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# NATS interview process

ATC Issues A 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.

# NATS interview process

23rd Aug 2011, 23:46

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This is all very exciting, but in 30 years of operational ATC I never had to do anything like it.
Who on Earth devises this stuff?
It may have been useful in the 1950s, but most ATCOs today use radar. Sorry....'situational displays'.
I suspect the 'exercises' are generated by folks with little or no 'hands-on' experience as speeds in aviation are usually expressed in knots.
24th Aug 2011, 09:23

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doubt

Crazy Voyager,

Actually, I can't get down to figuring it out. If the plane (traveling at 180mph) takes the same time to travel 7 miles as it does 5, the difference in speed is 50mph and not 30.

Since (t=d/s=) 7/180=0,038 and to calculate the speed at which the plane went at to travel 5 miles in 0,038, we get it went at 130mph... Therefore 180-130=50mph. From where 50mph is the speed of the wind againts the plane... Doesn't this sound right?

To ZOOKER: the fact is to prepare for the numerical test since you are asked to solve problems of this type without prejudice of you ever been asked to resolve this kind of stuff in the real screen scenario.
24th Aug 2011, 10:59

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@zooker
I'm not an ATCO (hopefully in two weeks I'm officially a tATCO though) but I agree with you. The only reasonable usage I've found is approach/departure. If you do 180 knots you do 3 miles per minute and the approach speed is less. Say it's 150 knots which means 2.5 miles per minute, so at 6 miles you should in theory have at least 2 minutes to work with for departures.

Apart from that, I have no clue why the insist on it. But I guess being good with maths might indicate some aptitude they want to have in their atcos.

@mts

I'll get back to you later with a solution.
24th Aug 2011, 12:35

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CV,

Hopefully in a few weeks you will be a TATC - a small point but you might as well start right.

And your right, there isn't a huge amount of maths involved in training or on the job, but as you say the ability to convert speed to time is very handy.

As for the test, I guess NATS have to whittle down the application pool somehow and this is just one in a long list of ways they have of doing so.
24th Aug 2011, 19:55

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mts1

I agree with you now, I have worked on the problem using both paper and calculator and I agree it should be 50 mph (or rather 51.43 mph).

How ever if you reached my conclusion then hopefully we are both right and something is wrong in what you quoted or the source itself. If we're right and the calculations are right then I don't think you should focus to much on this. As long as you get how you're supposed to do it then I wouldn't worry about it.
24th Aug 2011, 20:25

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I've had a quick look at the maths problem and it's simple enough. Unfortunately I'm on a phone so I may not be able to explain it all that well.

Using speed = distance/time

Time is equal in both instances:
Let x be the wind speed
Using distance1 as 7 miles @ speed1 180+x
And distance2 as 5 miles @ speed2 180-x

distance1/speed1 = distance2/speed2
7/(180+x) = 5/(180-x)
7(180-x) = 5(180+x)
1260 - 7x = 900 + 5x
12x = 360
x = 30 mph
24th Aug 2011, 20:32

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Crazy Voyager, thanks for your help, I appreciate it.
marco888: I understand the solution you set out, but since the time they take is the same, then the speed can not be 180 in both cases (as the distances they travel are different), and you've used the same speed for both planes.

So, either the time is the same (which is the case) or the speed, but both, I just don't get it. Sorry.

EDIT: Yeah, it needed a second reading. I get now. Thank-you to to marco888 and Crazy Voyager.
31st Aug 2011, 22:33

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Anyone send off the personality questionnaire (after stage 2) heard from nats? Tomorrow it will be 3 weeks since I sent it off, 6 weeks since stage 2 and I don't actually know whether I'm through to stage 3 yet.
1st Sep 2011, 17:47

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They sent me the invitation but with no available slots... Probably 3 or 4 weeks ago...
1st Sep 2011, 21:48

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My Stage 2 was MONTHS ago... Not too long after CV, yet I'm still awaiting a Stage 3 date.

I'm afraid there seems to be some lag time between Stages 2 and 3. We can but wait. If you have the invite, that's... a pretty good sign IMHO. Sorry I can't be more specific about 'how long' they will keep you in suspense!

