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Air traffic controller - Opened Letter- student Job seeker

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Air traffic controller - Opened Letter- student Job seeker

Old 7th Jan 2015, 22:04
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Air traffic controller - Opened Letter- student Job seeker

Good morning, despite being a constant visitor of this forum, today is the day I decided to register and expose my case. This is the first time publishing in a group and I would like to expose my situation with the hope to find a contact or opportunity to get into the aviation world completely. This letter is directed to every professional from the aviation world (ATCOs, SATCOs, ATCAs etc.)

Iím 22 years old (just turned a few days ago), coursing aerospace engineering, master in airports and air navigation. Also holder of an ICAO air traffic controller student license from tower.

Worked as pseudo-pilot, simulator technician and preparing theory briefings for new atc cadets. Some collaborations such as my final master thesis .I based my master thesis on the simulator in which I had received ATC training. Together with different airfield design companies Iíve done a general analysis of an airfield, which it was used also for ATC instruction. I studied its lacks and I designed a new airfield and its airspace. This consisted in designing from new terminals, runways, taxiways to new SIDs, STARs and other procedures that may help to increase the air traffic movements and runway operations in that airfield.

Accident and incident (SMS-Safety management systems). Received a large training in SMS (safety management systems, safety procedures) and others (CNS etc.). Studying real incident and accident reports, investigation and emergency planning.

First of my promotion and recommended by several ex-NATS/SERCO/HIAL/AENA instructors and controllers who previously also worked in the middle-east, Europe, Hong Kong (etc.) and strongly recommended me as I may be very suitable for the role and long stressing journeys.

Also speaking 5 languages such as: English (C1 + ICAO English level 5), German, Italian, Spanish and Catalan.

Despite finishing first of my promotion and all the possible recommendations or qualifications I may have for being talented at air traffic controlling, the collapse from the job market and the ďdelicateĒ situation present in Spain has led to the situation that Iíve been neither called to a single interview for an air traffic controller position. Trying to apply outside Spain for a job it is also practically useless as everyone wants experienced people for doing the job or related and the number of times Iíve been already refused within ďsecondsĒ are unfortunately huge.

I would like to mention that I do consider I have the typical professional experience you can expect from a 21 year old person. I strongly believe I would be a very valuable asset for a company, a project to invest in, that in a few years of experience could I become a huge working asset for the company.
In which moment does a company decide to first invest into a person and proportionate the required experience that every company wishes to see it grow and take profit of the investment?

I do not put into doubt that having experience it is a great asset. But I would value very much to be considered despite the ďlackĒ of experience, and demonstrate how I can do the job effectively.

Iím aware that there is plenty of people in a similar situation like mine or with more experience than mine and also looking for a chance. But I would like to change mine, and the purpose of this letter is to find advice, help, contacts or any useful chance to finally achieve my dream and professional challenges to work as air traffic controller. Iím willing to move, very capable, huge knowledge in the aeronautical/aviation field and opened to work towards any required qualification or language.

Iím opened to suggestions and any kind of help

Thanks to everyone in advance.

Contact details on my profile if needed. (PM, public messages etc.)

Regards.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 00:49
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You have several issues to overcome, specially if you're seeking employment as an ATC in a foreign country. Most countries require citizenship, or at the very minimum a legal resident status to apply, so getting over that hurdle would be your first step.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 11:24
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thanks for the advice N90-EWR. I guess I already did some enquiries such as US and without US citizen it is practically impossible. Also for other countries outside the EU they require a Visa, and most of visas are not given unless sponsorship.

Or given the case, a reply from an ANSP that directly refuses foreings stating literally "after the bad experience and results with foreign ATCOs we are not recruiting anymore foreign ATCOs".
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 17:51
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, a reply from an ANSP that directly refuses foreings stating literally "after the bad experience and results with foreign ATCOs we are not recruiting anymore foreign ATCOs".
You will never get any ANSP to admit this publicly sorry.

recommended by several ex-NATS/SERCO/HIAL/AENA instructors
So will everyone in the group.

From your post I assume you are a Spanish citizen so free movement of labour within the EU applies.

Also holder of an ICAO air traffic controller student license from tower
I assume you paid for the course yourself?

You are looking for a small airport as most of the larger tend to sponsor their own.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 18:06
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Thanks for the reply confused atco. About any ANSP admitting this thats not true as I have it personally in my mail inbox and I even think I remember once I also read it on this forum.

You guess correctly I'm spanish citizen and I paid my own training. The reasons were cause some false promises were done, no "sponsor selection from ANSPs opened" in that moment, and If those promises were done and also allowed me to keep with my degree in the meantime, it was "perfect".

But once completed promises were not kept, but thats another topic was just to clarify it.

Anyway, after that I told to myself ok there is no chance lets try to get into an sponsor course, but the reply of many ANSPs was that they couldn't train or even call me testing cause I already had civil training. (Yes they really told me that).- despite stating that I actually passed feast (etc...).

So the only chance is to can get into an airfield.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 22:27
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Have you tried looking down to the Australian market? ATC is a profession in high demand over there, it seems, so much that the state will offer you a sponsorship that will allow you to work. It doesn't mean, however, that it will offer you a job.
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Old 9th Jan 2015, 01:16
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We only take experienced overseas controllers in Australia, i.e. you need to have held a rating and a student licence won't be considered.
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Old 9th Jan 2015, 10:56
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Falcio and Le pinguin thanks for the information, I really appreciate it.
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Old 10th Jan 2015, 03:03
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For what is worth, my grandparents are from Barcelona, and I'm a first generation immigrant to the USA that happened to land a job as an ATC, but I was born in Puerto Rico (my father went to college there), so that's how I got my USA citizenship.

It is possible for you to get a job here if you were not born a citizen. I know of another controller that was a foreign citizen, and married an American when he was 22, got his resident card, and 5 years later applied for citizenship. After he got naturalized, he applied and got in, and barely made the age 30 limit. I'm not sure how you'd go about that marriage thing, so yeah........
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Old 10th Jan 2015, 09:44
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Licence validity
The longer you go after leaving the training centre you will need to do some form of assessment of needs before you could start unit training.
AND
If you do not get a job within 4 year's your licence is effectively useless.


ATCO Shortage.
There are regular stories in the media about shortages of ATCO's/Pilots/Engineers depending on who is spinning at the time.
A lot of the articles are by vested interests and often have no relationship to the actual situation.


The single sky program forecasted that traffic would grow by incredible amounts.
This never happened.
In fact traffic went the other way and is only now showing signs of recovery.


Most ANSP's plan their staffing well in advance and schedule training/recruitment to match.
New technologies and other stuff mean that there is not likely to be any significant recruitment any time soon.

Direct entry of currently rated controllers is not that common and the Middle east typically looks for 5 years experience before it will consider you.

There will always be exceptions but they are that and do not prove the rule.

I fear that you may have bought the hype and wish you the best in your search.


About any ANSP admitting this thats not true as I have it personally in my mail inbox
I am amazed that any one would admit publicly that they had a bad experience with direct entry ATCO's. Usually they say nothing but never hire anyone that way again.
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Old 10th Jan 2015, 10:24
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Hi thanks for the information. A bit worrying about the 4 years but I still have time then.

About shortage of staff its true, it is plenty of articles saying the shortage will be soon and never comes.

I really hope to find an opportunity, I think what is more frustrating is that neither a single chance or job interview, directly rejected, thats what hurts more.
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Old 10th Jan 2015, 13:20
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EUROCONTROL

Try this link :

Apply for an air traffic controller job | Eurocontrol

Looks like it might be an option for you.
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Old 10th Jan 2015, 19:38
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IRLATCO thank you for the help. Contacted them when they first opened last year for selecting to start sprig 2015 and they said me they couldn't select me as I already received training. Contacted them again 2 days ago and they took my details and said me that they didn't plan to open it again a few years.

Thanks again.
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Old 10th Jan 2015, 23:24
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Can you apply to Eurocontrol (& others) without telling them you have already done an ATC course?
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Old 11th Jan 2015, 10:08
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Hi topdrop, I think this could be an option ,but I think that once you do the selection tests and they instert your id card number to start them it appears that you already did them.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 11th Jan 2015, 14:01
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So have you done the feast before? If so why did you self-sponsor?

