Air Traffic Controller and Epilepsy


According to Federal Aviation Administration regulations, qualified applicants for the position of air traffic controller cannot have any medical history or a clinical diagnosis of a convulsive disorder (Order 3930-3a entitled, “FAA’s Air Traffic Controller Specialist Health Programs”). However, applicants who have experienced a single, provoked seizure may be granted an exception to the general rule. Applicants that have suffered from a single, unprovoked seizure may also pass the medical exam contingent on a review of their medical history and findings of a comprehensive neurological exam (i.e., EEG, MRI with contrast). Also, individuals who do not have a convulsive disorder, but take anti-convulsant medications, are not subject to the same restrictions and instead, the FAA will review each application on a case-by-case basis.

To be qualified for the position of air traffic controller, the individual must be a graduate of an FAA-approved post secondary educational program, obtain a qualifying score on the FAA’s pre-employment test and be 30 years of age or younger for an entry level position. Retired military air traffic controllers over 30 years of age will, however, be considered for entry level civilian posts if the other job qualifications are satisfied. The application process includes a written examination, interview, background check, medical exam and drug test. For more information about the air traffic control specialist position and application process, including medical standards and basic requirements visit


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