What Percent of Controllers Are Licensed Pilots?

Are you an active air traffic controller who...

  • has a pilot license?

    Votes: 9 45.0%
  • does not have a pilot license but has logged flight instruction in an aircraft?

    Votes: 5 25.0%
  • does not have a pilot license and has never logged flight training (Only flown as passenger)?

    Votes: 6 30.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


Jul 14, 2018
I've talked with or known about 9 or 10 controllers in my life with whom I've talked to about this. Only one was a pilot, and he was a student pilot, so I don't know if he ever got his license, but I'll count him as being a pilot for these purposes. I did a brief internet search, but didn't find anything on this. So based on my limited empirical data it appears that only 10-12% of air traffic controllers are pilots.

I'm curious what actual controllers have to say about that? Do you think that is accurate, or is the percentage of controllers with a pilot license significantly higher than that?


Epic Member
May 24, 2009
Maybe 10% but I think that's being pretty generous. I also think the percentage is dropping as new controllers get hired.