Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

Air Traffic Controllers

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

Air Traffic Controllers

Old 30th May 2017, 14:08
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 78
Posts: 7,348
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Similar to Northern but only one control position instead of two; I presume one of the positions was occupied by the tracker, but it shows the edge lit board very well.
Two controllers at ERD with double-header consoles, as shown. The Tracker occupies a specially-equipped dedicated position ... possibly the one in the far background.
MPN11 is offline  
Old 30th May 2017, 14:31
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wildest Surrey
Age: 74
Posts: 9,685
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MPN11 View Post
Two controllers at ERD with double-header consoles, as shown. The Tracker occupies a specially-equipped dedicated position ... possibly the one in the far background.
Ah sorry; in my day Eastern only had one control position for the North Sea sector on a shared frequency with Northern (got a vague recollection that was weekdays only but may be wrong), so what was the other console for?
Had a thought; could this be Eastern after Lindholme had closed thus allowing for two sectors (North Sea and Mainland)? Eastern didn't close until much later did it?

Last edited by chevvron; 4th Oct 2017 at 12:35.
chevvron is offline  
Old 30th May 2017, 18:20
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: at home
Posts: 179
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Northolt radar is done from the TC part of Swanwick to integrate with the London TMA controllers at NATS. It works well, however this once again proves the issues that the branch faces.
dagowly is offline  
Old 30th May 2017, 18:36
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wildest Surrey
Age: 74
Posts: 9,685
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dagowly View Post
Northolt radar is done from the TC part of Swanwick to integrate with the London TMA controllers at NATS. It works well, however this once again proves the issues that the branch faces.
Nothing new. When I was at LATCC in 1971 we moved into the Mediator 1 room where the 4 main en-route sectors each had an RAF controller on them to integrate their OAT with the GAT.
Called LJAO, then SEJAO; I presume it goes under another name nowadays.
Oh and off route, the civil and military FIS suites were next to each other in their own little control room next to D & D - very convenient!
chevvron is offline  
Old 30th May 2017, 18:41
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Starring at an Airfield Near you
Posts: 333
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Pedant mode on:

It was SEJAO then LJAO - but no harm done and you're forgiven!!!!

Pedant mode off.
Downwind.Maddl-Land is offline  
Old 30th May 2017, 21:27
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: England
Posts: 12
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Military ATM Training

Haltonapp,

I've been an RAF ATCO for 40+ years and have served at various airfields in the UK and Germany, as well as over 3 years in LJAO, working alongside my civil colleagues. I did the JATCC in the early 1970s, served as an instructor in the mid 1980s and am currently one of the staff at SAOC, the new name for CATCS, RAF Shawbury, so I think I'm well qualified to comment on your remark about military ATM training. The JATCC today is longer than the 16 week JATCC I completed and much more comprehensive because of the changes to rules and legislation. Furthermore, although live flying for ATM training ended in the late 1980s, the current simulators are perfectly suitable for the task and will be updated within the next five years under Project Marshall. In other words, those that graduate from the JATCC today are perfectly well prepared for the duties they then undertake at their units.

When I first began my career, an old military ATCO said to me that if you never admit to having had an incident you've either not being an ATCO for very long or you've never been anywhere really busy or you're not telling the truth. Unfortunately, incidents involving ATCOs, whether civil or military, will always take place and, in the overall scheme of things, this was by no means the worst. I was in LJAO when the airmiss between a Vulcan and an Air France Concorde occurred on the Seaford sector - now that really was a very close call!

Visitation
Visitation is offline  
Old 31st May 2017, 10:15
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wildest Surrey
Age: 74
Posts: 9,685
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Downwind.Maddl-Land View Post
Pedant mode on:

It was SEJAO then LJAO - but no harm done and you're forgiven!!!!

Pedant mode off.
Thanks for correcting me.
chevvron is offline  
Old 31st May 2017, 10:35
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 78
Posts: 7,348
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Ah sorry; in my day Eastern only had one control position for the North Sea sector on a shared frequency with Northern (got a vague recollection that was weekdays only but may be wrong), so what was the other console for?
Sorry, not that intimately acquainted with their working procedures. Possibly split E/W traffic, but that's only a guess - someone here must know the answer.
(I was ERD Jun 70-Sep 73 & Oct 76-Sep 78)

Greetings to fellow Mil SEJAO controllers (Sep 73-Dec 74 only, before being posted to HQ MATO)
I was apparently the first to be pushed straight into SEJAO after a few weeks getting an AC(L) endorsement in the MAS room, on the basis of my 4+ years experience at ERD. A most interesting and stimulating environment, with (IIRC) only one major cock-up on my part!
When producing estimates for Mil crossings, one quickly learned that an F-4/F-111 took 5 minutes to cover the length of a chinagraph pencil on the flat-top displays
MPN11 is offline  
Old 31st May 2017, 11:38
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: France
Age: 78
Posts: 6,379
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I guess that was OK so long as you did not sharpen the pencil.......
Wander00 is offline  
Old 31st May 2017, 11:42
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 78
Posts: 7,348
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Wander00 View Post
I guess that was OK so long as you did not sharpen the pencil.......
hehehe

Propelling pencils, of course!
MPN11 is offline  
Old 31st May 2017, 12:20
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Starring at an Airfield Near you
Posts: 333
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When producing estimates for Mil crossings, one quickly learned that an F-4/F-111 took 5 minutes to cover the length of a chinagraph pencil on the flat-top displays
s'funny - I always remember having to extract the RP estimates from the MYRIAD touchwire display for LJAO......

