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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Aviation Development Program (ADP)

FAA's Aviation Development Program (ADP) hires underrepresented individuals into mission-critical aviation occupations.

ADP uses the FAA On-the-Spot Hiring Authority, similar to the Schedule A Hiring Authority, to hire Persons with Disabilities (PWD) and Targeted Disabilities (PWTD) into mission-critical aviation occupations. ADP participants must meet the same qualifications as any other applicants.

Air Traffic Control Specialist for Air Route Traffic Control Centers

Air Traffic Control Specialist for Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ATCS-ARTCC), ADP participants must complete an on-the-job shadow program at a selected ARTCC facility and demonstrate the aptitude and ability in order to receive an appointment to the Air Traffic Control Academy and, upon graduation, an ATCS (2152) position. We will provide ADP participants with the following instruction during the on-the-job shadow program:

  • Familiarization with organizational structure and functions;
  • Understanding of aircraft, air traffic control system, and aviation industry;
  • Classroom instruction and workshop exercises relating to the air traffic control system.

Air Traffic Control Specialist for Flight Service Stations in Alaska

Air Traffic Control Specialist for Flight Service Stations in Alaska (ATCS-FSS), ADP participants must complete The Flight Service Station Training Academy and demonstrate the aptitude and ability in order to appointed to an Air Traffic Control Specialist for Flight Service Stations (2152) position. These are the responsibilities of an Air Traffic Control Specialist for Flight Service Stations:

  • Preflight Pilot Briefing services, providing all necessary summarized and interpolated weather and aeronautical data required by pilots.
  • Full range of inflight services provided to aircraft including maintaining radio guard, briefing emergency services, search and rescue (SAR), pilot weather report (PIREP) processing, position reports, Special Visual Flight Rules (SVFR) operations, clearance relay, local airport advisory (where required) and inter-facility communications.
  • Broadcast services over phone, radio or Navigational Aids.
  • Flight Data and Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) services including relaying of flight plans, SAR and movement messages, weather observations, PIREPS, NOTAM processing and other required transmissions.
  • Monitors inbound flights and initiates SAR procedures for overdue aircraft.
  • Weather Observer (where required) – performs observer duties or augments automated weather systems.

Watch the video A Look Inside Alaska Flight Service to learn more.

ADP Qualification requirements are listed below. Candidates must:

  • Schedule A Eligibility
  • United States Citizen
  • A maximum age of 30 years is established for initial entry into the air traffic control positions. Persons who have reached their 31st birthday may not be originally appointed to these positions. Air Traffic Control Specialists for Flight Service Stations in Alaska applicants must not have reached their 56th birthday in order to be considered.
  • Registered for Selective Service (males born after 1959)
  • English Proficiency
  • Education and/or Work experience: Three years of progressively responsible work experience or Bachelor's degree or a combination of post-secondary education and work experience

Additional Qualification Requirements (once initially determined eligible and qualified)

  • Air Traffic Skills Assessment (ATSA) passing score
  • Security and Medical Clearances

How to Get Started

Becoming an ADP participant starts with applying to the Public Notice for Air Traffic Control Specialist (Aviation Development Program for PWTD). Upon reviewing applications on a quarterly basis, the FAA will offer qualified ADP applicants the opportunity to take the Air Traffic Skills Assessment (ATSA). The agency will appoint ADP candidates who pass ATSA, and subsequently receive FAA security/medical clearances, to temporary positions in one of 10 FAA selected Air Route Traffic Control Centers.

