Here in my home country (Hong Kong), all air traffic controllers are required to obtain a PPL as part of their training. The reason being, if the controllers can better imagine a pilot's perspective, they can better accommodate and provide assistance to pilots. I don't think they are required to keep the license current, but sure they need to pass all PPL exams.

Is this requirement common around the world? (Note that I intentionally do not specify which country or jurisdiction. I'm looking for an answer which lists the countries which have this requirement.)

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    $\begingroup$ No requirement in the UK and I'm sorry, I am going to vote to close since this question could have 178 answers of "not in xxx country". Perhaps you could reword it to say please only answer or comment if the answer is "yes". $\endgroup$ – Simon Feb 22 '16 at 9:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Simon instead of 178 answers, perhaps an answer would say "Except for Country A, B & C, the US, Australia and all other European countries do not have this". $\endgroup$ – kevin Feb 22 '16 at 9:21
  • $\begingroup$ @kevin I'm not trying to be confrontational, but I can't actually find any 'evidence' that Honk Kong air traffic controllers obtain (or are required to) a Private Pilots License as part of their training. Can you cite some references for that as it does appear to be a very unusual requirement and well beyond ICAO $\endgroup$ – Dan Feb 22 '16 at 10:08
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting, I can indeed find quite a few references to flying training as part of becoming a controller (Though I can't confirm whether they have to graduate as a pilot). It's an interesting one - I can certainly understand "seeing the other side", but I question how much of a crossover between having a good aptitude for flying vs being a good controller there really is. (NB: I'm sure many do both extremely well, I'm just not convinced that there's a real correlation) $\endgroup$ – Dan Feb 22 '16 at 10:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Dan cad.gov.hk/english/atm_training.html . Training takes around a year, during which 3 months are spent overseas to obtain a PPL, usually Australia or New Zealand. $\endgroup$ – kevin Feb 22 '16 at 10:15

No, there is no such requirement here in Germany.

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