26th Mar 2012, 18:29
I am a qualified RAF ATCO since 2003 and am now starting to look at my long term career options, specifically NATS. I am fully aware that NATS are not currently recruiting.
Having read the European Class 3 medical eyesight standards, I find that I am medically unfit for ATCO duties in the UK/Eurocontrol as my eyesight is -6.5 dioptres. This is outside standard for initial application.
Is this a show stopper? Or can this rule be waived by the NATS medical team for the right candidate? Without going into specifics on an open forum, I have a unique skill set which may be beneficial to NATS.
If anyone has contact details for the NATS medical department then this would also be appreciated.
Thank you for your time.
26th Mar 2012, 19:09
I don't have anything to back it up, but I don't think NATS have the libery to waive the rules regarding eyesight. I'm not sure but I don't think it's under their control (I wouldn't be suprised if it's regulated by some european bureaucrat and hence the CAA can't waive it either).
26th Mar 2012, 19:45
As with most medical questions it's best to bell SRG at Gatwick and ask them. They are very helpful and you'll get a useful answer.
30th Mar 2012, 18:09
Thank you for your replies.
31st Mar 2012, 10:28
There certainly was a grandfather rights thing for this very issue when people were switching from Class 1 to Euro Class 3. Not sure if a Military medical will count though.
As said above, speak to Gatwick Medical folk ... they'll give you the official answer.
Check the AIC's too .. and the CAA website. There'll be a document or regarding this ...
31st Mar 2012, 21:18
There were no Grandfather rights when the CAA Class One became the JAA Class 3, when it came to renewal time the former became the latter, simple as that.
I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that the RAF ATC Medical is exactly the same as the old CAA Class One, indeed many Mil' ATCOs had their medicals with local AMEs - you may be able to do the same.
The eyesight requirements for the JAA Class 3 have often been confused as being the same as those for JAA aircrew medicals, I am informed that the ATC requirements are lower.
As has been said though, Gatwick or your local AME will advise.
31st Mar 2012, 22:53
... many Mil' ATCOs had their medicals with local AMEs - you may be able to do the same......I think you'll find that is no longer possible. The initial European Class 3 medical examination for UK ATCOs must now be carried out at the UK CAA Aeromedical Centre (AMC) at Gatwick or NATS Swanwick, Hampshire.
ATCO Medical Information | Medical | Personal Licences and Training (http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=49&pagetype=90&pageid=10881)
31st Mar 2012, 23:59
That's not correct I'm afraid Yates. It did not go from eyesight being ok one day on a Class 1 medical to you are outside of limits and sacked the next on a class 3 European Medical, even though the new requirements are higher.
"I am informed the ATCO requirements are lower". They are. And it sounds like you're not sure what you're talking about. Like we both said ... CAA will advise you of the official answer.
Not worth posting on forums for anything serious mate, you'll just get the rantings and gospel according to those who may or may not know the answer.
Most likely don't know the answer but will tell you what they "know" anyway.
1st Apr 2012, 00:15
Ok found it ... I refer you to Section 4 - Grandfather Rights.
That should help give you some guidance mate. Hopefully it gives you an answer you are seeking/like.
1st Apr 2012, 00:20
pps. I don't mean to be harsh! There are loads of rules out there ... too many to know of the top of your head.