Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By G-BLEW
#1648058
GonzoEGLL wrote:And more to the point, where are all the controllers coming from to resource it?


Good question, has there/is there/could there be a simpler conversion route for retiring military ATCOs?

Ian
User avatar
By AlanM
#1648065
G-BLEW wrote:
GonzoEGLL wrote:And more to the point, where are all the controllers coming from to resource it?


Good question, has there/is there/could there be a simpler conversion route for retiring military ATCOs?

Ian


Is that like allowing high houred PPLs jumping into the RHS of an A319 to solve the pilot shortage?! Tail wagging dog....? (Ok not the best analogy)

But as an ex RAF type, who ran a UK ATC College, the courses have been compared and some training has migrated across in a credit form for the civil licenses. Probably not enough recognition. The jobs are largely very different. Same but different*

UK ATCOs have EU 2015/340 licences with a syllabus from EASA. So, if Shawbury and CATCS covered all the objectives then the EU would issue the British Military civvy licences. Which is unlikey for retention reasons.

(Of course, the MOD could make all Military ATCOs civvy rated and then add on the military specific parts, even making them RAF Reserve on Full Time Contracts.)

* a lot of my Civvy colleagues would struggle with military ATC IMHO so it is not all one way
Last edited by AlanM on Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Paul_Sengupta
#1648067
AlanM wrote:Is that like allowing high houred PPLs jumping into the RHS of an A319?!


Is it not more like military A330/VC10/Tristar pilots getting cross credit for an ATPL?
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By AlanM
#1648074
I am not fully conversant in ATPL licence crossovers, but I would assume that the training syllabus is closer and morealigned to a civvy conversion.

My point was more about changing the ‘entry qualifications’ due to ATCO/Pilot shortage.
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By G-BLEW
#1648076
AlanM wrote:I am not fully conversant in ATPL licence crossovers, but I would assume that the training syllabus is closer and more aligned to a civvy conversion.

My point was more about changing the ‘entry qualifications’ due to ATCO/Pilot shortage.


I have no direct knowledge of this, but presumably it would be easier to convert a controller from say Brize, than it would be to start again with an Ab Initio student?

Ian
User avatar
By AlanM
#1648077
G-BLEW wrote:
AlanM wrote:I am not fully conversant in ATPL licence crossovers, but I would assume that the training syllabus is closer and more aligned to a civvy conversion.

My point was more about changing the ‘entry qualifications’ due to ATCO/Pilot shortage.


I have no direct knowledge of this, but presumably it would be easier to convert a controller from say Brize, than it would be to start again with an Ab Initio student?

Ian


IIRC correctly the EU ATC Basic Course (essentially ground school) was reduced from around 6 weeks to 3 weeks. There was still a need to do the Endorsement training in full (ADI - Aerodrome Control and APS - Approach Control)

From my experience the Ex Mil ATCOs had to un-learn the Military way!

(And most on my NATS course many years ago (pre-course syllabus credit) essentially chose to omit saying they were ex mil!)
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By CloudHound
#1648080
I spent some time recently as a guest of Brize Norton’s SATCO. I was shown the radar room and plugged in to the LARS desk.

They cover a huge swathe of Class G towards Bristol and want more customers. I watched 2 or 3 targets which never called (and that’s their business) but the willingness to assist GA was clear.
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By JonathanB
#1648082
I had an ex mil controller on one of my courses who pulled out as he just couldn’t get the hang of civvy controlling having been mil for a long time. He’s back in the mil ATC world again. Another on one of our courses didn’t pass (as far as I know). That’s said there are plenty of others who did get through all the way and are now civvy controllers. As AlanM says, same job but not the same - quite different methods.
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By Dave Phillips
#1648083
I'm not so sure it is a difficult as people make out. As an ex-military man I trotted over to the ATPL side of the house and much of it was similar. Operations wise, it isn't too different either and many of my friends have made the transition with ease.

The real elephant in the room right now, from a military perspective, is that I'm told the ATCOs are at 63% of establishment. Bearing in mind I left a little over 10 years ago, I was recently asked if I wanted to return in my leaving rank on whatever terms; they are just as/more short than the civil side.
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By chevvron
#1648086
JonathanB wrote:I had an ex mil controller on one of my courses who pulled out as he just couldn’t get the hang of civvy controlling having been mil for a long time. He’s back in the mil ATC world again. Another on one of our courses didn’t pass (as far as I know). That’s said there are plenty of others who did get through all the way and are now civvy controllers. As AlanM says, same job but not the same - quite different methods.

We had an ex military controller at Farnborough (late 30s) who had been providing aerodrome services as well as LARS in the military world.
He was withdrawn from training on radar due to lack of progress and posted to another unit.
User avatar
By rikur_
#1648091
chevvron wrote:
We had an ex military controller at Farnborough (late 30s) who had been providing aerodrome services as well as LARS in the military world.

I thought for a minute that you were reminiscing about the 1930s....
By chevvron
#1648094
rikur_ wrote:
chevvron wrote:
We had an ex military controller at Farnborough (late 30s) who had been providing aerodrome services as well as LARS in the military world.

I thought for a minute that you were reminiscing about the 1930s....

Even I wasn't at Farnborough in those days. :tongue:
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By GonzoEGLL
#1648099
However chronic the shortage of civil ATCOs, the shortage of ATCOs in the military is significantly worse.

Assuming there's a large pool of people there who can convert quickly, even if the avenue was there, is incorrect.
By Mike Tango
#1648110
FWIW back in the 90s, during an earlier staffing crisis (what, another one?), a smallish group of ex military controllers were recruited by NATS and converted to civil licences on a deliberately truncated course at the then College of ATC at Bournemouth.

We got a couple, possibly three, at Heathrow and iirc all successfully validated in the tower as required of them, as they were to stay at the airport post the move of radar to West Drayton.

One of my last roles in NATS was an involvement in an external recruitment of controllers specifically for Terminal Control. We took on one ex mil controller who had paid for his own conversion to a civil licence. He is now valid.

Ex mil is a pool of talent that should not be discounted.

If there was a will, if there's available bodies, there's a way.
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