfully completed level B2, must state this when filling in the application form.
- A copy of diploma for completed higher education (together with the attachments) in PDF format, inscribed with “True with the original” and signed. The maximum admissible file size is 5 MB.
- The candidates who have completed higher education abroad must submit a certificate for recognition of higher education qualification degree, according to Art. 14 of the Ordinance on the State Requirements for the Recognition of Higher Education and Completed Periods of Study at Foreign Higher Education Institutions, until the completion of the selection procedure.
- Digital photo in png/gif/jpg/jpeg format, minimum dimensions 120x250px, resolution 72dpi.
The received applications will be examined within two business days of their submission. Within two working days of the examination, the status of the candidates will be updated according to the selection stage to which they are admitted.
Stage 2 – English language test
The candidates, who do not have a certificate certifying compliance with the requirements or, when taking an English language test organized by BULATSA in a previous selection for air traffic controllers, have not successfully completed level B2, will be invited to take a test organized by BULATSA for determining the level of English language proficiency in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The test is conducted in halls provided by BULATSA in Sofia, Varna and Burgas, according to the stated preference of the candidates.
The English test is written and oral.
The written test has a duration of 3 astronomical hours and consists of the following elements:
- Reading comprehension;
- Listening comprehension;
- Verification of vocabulary and grammar;
- The oral examination consists of conducting a conversation on a preset topic, picked up by chance from the candidate with given discussion guidelines and supporting words.
Stage 3 – FEAST test
A special Internet-based test – FEAST (First European Air Traffic Controller Selection Test) verifies whether the Air Traffic Controller (ATCO) candidates have the necessary qualities and skills. The test has been developed by the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation – EUROCONTROL and has already been used for more than 10 years for ATCO selection in almost all European countries.
The test is conducted entirely in English language and in the different stages of the test are tested different qualities of the candidates – detection of objects, quick calculation, distribution of attention, multitasking ability, memory, level of English language proficiency, logic, spatial orientation, etc.
BULATSA is an accredited user of FEAST. The test is conducted in the BULATSA Headquarters in Sofia. On the test days you will be met by an employee of ours who will accompany you and explain to you everything you need to know before the beginning of the tests. All applicants’ data and examination results are treated strictly confidentially and are accessible for use only to the air navigation services providers.
FEAST consists of two parts: FEAST 1, comprised of 7 modules, and FEAST 2 which is more complex and includes the simultaneous execution of several tasks. The tests and the procedures for their administration are conducted and evaluated entirely by a computer, which guarantees the objectivity of the process. The duration of each part is about 2:30 hours.
The results are processed at the EUROCONTROL headquarters in Brussels. This way the evaluation is completely objective and only the candidates that meet the minimum requirements proceed to the next stage.
You can find detailed information about the test in the files below.”
Information for candidates applying to become Student Air Traffic Controllers
Stage 4 – Medical fitness
The candidates, who have successfully passed the individual selection stages, must appear before the Aviation Medical Certification Commission (AMCC). Excellent health condition is required, which is verified through special medical examinations and meeting certain requirements for medical fitness class 3 without limitations. Due to the job specifics, very strict requirements for the eyesight and hearing are applicable. It is inadmissible for the candidates to have diabetes, epilepsy, heart diseases, psychic disorders, narcotic addiction, etc. The candidates pass an additional test for professionally significant psychological qualities for Air Traffic Controllers (ATCO) at the Aeronautical Psychology and Flight Safety Laboratory at the National Multidisciplinary Transport Hospital Tsar Boris III.
In order to proceed further in the selection is required a medical fitness certificate of class 3 – “fit” for an air traffic controller, without restriction under Art. 27, para. 1, item 16 of Ordinance No. 21 of 25.04.2007 on the rules for certification in determining medical fitness for flight work and other types of aviation activities in the civil aviation of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The examinations of the working ATCOs are conducted periodically (every 2 years for ATCOs under the age of 40 years and annually for the rest of ATCOs).
Stage 5 – Practical simulator exercises
The candidates, who have successfully passed the medical examinations for ATCO before the Aviation Medical Certification Commission (AMCC) and presented a medical fitness certificate class 3 – for ATCO, will be invited to perform practical exercises on a simulator.
BULATSA has and uses for the exercises in the selection and during the training a training complex Micro Nav BEST – the latest generation of technology in the industry, equipped with state-of-the-art software, designed to meet the highest criteria and standards.
Stage 6 – Interview
The candidates who have successfully completed the simulator practical exercises will be invited for an interview. After successful performance on this final stage, you will be proposed for specialized training at the Training Center.