ATC IssuesA place where pilots may enter the 'lions den' that is Air Traffic Control in complete safety and find out the answers to all those obscure topics which you always wanted to know the answer to but were afraid to ask.
The college is no longer in Bournemouth. It is located within the companies HQ in Whiteley, Hants. Not being ATC (I'm Tels) I don't know exactly how long you will be there for. I think it depends on your course and wither your to be based at a center or at an airport. It is more than two months though.
Initial training to become an Air Traffic Controller (ATCO) takes place at our College of Air Traffic Control at Whiteley, Fareham. Students begin their training on the basic course which last approximately two months. On completion they will then be allocated to either an Area course or Aerodrome/Approach depending on the business requirement at that time. Area students and Terminal Control students will then continue the college course for at least nine months, Aerodrome students for five months and eight months for Aerodrome/Approach students. If successful at the college you will then undergo validation training at your unit,
Right, ignore everything I've said so far! All this reading up on different locations is getting me mixed up (God help us all if I ever become an ATC)
Basically, is the initial training in Whiteley for only 2 months? Or would I be based there for the duration of my training? It mentions that they allocate you to an Area course/Aerodrome but is that likely to be closer to the Midlands?
Thanks and apologies for my lack of knowledge - Its early days!
I'm not ATC but it says an initial 2 months in Whiteley. After that they can send you anywhere where you may be operationally required. After you finish your complete training I think you could also end up pretty much anywhere.
Might be best to leave the family behind until all becomes clearer.
Basically you will be at the college in Whiteley for at least 7 months if you do a Tower only course, 10 months if you do a Tower and/or approach Course and at at least 11 months if you do an Area rating.
Once you've finished your training you will be sent where the company needs you. For tower only it will be one of the London airports, Tower and Approach can be any of the airports around the country where Nats provide the ATC, Approach only will be Terminal Control at Swanwick and an area rating will mean you'll either be working at Swanwick or Prestwick in Scotland.
You get very little choice about where you're sent, you can state a preference, but as the first you sign is something saying you're a mobile grade worker you don't have a lot of choice if the company wants to send you to Aberdeen and you want to go Bristol etc etc
Essentially, I suggest you read at least the last 30 pages of the NATS Application process thread. That will answer most of your questions.
As for your girlfriend and dogs being in the midlands, I rather suggest that a decision will need to be made for what regularity you need to keep the relationship happy. I am under the impression that the first two months at the College are pretty hard-core, and that travelling to the Mids is unlikely to be an option on your weekends. But that after the initial 2 months it calms down, a bit.
As I've said, best thing to do is to thoroughly read the NATS website. Read the last 30 or more pages of the NATS Application Process thread, and then finally ask any questions you still have there. There is a veritable army of helpers on that thread raring to encourage you and help you along.