If you have any questions on the process or the program, please email

Live Stream Event Video

Agency experts presented information on the program, eligibility requirements, and the candidacy process for ATCS-ARTCC in September 2020. If you are interested in learning more about this program, watch the full event video on YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I become a candidate for the Aviation Development Program (ADP)?
    To become a candidate for ADP, you must apply to the Public Notice for Air Traffic Control Specialist (Aviation Development Program for PWTD) in USAJobs. You can select location(s) you are interested in working, complete the questionnaire, and upload your resume and Schedule A letter.
  2. What is a Schedule A Appointment/ Schedule A Letter?
    Schedule A is a special appointing authority that agencies can use to non-competitively appoint individuals, including eligible veterans, who have a severe physical, psychiatric, or intellectual disability. Documentation of eligibility for employment under Schedule A can be obtained from a licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional certified by a state, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory to practice medicine); a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (i.e., state or private); or any Federal agency, state agency, or agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits. View a Sample Schedule A letter (PDF).
  3. Can I find this ADP job on USAJobs?
    The current listing is
  4. Where are ADP opportunities located?
    Facility ID Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) Facility Name Facility Location
    ZBW Boston ARTCC Nashua, NH
    ZME Memphis ARTCC Memphis, TN
    ZSE Seattle ARTCC Auburn, WA
    ZOB Cleveland ARTCC Oberlin, OH
    ZJX Jacksonville ARTCC Hilliard, FL
    ZLC Salt Lake ARTCC Salt Lake City, UT
    ZFW Fort Worth ARTCC Fort Worth, TX
    ZKC Kansas City ARTCC Olathe, KS
    ZMP Minneapolis ARTCC Farmington, MN
    ZDV Denver ARTCC Longmont, CO
    Facility ID Alaska Flight Service Station Name Facility Location
    ENA Kenai FSS Kenai, AK
    JUN Juneau FSS Juneau, AK
    FAI Fairbanks FSS Fairbanks, AK
  5. How will I know if I made it into the program?
    On a quarterly basis the FAA will review and qualify applicants who applied to the Public Notice during the quarter for consideration. The FAA will email candidates who are under consideration with instructions for taking the ATSA – an aptitude test that all qualified candidates must pass. Within a few weeks, FAA will notify candidates of the results, and those who passed will receive a Tentative Offer of Employment. Candidates who accept the offer, will then go into a medical and security process. Cleared candidates are then provided their final offer of employment.
  6. Do I need to have knowledge or experience in aviation to be considered for the Aviation Development Program?
    No, to be eligible to apply for the program you must have earned a Bachelor's degree or have three years of progressively responsible work experience. You can also become eligible with a combination of work experience and post-secondary education. Although aviation-related work experience or education could prove helpful, neither the work experience nor education need be related to aviation.
  7. Can I apply to work at a specific location? If not, where will I be assigned to work?
    When you apply, you can express an interest to work at one of ADP locations outlined above. The FAA will make an effort to place you at your desired location. However, the final placements are based solely on the needs of the FAA at the time of selection and therefore there is no guarantee that you will be placed in the facility of your choice.
  8. What are the day to day job functions of an Air Traffic Control Specialist at the Alaska Flight Service?
    Air Traffic Control Specialists within Alaska Flight Service Stations provide a variety of weather, navigational, and other information to assist pilots in planning a safe flight. During flight they provide current weather briefings, and other information useful to pilots. Flight service stations receive and coordinate aircraft flight plans with other air traffic facilities, initiate search and rescue action when aircraft fail to arrive within stated time limits, and assist pilots who are lost or disoriented. At some locations flight service stations provide advisory services to pilots operating into or from airports where there is no air traffic control tower or during periods when the tower is closed.
  9. If I am accepted into the ADP program, at what point would I be considered an FAA employee and receiving health and other federal benefits?
    ADP candidates are deemed FAA employees upon accepting their final offer letters provided once the candidate obtains a passing score in the Air Traffic Skills Assessment test and obtains security and medical clearances. That is, if you accept a final offer letter, you will start receiving compensation as an FAA employee with full federal benefits, including accruing vacation and sick leave and retirement benefits. However, completing the Air Traffic Academy training is a pre-requisite to becoming an ATCS and you will not be deemed a permanent FAA employee until after you successfully complete your Air Traffic Academy training and successfully complete a probationary one-year period that applies to all federal government employees at the beginning of their employment.
  10. Is there someone I can speak to about the ADP or other topics related to being a person with a disability working at the FAA?
    Yes, you can email questions to
Last updated: Thursday, June 8, 2023