Phil
2nd Sep 2011, 21:02

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Does anyone know when they will re-open the recruitment?
2nd Sep 2011, 22:45

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They've written on their facebook page that they will re-evaluate their need for recruiting in the autumn, how ever there is no definition of when autumn actually is.
3rd Sep 2011, 13:55

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Like a few people I presume I passed the Stage 2 as I received the next questionnaire to complete but I've heard nothing since then! Not sure whether to get in contact or just sit tight really.
4th Sep 2011, 13:20

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Is it not open now?
There is a link saying "Start my application" but upon clicking it, I just get "There are no jobs that match the search criteria at this time." I hope this means they just open it on monday?
4th Sep 2011, 15:42

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AFAIK know it's still closed, even though oddly enough the atcocareers website mentions nothing off this...

NATS Careers - Air Traffic Controllers Recruitment needs for 2012 and subsequent years will be reviewed in the autumn and an update will be issued at that time.
We would like to encourage you to pursue your interest in Air Traffic Control, so please continue to view our website www.atcocareers.co.uk for future updates.
We hope to receive an application from you for this rewarding career with NATS when our recruitment system re-opens. Good luck!17 August at 14:11 ·

NATS Careers - Air Traffic Controllers

The length of the recruitment process depends on the availability of dates for Stage 1, 2 and 3. We will be releasing these dates in the late Autumn on www.atcocareers.co.uk. In the meantime I would recommend you have a look at our application process at How to apply - NATS Air Traffic Controllers Careers22 August at 15:49 ·
So according to this it's still closed and new dates won't be released until late autumn, so I'm guessing in a month or so perhaps?
8th Sep 2011, 10:16

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Is there anybody awaiting a start date for training? I've only had a few emails in reply to some that I sent questioning for any start dates and was told provisionally either January or February (depending on the course) 2012. Has anyone else been given these dates? Does anyone else in the same position who is waiting to start training know if there is there anything we should be doing between now and the start of training too? It's brilliant achieving success through the selection process but I haven't been given any direction of what is to happen now that I've been offered the training, I feel like I don't have a clue what's going on!
Was anyone on here successful at stage 3 back at the end of April in Prestwick?
Thanks!
8th Sep 2011, 18:32

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Just want to let anyone thats allocated to the area course 229 in October know theres a face book group for it.
9th Sep 2011, 01:24

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Is there anybody awaiting a start date for training? I've only had a few emails in reply to some that I sent questioning for any start dates and was told provisionally either January or February (depending on the course) 2012. Has anyone else been given these dates?
Hi SALH

Sit tight, don't worry; I have not yet got start dates either. I was told at my interview that it would be unlikely to be before April 2012, and I haven't chased them yet. I had my interview at Hurn in March. That said if your schedule is running 3 months ahead of mine, I can understand your growing concerns... If you're desperate for dates so that you can begin planning relocation, leaving your current employment and so on, then perhaps try again if you don't hear anything soon. Otherwise I wouldn't worry too much just yet.

Does anyone else in the same position who is waiting to start training know if there is there anything we should be doing between now and the start of training too? It's brilliant achieving success through the selection process but I haven't been given any direction of what is to happen now that I've been offered the training, I feel like I don't have a clue what's going on!

I asked a couple of people during my interview day, college staff and the odd current student. All advised against doing anything in particular, suggesting that learning information out of the context of the college wouldn't make sense. To be honest, this did surprise me, but they were consistent! I have been reading a little online, the odd Flight International, the odd book etc. Actually one thing that was advised was to start saving, depending on what your current income is college could hit you hard, though for others it's not much difference. I'm more than prepared to stand corrected here, if somebody feels they have a wonderful experience/study suggestion to make!

Perhaps I'll see you next year... well done for getting through!

Is anyone else waiting to hear?
9th Sep 2011, 20:33

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If I get my medical cleared (I should have the paper next week hopefully) then I'll join the people waiting for a course. Out of intrest, have you been asked if you have any prefrence for Aerodrome or Area by HR?

To the person I met last week in a certain VCR, I haven't forgotten I was to send you a PM but unfortunately I can't for my life find the note with your user-name
If you read this I'd be very happy if you'd send me a pm!
9th Sep 2011, 21:26

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Aerodrome / Area Preference

Out of intrest, have you been asked if you have any prefrence for Aerodrome or Area by HR?
Yes, I have; it has also been explained to me each time I've been asked that my preference is unlikely to count for much, but I was pleased to be asked all the same