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ATC Work Experience

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ATC Work Experience

Old 5th Jan 2016, 09:32
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ATC Work Experience

Hey All,

I am currently in my first year of sixth form and I'm quite interested in becoming an ATCO after leaving school, through NATS, however I've looked around a lot but haven't found anything about whether they allow people (like myself) to do work experience with them. Does anyone know how I could get myself a placement, and who I would need to speak to?

Thanks
Layth23 is offline  
Old 5th Jan 2016, 12:58
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NATS en-route allow work experience at Swanwick and Prestwick but I'm not sure about airports nowadays; we certainly used to get WE students at Farnborough.
Effectively you're only going to be able to participate in assistant duties as controlling requires training, licensing and medical.
If you live near a non-NATS airport, why not get your WE liaison person to try them?
chevvron is offline  
Old 6th Jan 2016, 00:58
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I'd take a bet that a white pass (temporary escorted) will be required.

I am not ATC though, and have no idea whether an airport work experience would be allowed by NATS or other operator.
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Old 6th Jan 2016, 16:55
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Hi thanks for your responses,
I sent an email into NATS simply asking if I could do some WE at Swanwick, even if it just meant I could sit next to a controller and listen in , which I would be chuffed with, and they said they don't offer Work experience at the moment. are there any controllers willing to let me come along and have a look ?
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Old 6th Jan 2016, 20:10
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Layth23

I'm long retired from ATC but No2 son is an ATCO at Swanwick - I'll have a word with him and get back to you.
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Old 6th Jan 2016, 23:44
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If you're not able to get a placement with civvy ATC, you could always try the RAF.

Probably would help if you were in the Air Cadets and showed a genuine interest in joining the RAF, but it can't hurt to try, the worst they'll say is no.


Best bet is to try and get some contact details for the work experience coordinator at your local RAF station and see if you can arrange something.


Where are you located?
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Old 7th Jan 2016, 08:14
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Layth23

I'm sad to report that my son tells me visitors are no longer allowed to sit with controllers when they are plugged-in. Before I get corrected by other posters here, I assume that ruling does not apply to airline pilots making sponsored visits.

Sadly a sign of the times we live-in, where everyone is frightened of consequences!
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Old 7th Jan 2016, 14:38
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Originally Posted by Brian 48nav View Post
I'm sad to report that my son tells me visitors are no longer allowed to sit with controllers when they are plugged-in. Before I get corrected by other posters here, I assume that ruling does not apply to airline pilots making sponsored visits.

Sadly a sign of the times we live-in, where everyone is frightened of consequences!
All a result of an 'incident' in Heathrow Approach when it was still at Heathrow (involving a chap who was on my cadet course) so that tells you it's many years ago. The directive came round that visitors were not allowed to plug in unless they had a 'reason' ie either aircrew or visiting controllers.
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Old 7th Jan 2016, 18:44
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Heathrow incident

TC I don't think that is the reason. I left Boscombe on posting to Heathrow in Nov' 86 just after the incident, and the only person stopping visitors plugging in was the manager of the 'affected' watch, dear old Tom Toy.

I joined his watch in early '89 and he was still adamant that no-one could have a visitor plugged in with them. After he left to go to TC in early '91 our watch allowed visitors and I can recall several occasions when I had non-aviation people with me right up until my early retirement in 2000.

My son when he showed an interest in joining ATC in '95, plugged in with a mate on TC and then another in En-Route at LATCC, and he himself has offered to show people around until well into this century. It does seem to be a fairly recent blanket restriction.
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Old 7th Jan 2016, 20:14
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Thanks for asking Brian, I appreciate it!

I'm not sure who to really message about the RAF, i'm not in cadets and I live 20 or so miles north west of Heathrow, If that helps
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Old 7th Jan 2016, 23:23
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There's RAF Northolt... although on its website it does say its not taking any work experience placements at the moment
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Old 8th Jan 2016, 10:40
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If you want to sample basic ATC, Wycombe Air Park would seem to be your closest airfield.
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Old 8th Jan 2016, 11:52
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How can young people get a taste for a career if this continues to happen?

The current company I work for (nowt to do with aviation) also adopts the no work experience policy. It's not business critical so it gets shit canned. The real reason is probably because it takes up too much of someone's time to organise.

I remember many years ago going to West Drayton for the day with the brother of my best mate at the time who was a controller. I worked in the aircraft industry but had no experience of ATC at all. I ended up re-negotiating agreed slot times with a number of different airlines. Bizarre wasn't the word!
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Old 8th Jan 2016, 12:29
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Slightly different to donning an electric hat and winding 747s over the skies of London!
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Old 8th Jan 2016, 12:58
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So true, times they are a changing!
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Old 8th Jan 2016, 13:03
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It certainly is a shame Swanick don't allow work experience people to have a look anymore. LHR tower I can understand saying no, but ACC seems the perfect opportunity for someone with an interest to gain some insight.

I spent a week at MAN ACC during mid 90s. Got to sit and listen in at every position, in the tower, downstairs with the approach controllers, amazing stuff. It was the final push that confirmed I wanted a career in aviation, no matter what. All organised by a family friend who was a controller there, no security red tape, just bring a passport, listen to the briefing from the SATCO, use a bit of common sense and shadow an ATCO for the day. It's a real shame all that is no longer possible.
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Old 8th Jan 2016, 14:19
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Yeah, I'm going to get in contact with Wycombe and see what they say.
It is a shame I can't just plug in next to a controller and listen in, but I can understand why.
Thanks for the help all!
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 00:35
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Hello

When I was in 6th Year (Scottish 6th Form) I emailed RAF Prestwick to see if they could offer me work experience. Unfortunatly they were unable to however did offer me a days visit to Prestwick Centre (Owned by NATS where the Civi's and Military used to work). I was able to sit in on Scottish Mil sectors and had a good chat to lots of the RAF guys and the NATS staff. Subsiquently I've given up on the whole controlling thing and become a mere tels (ATC) Engineer but definitely drop RAF Northolt an email explaining your situation.

Feel free to PM me if you need a hand.

Not an ATCO but still in the right company
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Old 9th Jan 2016, 09:53
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<<a mere tels (ATC) Engineer>>

I heard they cut the staff so much it's now a Tel Engineer!!
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Old 14th Jan 2016, 20:36
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Hello all,

Just and update, I'm still looking for work experience, I've spoken to a few airfields who said they can't let me do work experience due to "operational reasons"

Thanks for the help
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