Certification: Air Traffic Control Tower Operator (CTO)

800 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20591

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Air Traffic Control Tower Operator (CTO) certificate rates and tests professionals on ground control, tower flight data, and local control within a tower. Air Traffic Control Tower Operators control air traffic on and within the vicinity of airport and movement of air traffic between altitude sectors and control centers according to established procedures and policies. In addition, Air Traffic Control Tower Operators authorize, regulate, and control commercial airline flights according to government or company regulations to expedite and ensure flight safety. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements in accordance with Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Applicants must pass a written and practical exam.

More than two years of education or training after high school required?
More than two years of work experience required?
Oral or Written Exam Required?
Renewal Required?
Every 2 Year(s)


The certification has an education level of an Associates of Arts or Associates of Sciences degree or higher and has a work experience requirement of more than 2 years, or requires obtaining a ‘core’ level certification from the same organization.

  • This certification is related to military occupational specialties.