Air operations support
Air Traffic Controllers are guardians of the sky, helping air crews complete missions safely. Whether it’s from an RAF base or a joint military civil control centre, Air Traffic Controllers are masters of keeping cool under pressure.
- Manage and control military and civil aircraft in dynamic airspace
- Operate state-of-the-art radar and communication systems to guide aircrews
- Provide air traffic assistance in combat operations and humanitarian efforts
Similar civilian roles include Air Traffic Control Manager and Transport Planning or Logistics Manager
Full Time Regular
Initial pay after training £33,807 + Benefits
Pay during training £14,783 + Benefits
Entry level Airmen (Senior Non-Commissioned Officer)
Commitment Usual service 12 Years
Recruit & Non-Commissioned Aircrew Initial Training
As a direct entrant joining the Royal Air Force at the rank of Sergeant (rank attained upon completion of Air Traffic Control training), your career will start with a 10-week Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you will also learn about the RAF lifestyle.
Following Recruit Training, you will complete the Non-Commissioned Aircrew Initial Training Course (NCAITC) at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. This 10-week course is designed to develop your leadership and management skills and includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.
After the NCAITC, you will complete a six month specialist Air Traffic Control training at RAF Shawbury, Shropshire, the course involves:
Force Development at FDTC Fairbourne or FDTC Grantown-on-Spey.
ATC Theory, Meteorology (inc examination), Human Factors.
Radar Examination and Introduction to Aerodrome Control Training (ACT) Phase.
Visual Simulator (VISSIM) Lead In Phase.
VISSIM Test Phase
Aerodrome Phase Examination and Ex Shepherds Mentor.
At various points during the course JATCC students also complete BVP sessions with Stn Padre, further Force Development, Air Experience Flying and a visit to Liverpool Airport.
During your first tour you will find yourself working at either an Air Traffic Control Tower on a RAF base or at an Air Traffic Control Centre, working alongside your civilian counterparts.
Your Career Prospects
You will join the RAF as an airman under an initial 12 year engagement. Following 4 years service, you will be eligible to apply for an extension of service to complete a pension earning engagement of 20 years service or age 40, whichever is the later, during this time.
You will conduct additional training to develop your professional skills during each tour of duty and complete a further 6-week course in Area Radar Control before working at an Air Traffic Control Centre.
As an Air Traffic Controller in the RAF you will have many of the opportunities of your civilian counterparts with the chance to work around the world and gain a unique experience of Air Traffic Control.
You will need a minimum of 5 GCSEs (or acceptable equivalents) at a minimum of Grade C (Grade 4 to 5 with effect from Aug 17), including English Language and Mathematics or 5 Scottish Certificate of Education (SCE) Standard Grades at a minimum of Grade 2, including English Language and Mathematics or 5 Scottish National Equivalent (SNE) grades at Grade 5, including English Language and Mathematics.
- 17.5-40 (Must enter phase one training by 41st birthday)
To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria