Flight information service officer

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Flight information service officer
Heathrow Tower.jpg
Heathrow Control Tower
Occupation type
Activity sectors
CompetenciesExcellent short-term memory and situational awareness, good communications skills and an excellent grasp of English
Education required
Certification by Civil Aviation Authority
Fields of
Civil Aviation at Airfields in the United Kingdom
Related jobs
Air Traffic Control Officer

Flight information service officers or FISO, provide a flight information service (FIS) to any air traffic that requests it, or requires it.[1] A FISO is a licensed operator, who most usually works at an aerodrome, although there are some FISOs working in area control centers.[2] FISOs must been validated for each aerodrome, or other air traffic control unit they work for. Air traffic controllers are also permitted to provide flight information services to pilots.

Features of the job (UK)[edit]


The average salary for a FISO in the United Kingdom in 2009 was approximately £20,000.[3]

Core skills of a FISO[edit]

Communication is a vital part of the job: officers are trained to precisely focus on the exact words pilots and other controllers or FISOs use. As with controllers, FISOs communicate with the pilots of aircraft using a push-to-talk radiotelephony system, which has many attendant issues such as the fact only one transmission can be made on a frequency at a time, or transmissions will either merge or block each other and become unreadable.

Although local languages are sometimes used in ATC communications, the default language of aviation worldwide has been English since 5 March 2008,[4] and in the United Kingdom, this is universal. As a result, flight information service officers require an excellent and fluent grasp of English.[5] FISOs must be able to communicate without speech impediment or other disability which would cause inefficiency or inaccuracy of communication.[6]


FISOs working at an area control centre (ACC) will work from a dedicated position, providing FIS on a 'discreet frequency', as with their Aerodrome counterparts. I.E. a frequency other than the main air traffic control frequency.[7]

Aerodrome or tower[edit]

FISOs most usually work in an aerodrome control tower, providing a flight information service to aircraft in the local area, and on the ground, and therefore require similar equipment and commanding views of an air traffic control tower at a quiet controlled aerodrome.[6]

FISOs have the same powers as a controller to aircraft taxiing or stationary within the airport,[2] when they are notified as being 'on watch', but may never provide commands to pilots in the air or on the runway(s). See flight information service for full details on the service provided.[2]

Education and license[edit]

As a licensed occupation, flight information service officers are required to undertake testing to achieve their lifelong FISO license, issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).[1] Potential FISOs will be required to undertake the following exams for their license to be issued and following these the license must be validated and maintained to be used:

Complete first page of application form SRG1414[5] Pass, law & procedures exam[5] Pass, navigation & meteorogy exam[5] for a FISO licence – subject to passing the exam[5] Note: applicants also have to have an Aeronautical Radio Station Operator Certificate of Competence[5]


Validation uses page 2 of the application form SRG1414, to apply for a validation examination by a CAA ATS inspector at a specific aerodrome, provided that a certified log of 40 hours ‘hands-on’ experience under supervision of a qualified operator, with a maximum of 4 hours in a day (see CAP427 Chap 2 Para 5.2), where no ‘on the job’ training prior to the issue of the FISO licence at will count towards the validity exam requirements. Upon passing the validity exam, a FISO will apply to the CAA for their FISO licence to be validated, against which the CAA can issue an Endorsement of the licence. This validation process is applicable to one airfield only. Upon moving to another unit, the validation process must be repeated.[5]


To maintain the FISO license, requires some basic requirement to me met: Exercising the privileges of the licence at least once every 90 days[7] A competence check every 24 months[7]

In the event that a FISO fails a competence check, they will be immediately informed not to provide a flight information service, and steps will be taken by management, to provide re-training as necessary.[7]

Only once a person has passed all these training stages, will they be able to provide a flight information service.

Age restrictions[edit]

All flight information service officers must be over the age of 18. Provided that they are medically and operationally sound, there is no upper age limit for a FISO.[7]

Other countries[edit]


Finland uses flight information service officers to run aerodrome flight information service aerodromes, similar to those in the United Kingdom, operated by FISOs.[8]


Ireland also uses flight information service officers, whose license expires every 2 years, similar to the license issued by the Civil Aviation Authority in United Kingdom.[9]


Poland uses flight information service officers to provide radar information service for polish uncontrolled airspace (class G).[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Flight Information Service Officer (FISO) Licensing – CAA". Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "CAP410 Part B" (PDF). Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  3. ^ "MySalary – FISO". Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  4. ^ "ICAO FAQs English Requirements". Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "GOLF HOTEL WHISKEY – How to become a FISO". Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  6. ^ a b "ICAO Circular 211" (PDF). Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d e "CAP427" (PDF). Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  8. ^ "FInavia – FISO Job description and training". Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  9. ^ "IAA application guidance for AFISO". Retrieved 5 January 2011.

External links[edit]