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Where will NATS send me?

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Where will NATS send me?

Old 28th Feb 2018, 12:15
  #1 (permalink)  
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Where will NATS send me?

Iím considering applying to NATS but want to know how much control of my destiny I have when it comes to where Iím going to be working. I understand most people are going to end up at Swanwick and that aptitude and commercial nesscessity plays its part, but if I wanted to go to Prestwick or even to an Aerodrome how likely is that?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 28th Feb 2018, 15:25
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Join Date: Jul 2016
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With my course that started last year we got told beforehand we were doing aerodrome, there did not seem to be an option to choose for area. We are not told where we are posted until after passing the college, although we did get to send in preferences. Rumours are some of us will be posted to Heathrow, Bristol, Aberdeen and Aberporth.

In short, you can end up anywhere in the UK and it seems you will have little influence on it.
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Old 28th Feb 2018, 15:31
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Only airport in Scotland with a NATS contract is Glasgow, Preswick is a control centre.
You can state your preference but as you realise, they send you wherever you're needed; they will also decide if you are more suited to an aerodrome or to a control centre; you don't do courses for both disciplines.
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Old 28th Feb 2018, 16:10
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Is Glasgow our only Scottish airport unit now? Blimey, Iíve only been off for three days and it seems weíve lost one. How about that!?
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Old 28th Feb 2018, 16:27
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Aberdeen is NATS. Wasn’t lost in those three days.
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Old 28th Feb 2018, 16:37
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StandupfortheUlstermen
 
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Chevvron had me worried (not).
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Old 28th Feb 2018, 16:45
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Originally Posted by Standard Noise View Post
Is Glasgow our only Scottish airport unit now? Blimey, Iíve only been off for three days and it seems weíve lost one. How about that!?
You can usually find them down the back of the sofa, or in a real crisis behind the fridge.

To answer the questions, you'll go where the company need you. You can put a preference in, but ultimately you'll go where the business needs you. In terms of area control, it's Swanwick or Prestwick with limited ability for movement. Tower or Approach will give you the option of anywhere they have the contract at the moment, but again.....
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Old 1st Mar 2018, 02:24
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Originally Posted by Standard Noise View Post
Chevvron had me worried (not).
Yes I was wondering who would spot that first Pike.
Didn't know NATS had gained an airport in Wales though (Aberporth/West Wales according to Turkchinchilla) . I think NATS still operates the radar unit about a mile away from the airport but I'm not sure if it's an Approach Radar unit now; always used to be Area Radar.
Course it didn't matter in my day, when we graduated we all had Aerodrome, Approach and Area ratings along with the radar ratings.
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Old 1st Mar 2018, 03:00
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Way back when, it was the same.

They gave me a list of available units.
"Where would you like to go?" they asked me.
I told them.
"Where don't you want to go?" they asked.
"Definitely not Scotland" I said.
I got Edinburgh.
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Old 1st Mar 2018, 05:48
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The answer is, wherever they need you most.

If you do get posted to Scotland, thanks to the SNP and Greens you will be paying more tax than a colleague elsewhere.
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Old 1st Mar 2018, 09:37
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Yes I was wondering who would spot that first Pike.
Didn't know NATS had gained an airport in Wales though (Aberporth/West Wales according to Turkchinchilla) . I think NATS still operates the radar unit about a mile away from the airport but I'm not sure if it's an Approach Radar unit now; always used to be Area Radar.
Course it didn't matter in my day, when we graduated we all had Aerodrome, Approach and Area ratings along with the radar ratings.
Could be it's an area radar posting, not sure how reliable the rumours are.
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Old 1st Mar 2018, 14:23
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No airport gain for NATS in Wales.

West Wales Airport (nee Aberporth) have their own APS Unit, providing surveillance services in the surrounding Danger Areas in order to fly Unmanned Aircraft Systems from West Wales Airport.

NATS provide a surveillance service (akin to an Area Radar Service) from MOD Aberporth under contract to QinetiQ, a mile or two up the road from the Airport offering a service to Unmanned Aircraft Systems and other things that need to be contained within Danger Areas over Cardigan Bay.

Due to the specialised nature of the NATS service provision, and its very low level of operations, doubt that it would be an initial posting for a new recruit.
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Old 1st Mar 2018, 14:48
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If you're familiar with the Harry Potter series, then its not dissimilar to the sorting hat...
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Old 1st Mar 2018, 15:15
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Originally Posted by TCAS FAN View Post

West Wales Airport (nee Aberporth) have their own APS Unit, providing surveillance services in the surrounding Danger Areas in order to fly Unmanned Aircraft Systems from West Wales Airport.

NATS provide a surveillance service (akin to an Area Radar Service) from MOD Aberporth under contract to QinetiQ, a mile or two up the road from the Airport offering a service to Unmanned Aircraft Systems and other things that need to be contained within Danger Areas over Cardigan Bay.

Due to the specialised nature of the NATS service provision, and its very low level of operations, doubt that it would be an initial posting for a new recruit.
West Wales airport is operated by FISOs and as far as I'm aware, FISOs cannot provide APS.
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Old 1st Mar 2018, 15:49
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Chevvron
Here is some info on West Wales Radar

West Wales Radar goes on line - West Wales Airport Aberporth
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Old 1st Mar 2018, 15:57
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Originally Posted by AyrTC View Post
Chevvron
Here is some info on West Wales Radar

West Wales Radar goes on line - West Wales Airport Aberporth
Well you live and learn, but still not a NATS operation so unlikely to be a 'final posting' for a NATS ATCO.
How does this interface with Aberporth radar operated from the range head on the coast by NATS controllers from Cardiff? Or does it replace it?
Seems a bit silly having 2 radar units operating on similar tasks in the same area.
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Old 1st Mar 2018, 18:13
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Sounds like things haven't changed much. Back in the mid 70's asked where do want to go, Southern England says I, Aberdeen says they! Struck a deal, 3 years at EGAA then my choice of posting. Finished up in Heathrow
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Old 1st Mar 2018, 19:55
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I bet you haven't ever gone on leave only to find on your return that you had been posted during your absence. I have! Needless to say I was a bit late reporting at my new permanent duty station. But, hey, that's Nats for you...
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Old 1st Mar 2018, 20:19
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Originally Posted by ex-EGLL View Post
Sounds like things haven't changed much. Back in the mid 70's asked where do want to go, Southern England says I, Aberdeen says they! Struck a deal, 3 years at EGAA then my choice of posting. Finished up in Heathrow
Well, Barry, that must have been why I got posted (from the same course) to Aberdeen ! Mind you, I did request it. Or, perhaps Mick Baker inherited your original posting. Anyway, I got away with only 2 years there.
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Old 1st Mar 2018, 23:15
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I think I got the better end of the deal there Keith, especially as they posted Lyn with me to both Belfast and Heathrow!!
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