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Old 5th Dec 2012, 15:23   #1 (permalink)


Probationary PPRuNer
 
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Wannabe ATCO, NATS application process Q's

So, I'm 18, live in the north east of England and am about to send off my initial application form to NATS. I have read a few threads on this site, but I'd rather attempt to get my exact questions answered rather then infer answers from other peoples inquiries.

Firstly, are there any programmes, books or the like that can help me to prepare for the application/interview process? And do they provide any booklets to assist with preparation?

Secondly, on the website it says "There is a slight problem with those candidates who are aged 18, as they have to be 21 in order to hold a radar licence", but does not give much further explanation, what implications does this have?

Are the a number of dates flexible for the interviews, or will i have to arrange cover for my current shifts at work?

I'm currently trying to organise a visit to my closest control tower and airport, in the hope that this will aid me in the interviews.

Apologies in advance for the rookie-ness of my post, and a thanks in advance for any replies!

jm1837
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 10:17   #2 (permalink)
 
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So, I'm 18, live in the north east of England and am about to send off my initial application form to NATS. I have read a few threads on this site, but I'd rather attempt to get my exact questions answered rather then infer answers from other peoples inquiries.

Firstly, are there any programmes, books or the like that can help me to prepare for the application/interview process? And do they provide any booklets to assist with preparation?
Your best of with general reseach. Air Traffic Control by Graham Duke is a good start. Play the games on the NATS ATCOcareers website and learn a bit about the company will always stand you in good stead. NATS will give you a very basic document to learn for Satge 1 which is tested on the day. Bit out of date in terms of info but thats not really the point - the poisnt is they want to see you can be a) bothered and b) have the ability to learn it.


Secondly, on the website it says "There is a slight problem with those candidates who are aged 18, as they have to be 21 in order to hold a radar licence", but does not give much further explanation, what implications does this have?
The implications are, until you are 21 you cant hold a license. That means, while they will take an application from an 18 year old they may delay the start of your training or put you into a disciplin that takes longer to train. In exceptional cercumstances a license can be granted someone who is 20, but this is rare.

Are the a number of dates flexible for the interviews, or will i have to arrange cover for my current shifts at work?
There are usually a mix of dates, and if non suit then more will come available. Interest is at an all time high with applicants so dates get full pretty quickly. its just a case of keeping an eye on the website until something suitable comes up.

I'm currently trying to organise a visit to my closest control tower and airport, in the hope that this will aid me in the interviews.
Never a bad idea to see the job in action as it were, but other than seeing if it is something you want to do and therefor improving your own self motivation, there is no real benefit until (if) you get to Stage 3 of the selection process as that is the only interview

Apologies in advance for the rookie-ness of my post, and a thanks in advance for any replies!
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 11:59   #3 (permalink)


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Thanks a lot!

I've played the games on the website a couple of times, but ill certainly buy the book.

This makes sense, but would it not be fair to say that they are more likely to accept applicants who are already 21?

Thanks again for the reply, it's helped clear up a lot of my issues - hopefully I can have good news sometime in the near future!
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 15:20   #4 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
This makes sense, but would it not be fair to say that they are more likely to accept applicants who are already 21?
Not necessarily, you can hold a student ATCO licence at 18 years of age and a full licence at 21. The time between starting a course and becoming competent enough to undertake validation can be lengthy.

More info on licensing
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 18:46   #5 (permalink)
 
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Don't get me wrong as I don't work for NATS, but as far as I'm aware they are not ageist against 18 year olds at all.

If you pass all of their selection tests, then they will offer you a place. However as an 18 year old there is no choice but to be streamed as an Area Controller.

You may already know, NATS have 3 courses which they send people to complete at the college. Aerodrome, Aerodrome/Approach or Area.

If you follow the Area course, chances are you won't validate for longer than the other disciplines, which gives you time to hit the right age numbers.

As far as I am aware, being 18 is not a disadvantage to joining NATS.

Phil
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 19:56   #6 (permalink)
 
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<<However as an 18 year old there is no choice but to be streamed as an Area Controller.>>

But Area needs a radar rating?
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 21:54   #7 (permalink)
 
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Yes but the area training takes so much more time that even if you start when you're 18 you will (normally) be 21 when you're done. If you do aerodrome only you may not even be at the college for 6 months (in theory) whereas area is at least 11 months just at the college. This is even more the case now when the courses have (or so I'm told) been streamlined even more.


Looking at the people at the college I would hazard a guess that being 18 is not a disadvantage in itself (fact is they're not allow to look at age at all since it can be considered discrimination) but most people are over 20 and that is probably since you will in general be more experienced and better prepared for the training with a few more years of life before you start. Not saying you shouldn't apply, but I have heard of people who were turned down at 18 and told to get some more experience, then they came back a few years later and made it in.
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Old 8th Dec 2012, 10:05   #8 (permalink)
 
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I believe it's 21 to hold any type of radar license including trainee. In the past, people have certainly held until old enough to hold a radar trainee ticket.
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 01:45   #9 (permalink)
 
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I currently work for the company aged 18... although not an ATCO... I'm a trainee ATCE (Engineer).

From my time at CTC (where the College of Air Traffic Control now is) I found most trainee ATCO's to be in their mid twenties. From speaking to ATCO's I've found most have suggested gaining life experience and learning to cope with criticism which seems to be a valuable quality to hold. I'm not saying at 18 that you can't and you do get three attempts at the assessments but that's the best advice I can give to a fellow young person
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 22:59   #10 (permalink)
 
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I thought you could hold a Tower validation at 18, but not a Radar validation until 21. So, it may be a problem to employ you at 18 if there are no ADC courses planned.
Unless the age limits have changed for Tower, I know of a few folk who have had to train in Tower first due to their youth.

Louby
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 23:27   #11 (permalink)
 
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Then it has probably changed, in our law lessons (which are hopefully up to date) we were told it's 21 to hold any ATCO license but you can get exceptions if you're over 20 but not yet 21 in rare cases.

I'm sure the details are out in european law or one of the CAPs if you really want to find it
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