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Flight Service Specialist

Flight service specialists provide information to pilots about terrain, aviation weather, preferred routes and communications coverage to ensure flights are completed safely.

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education High school diploma
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Flight Service Specialists (2272.3) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Air Traffic Control and Related Occupations (C172) 
  • 2011 NOC: Air traffic controllers and related occupations (2272) 
  • 2016 NOC: Air traffic controllers and related occupations (2272) 
Interest Codes
The Flight Service Specialist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Flight Service Specialists

Interest in operating radio equipment to support air traffic control operations by relaying radio requests for flight clearances, arrival and departure information and position reports


Interest in speaking with pilots and preparing for takeoffs and landings


Interest in co-ordinating information to describe weather conditions, wind speed and direction and presence of local air traffic

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 18, 2016

There are two branches of flight service specialists:

  • Flight Service Specialist - Airport Advisory (AAS)
  • Flight Service Specialist - Flight Information (FIC)

For simplicity, the two branches are referred to as airport advisory specialists and flight information specialist in this profile.

Airport advisory specialists work at 1 of over 50 flight service stations located in airports across the country. In general, they:

  • monitor aircraft movements using radar feeds and other air traffic technologies
  • help pilots select runway selection for landing or take off
  • advise pilots of other aircraft operating near the airport
  • control movements of other vehicles on runways and taxiways
  • provide wind, altimeter (altitude meter) and other information.

Depending on the flight service station, airport advisory specialists may also provide airport advisory services remotely to neighbouring facilities.

Flight information specialists work at 1 of 8 flight information centres in Canada. In general, they:

  • provide services for flight planning
  • provide interpretive weather information and en route advisories
  • alert emergency services of missing or overdue aircraft, and help co-ordinate search efforts.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 18, 2016

Flight service specialists normally work rotating day, afternoon and night shifts. They must make rapid decisions and often work under pressure.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 18, 2016

Flight service specialists need the following characteristics:

  • maturity, emotional stability and strong decision making skills
  • the ability to deal with detailed information quickly and accurately
  • excellent problem-solving ability
  • the ability to convert 2-dimensional data into 3-dimensional visualizations
  • good speaking (clear diction, enunciation, voice projection) and listening skills
  • the communication and interpersonal skills required to work in a fast-paced team environment
  • the ability to work independently and without supervision.

They should enjoy operating radio and related equipment, communicating with pilots, and having clear rules and organized methods for co-ordinating information and taking charge of situations.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 18, 2016

To be employed by NAV CANADA, flight service specialists must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • have a high school diploma or equivalent education
  • be proficient in both English and French for positions in Montreal and Ottawa. For all other regions, a command of the English language is required.

In addition, applicant must be able to meet medical requirements, be prepared to undergo security screening, be willing to relocate, and be available for training within 18 months of application.

NAV CANADA has a 5-step selection process:

  1. complete an online application form
  2. complete an online test
  3. applicants with the highest test scores are invited to participate in an in-person assessment session, which takes about 4 hours to complete
  4. participate in an initial interview with an experienced subject matter expert over the phone
  5. complete the final interview with the manager who will oversee the applicant's training program.

The successful applicant will be entered into a candidate pool and advised which career stream they have qualified for.

Candidates selected for airport advisory specialist training receive initial classroom and simulator training at a regional training unit for 4 to 6 months. Then trainees move to a paid on-the-job training at a flight service station for up to 6 months.

Candidates selected for flight information specialist training receive initial classroom and pilot briefing training at a regional training unit for 7 to 9 months. They then move on to a paid on-the-job training at a flight information centre for up to 6 months.

Tuition costs for each stream is $1,000, plus tax.

For more information on the application and training process visit the NAV CANADA's Take Charge website.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 18, 2016

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 18, 2016

Flight service specialists are employed by NAV CANADA. After classroom and on-the-job training, flight service specialists may be assigned to any airport in Canada that has a flight service station or a flight information centre.

Opportunities to move to other locations depend on qualifications, operational requirements and a seniority-bid process. Experienced flight service specialists may move into supervisory or management positions or work on special projects.

Flight service specialists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2272: Air Traffic Control and Related Occupations. In Alberta, 92% of people employed in this classification work in the Transportation and Warehousing (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Transportation and Warehousing industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 18, 2016

According to NAV CANADA, salaries for flight service specialists range from $53,000 to $89,000 a year. Trainees earn about $33,400 during on-the-job training (2016 figures).

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Aviation
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 18, 2016

Air Traffic Specialists Association of Canada website:

NAV CANADA's Take Charge website: 

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 09, 2016. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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