Aircraft Control Questions

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by u04elw2, Feb 1, 2015.

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  1. Not sure if this should be here or in the RNR section...admin, please advise?

    So I'm currently a fitness test and security clearance away from joining the RNR. In my "normal" job I'm a self employed dog groomer / ex engineer and am looking to possibly give up dog grooming to retrain as an Air Traffic Controller in the civilian world.

    I have every intention of applying to the Navy full time after sampling life as a Reservist for a little while. I know the Fleet Air Arm has options for ATCs and would be very interested in looking further into this.

    My questions really are:

    1) How hard / likely is it that I could transfer from reserves to regulars after a while?

    2) What is the likelihood of landing a place in ATC? Am I better to have my ATC qualifications before applying for said job? Or going in blind and getting trained as I go along by the Navy?

    Any advice much appreciated!
  2. I would say a civvy ATC trained person will be on a lot more than a RN AC? Maybe be a civvy ATC and RNR unless it's the fun and sunshine your after and not the pay packet!

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  3. Thanks JFH, that was sort of my thinking (assuming of course that I get accepted for training as ATC in civilian land).

    I'd kind of like the big paycheck AND the fun and sunshine, so probably doing both ATC and RNR simultaneously is the best way to achieve that?
  4. I'll wait for @Montigny-La-Palisse for the definitive answer, but I'd suggest you go full time as an ATC Officer first off - it's cheaper and results in the same qualification.
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  5. ATG, that's what I was wondering...ATC training can cost somewhere between £20k-80k so I've heard!! If I could have that paid for me it would obviously be nice! :D
  6. Whilst we have RNR ATCOs they are all former full timers who have been retained. There is no way that one of our JATCC places will be given to a reservist. Therefore your chances of transferring from regular to full time are the same as that of anyone else who has done one job in the reserves but fancies a different full time role.

    Forget about using service as a route to gain qualifications. It doesn't work like that. Whilst we do exactly the same as and in many cases more than our civilian counterparts who we work alongside and juggle aircraft with, we don't hold civvy quals. You'd still have to pay for them and go through NATS or one of the other training providers when you leave. If that's how it worked and they gave us civvy tickets, we'd all bang out for a fifty percent pay rise as soon as we fully validated. You might get lucky and over time nest-feather an offer of employment which includes an agreement to pay you through based on your experience but that's extraordinarily rare, buy a lottery ticket. A younger freshly graduated civilian ATCO is far more appealing. Although there are short term contract options at airbases in the Middle East, if that holds appeal.

    Similarly, Getting ATC quals in civvy land means nothing, you'll still have to go through JATCC for the privilege of less pay and worse conditions with the added pain of working a visual circuit in extremely limited locations

    Benefits of RN control? Depends how much you like Yeovil or the arse end of Cornwall. Benefits of RAF control? See previous but with duller people and you'll see less traffic. Benefits of civvy control? Immeasurable.

    If you want to be a civilian ATCO, don't delay and do it. You'll gain nothing at all and just waste your time trying to go that route in the services if civvy ATC is your end goal.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2015
  7. Be under no illusion though that by simply self funding your basic and tower courses that you'll walk straight into a job. There are plenty of none-NATS airfields out there that are full to the brim of Air Traffic Assistants who have their tickets and are hoping one of their controller counterparts falls down a flight of stairs. As for NATS, go for it... it's tough, very tough, but never say never.
  8. But Yeovil and Culdrose ( The Arse end of Cornwall ) is all we've got--- and these are kept going to avoid monumental local unemployment. Two carriers are due if you can extend your patience, but minus operational aircraft for a few more years.
  9. You could sign up to Vatsim UK, a sim site, and joing the military side. The ATC is complex, steep learning curve but realistic. You ATC planes flown by other sim enthusiasts and it does give you some insight into atc. :cool:

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