Is this theory correct? You did the application to one or several big ANSPs, failed to get in, then self-sponsored to promises of a job afterwards, which now isn't happening? If not then why can't you do the FEAST again? If you've passed it I believe eurocontrol will honour that result anyway, it's only an issue if you've failed feast in the past.

You never said exactly why you choose to self-sponsor and not apply for one of the big ANSPs directly.


For what it's worth, I think there are two ways.

Find a local airfield that needs controllers, and somehow manage to beat off the fierce competition. With the amount of unemployed student controllers out there I think this one will be very difficult indeed.

Apply as a trainee to one of the big ANSPs, get in and do the course again. Getting through the application isn't easy, but it might be easier than fighting the open market. The end-result is also likely to be higher pay and better job security.



Without a validation to go with it your rating is worth very little. Without experience you will struggle to find a job, without a job you won't get experience. Catch 22 unfortunately, but I don't know how you'd get out of it apart from what I've written above.
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Old 11th Jan 2015, 14:45
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Hi crazy voyager, first if all thanks for the interest and taking part in the discussion.

Answering to some of your questions, yes I did actually the FEAST and yes I passed it. And I already commented it previously in a comment but I may clarify it anyway.

Ai already wanted to be ATCO while in high school, but when I finished it unfortunatelly at the same time happened "all the mess" with spanish atcos and the privatisation. Aena closed the training program and new private schools appeared. I didn't plan to self-sponsor my self at the start, I started my engineering degree as was a bit "unknown" the atco situation. Then I contacted eurocontrol and other ANSPs and some of them said no selecion process in the next years so I decided to wait. One day appeared that a private school appeared really close from home, I was coursing my degree and that course had plenty of promises and chances; seemed so good that I thought was perfect as would allow me to keep my degree and train as atco by the same time "thing that I did"
But the result once completed was that all those promises disappeared and we were "abandoned".

The story is simple as that, I trusted who I shouldn't have trusted and this is the result. It seemed really good, and I don't mean "big money job promises", I mean "good job chances" were promised.

I also strongly believe that being self-sponsored doesn't means "less quality" or "less talent".

The aim of this post was and is to ask from experienced people like you may be, that know pretty well how the industry works, and obtain advice or help if wished.
And I really appreciate all your comments as it is always good to obtain information.

About aplying to an ANSP I actually tried a few months ago with Eurocontrol, and they told me they couldn't call me as I already had received civil training.

So I don't really know if that excuse was true or was just an "excuse".

Thanks
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Old 11th Jan 2015, 14:52
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I must learn to read better, thanks for clarifying though

If that's their policy then that's their policy. They're not the only ANSP I've heard off with that though.

However, NATS I think will train you, I met people when I did training that held licenses from Spain and redid the entire thing again. I also think NATS are recruiting, but the process is quite long (and I believe you will have to redo the FEAST).

I have no experience directly with self-sponsored trainees, however I think the way many of the big ANSPs look at it is that they have no way of knowing what was in the courses. Also the way the rumour mill goes quite a few self-sponsored do it because either they didn't get in to the big companies, or they weren't patient when the process was slow. From the big companies point of view, they're not people they're interested in employing. Unfortunately for you you will be bunched up with this group, and I don't think there's much you can do about it.

I sympathise with you because of your situation, however the big companies don't and I dont' think their attitude will change in the forseeable future.

I think your options are what I said above, either find a local airfield or find an ANSP that will train you from scratch. Realistically though, the only one who won anything from this story seems to be the college that trained you.

On a side-note, am I correct in that you have an ADV/ADI but no APP/APS? If so the lack of an approach rating will hamper your chances in the private market, not to the impossible, but it will definitly make it even harder to find something as you won't be qualified for many posts to begin with (before looking at any requirement for experience).
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Old 11th Jan 2015, 15:08
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Hi Crazy voyager, I think you might have reason and the only possible chances are those ones. Yes I effectively only have tower not approach so its also a big disadvantage. I will contact NATS also.

Anyway unfortunatelly I think the big companies they put us all the self-sponsored in the same group and its not fair.

Thanks once again.
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Old 11th Jan 2015, 15:37
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It might not be fair, but if you were them wouldn't you? When you've got thousand of applicants for each position, why would you spend resources on going through external applicants? There's simply no need.
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