Not to mention 'all crossings via WOBUN' to the extent that RACAL produced a lovely miniature TRN-26 TACAN (anyone know what happened to it?) so that USAFE aircraft could route that way, accurate like!!
Downwind.Maddl-Land is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2017, 18:33
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: South Coast
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by haltonapp View Post
Are RAF air traffic controllers, trained at Shawbury, up to the standard required to control traffic at Northolt? This is in regard to the airprox last year between an A380 and a Gulfstream, the controller became distracted and concerns were also raised at the manpower levels.
Firstly, and most importantly, they are.

The incident in question was a simple case of distraction. The controller was operating band boxed due to manning issues, and was engaged in a coordination phone call with anothe sector. It is an extremely tight bit of airspace, where it is imperative that the offset base/finals turn is made at exactly the right time; too early, and the PAR will not be able to lock on (the dog leg is at the extreme of the PAR azimuth coverage), too late, and you end up potentially interacting with Heathrow.

The incident highlighted that the task should have been split, thus man I is required to achieve this; something that is not sorted over night as you need to train the new people. Secondly, it highlighted the dangers of distraction, something that has been used to good effect with our HF sessions. Thirdly, it proved that the safety nets; Controller scan (from Fin), STCA and now PIT work to reduce the chances of an aircraft accident.
Radar_Monkey is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2017, 08:34
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: EGDC
Posts: 9,575
Received 44 Likes on 23 Posts
Perhaps the real issue is manning levels - more and more RAF stations seem to be short of trained ATC such that they have to 'close' to allow lunch breaks etc - this has happened this year at Brize, Boscombe ad Shawbury to my knowledge.
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2017, 10:47
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: scotland
Posts: 542
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have heard a statement recently at Shawbury that if all the applicants for ATC who went through the AFCO doors were all to pass the JATCC the trade would still be 20% under strength.
KPax is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2017, 11:14
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Herefordshire
Posts: 1,070
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
KPax

I should think that the RAF ATCO salary scale compared with NATS would put a lot of folk off - top whack at Swanwick/Heathrow after about 15 years is more than Air Commodore top increment and without all the BS!

I guess the service might be slightly ahead in the first 4 or 5 years then NATS pay races ahead.
Brian 48nav is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2017, 12:11
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Banished (twice) to the pointless forest
Posts: 1,558
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, if the AFCO staff pointed out what a short path it is to riches with NATS, they might find it easier to get folk to Shawbury.
airpolice is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2017, 18:19
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 78
Posts: 7,348
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Not everyone wants to stay in the same place forever, when there are overseas tours ... oh, forget I started that, I'm almost 60 years out of date!

Looking through the wrong end of the telescope, and vaguely knowing what it's like in the RAF nowadays, I'd probably (sadly) be inclined to take the Civil route.

The RAF is not what it was, for so many reasons.
MPN11 is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2017, 18:45
  #38 (permalink)  
Danny42C
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
As an AirTrafficer who never laboured in the dungeons of Area Radar (there to sit like rows of poor battery hens, never to see the light of day), but dwelt in a Tower, where there were blue skies (occasionally), fluffy white clouds, green grass, birdies, aeroplanes (even if only computer-generated phantoms), and all life passing below your air-conditioned octagon eyrie, might I suggest that, if a publicity drive were to stress these points, you might get more applicants ?

It is the best job in G.D. - bar flying (if you dodge Area Radar as aforesaid), comes with cups of tea on the hour from beauteous Assistants, what more d'ye want (Promotion ? Forget it !) Remember that the Branch was originally set up to provide a "Sunset Home" for all the old hairy ex-aircrew from WWII who did not like the idea of the cold peacetime world outside.

[email protected] (#33),

..."they have to 'close' to allow lunch breaks etc - this has happened this year at Brize, Boscombe and Shawbury * to my knowledge"... So they are short, and have (presumably) had to rob the Tower crews to keep Area radar staffed. Why not put more of your smarter Assistants up for S.S. Commissions, because obviously the pay rates are insufficient to attract external candidates ?

Note: * Shawbury used to be manned by the School staff in turn as R&R from their instructional duties. Should've been plenty of them there.

Another possibility: GD Pilots and WSOs could do a ground tour on ATC after a "Short Course" at Shawbury. At Linton '62-'64, the RN Controllers were Seaman Branch on ground tour, after which they went back to sea (so they told me - Union Jack ?).
Mind you, at the rate they're closing Stations, they should have ATCs coming out of their ears !

Danny.
 
Old 3rd Oct 2017, 19:19
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Banished (twice) to the pointless forest
Posts: 1,558
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Danny, they make them Sgts now. Direct entry as well as promoting assistants.

Commissioned Officers are becoming rare in towers, and in Area Radar.

A short course for aircrew is not the answer, more people who want to do air traffic is what's required. I suspect that part of the reason that so few people doing it want to recommend it, is that everywhere is short staffed. Also relevant is that as one of the very few blue suit jobs on camp, ATC are getting dicked for secondary duties more than they used to.

I loved my time in Area Radar, I dreaded it, based on what everyone in towers told me, but once I mastered the art of chinagraph and coffee in the dark, it was great. Nowadays the average Area Radar unit looks like a call centre.
airpolice is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2017, 20:19
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Sky
Posts: 50
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Crikey, oh blimey, I can see why PPRuNe has the reputation it does (on my squadron at least) for being the history corner! Hopefully the orignal poster got the answer they wanted?

If there was ever a need for some spare ATC skills to be dished out then someone should look at how our large aircraft with sky pointing radars can be used to help deconflict and point our smaller aircraft in the right direction. If we can do similar things for nasties etc. etc.
YellowTom is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.