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The Ferret King
Nov 23, 2003

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Hi, I'm The Ferret King and I'm an air traffic controller in the United States. I love aviation, and when I got an opportunity to work in this field 5 years ago, I couldn't believe my good fortune. I've since worked at two combined Tower/Approach facilities in Texas, and I'm hoping to one day move to an even busier facility in the future. I am also a low time private pilot. We have several other controllers on this forum, from the US and other countries. Please chime in and be part of this discussion! I sure hope you guys find some of this stuff interesting, as I really enjoy talking about air traffic control and aviation in general.

Today, the FAA opened a hiring announcement for off the street applicants (a pretty rare occurrence in the agency's history) and I figured it might spark some questions for those who are applying, or others who just heard about it and want to know what the big deal is. For more information on this please see the link at the top of the post.

naked chicks with guitars What we do
The primary purpose of the air traffic control system is to prevent a collision. An air traffic controller's first duty priority is to separate aircraft. In addition, we provide many other extra services on a workload permitting basis. It's a big sky out there, but there are so many flights airborne at a given time, wanting to go between common places, that some establishment of order and sequence is needed.

nude female clothed male A very brief and mostly plagiarized history

(Archie League, arguably the first air traffic controller sitting at his homemade work station)


The earliest forms of air traffic control were accomplished with flag signals from a guy standing on the ground at an airport. In the 1930s, increases in commercial air traffic resulted in the establishment of the first radio based control towers and centers. Towers would provide separation of aircraft over the immediate airport area by looking out the windows. Centers would separate aircraft along their routes by assigning routes and altitudes at sufficient times to avoid two airplanes being at the same place at the same time. Kind of like train track scheduling. They used maps, grease pens on glass and little fake airplane markers called “shrimp boats” to keep track of everyone's position. We call this type of procedural control “non radar” though at the time I'm sure the term didn't exist. The process of communication was still quite slow, since instructions had to be relayed through the airline's company by telephone, or to a nearby control tower within radio range, before it was given to an aircraft.



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World War II brought one of the greatest technological advancements to ATC. Radar gave controllers nearly instant feedback on an aircraft's position over the earth and allowed for more airplanes to use the national airspace simultaneously. Into the early 50s, radar was only used to handle traffic in the vicinity of busy airports.



Much of an aircraft's travel en route wasn't within radar coverage, and establishment of additional radar sites was stalled by federal budget cuts. The nation was still feeling its way through major increases in air traffic volume, and tweaking the national airspace system to meet the demand was a continual process.

Then, on June 30th, 1956 (a date all of us controllers learn about at FAA plane-school) a United DC-7 and a Trans World L-1049 collided over the Grand Canyon (at the time uncontrolled airspace, not served by the air traffic control system) killing all 128 people. The U.S. Congress approved funding for huge upgrades to the national airspace system, including expansion of controlled airspace and radar coverage. This national airspace system remains, with many upgrades and improvements, to this day.



jennifer aniston hot nude Air Traffic Control Today

free porn vids mature The types of air traffic facilities in the U.S.
jessica biel pussy shot Name (Abbreviation) [Radio Callsign]

vanessa hudgens lesbian pics Flight Service Stations (FSS) [Radio]


Flight service stations don't make control decisions on their own. They exist to provide pilots with preflight weather and routing information, and to act as a liaison between pilots and ATC when ATC communication is not available at the aircraft's location. In addition, flight service stations coordinate search and rescue efforts for missing aircraft along with Centers (discussed below) and local law enforcement. Pilots can radio flight service from the air, or ground, in most locations; or call them on the telephone. They used to be operated by the FAA but were contracted to Lockheed Martin some years ago. Much of their function can also be accessed through electronic means. Various websites and mobile apps can fulfill most flight planning and weather briefing functions. As a result, the number of flight service stations in the US has shrunk considerably, as communication methods have improved to a point where it's no longer necessary for a separate station to serve small geographical areas. However, you can still walk into an FSS and receive a face to face flight briefing, if you live near one. The FAA's hiring announcement posted today is not related to flight service station positions.


average times of sex Air Traffic Control Towers (ATCT) [Tower/Ground/Clearance Delivery]


Towers are probably the most recognizable air traffic control building. They are usually quite visible from your terminal/aircraft and can be very interesting structures. The view is great. The tower's function is to manage aircraft movement on the airport surface itself (runways, taxiways, sometimes ramp areas) and a small section of surrounding airspace. Tower function responsibilities can be split between several people, depending on need:

The Clearance Delivery controller is usually the first to talk to a flight crew on the radio. They give them their routing and altitude instructions based on the flight plan the crew submitted to Flight Service. When the flight crew has this information and is ready to taxi away from their parking area, they call the Ground Controller.

The Ground Controller manages aircraft movement along the taxiways, taking aircraft to and from the runways or repositioning them as needed. Sometimes they need to coordinate a runway crossing with the Local controller. This coordination is crucial to ensure proper timing of runway crossings between departing and arriving aircraft on the runway.

The Local Controller (most people know this person simply as "Tower") is responsible for aircraft movement on the runway surfaces, and the surrounding airspace delegated to them by the overlying control facility. The local controller visually scans the runways to ensure proper spacing is maintain between departures and arrivals. They're the ones that say "Cleared for takeoff" and "Cleared to land." They've got binoculars, and sometimes mini radar displays to help them find aircraft out the window. Depending on the airspace structure and type of airport, the local controller may have responsibility to set the sequence of arriving aircraft to the runway, telling who to follow who. At other locations, all of the arrival sequencing is handled by the Approach controller, and Local's job is to ensure separation between those arrivals, and any departures.

There are also many MANY airports in the U.S. that don't have towers at all! These public/private airports have a low enough traffic density (we hope) that pilots can handle their own affairs when getting in and out. They're all over the place here and they're very popular with smaller aircraft.


black chicks porn pics Terminal Radar Approach Controls (TRACON) [Approach/Departure]


Man look at all of that. Gotta know what all of those shapes and tick-marks mean. Don't let the blue dots touch! TRACONs can be colocated with a tower at an airport, or their own separate facility. They handle a section of airspace roughly 50 miles around their primary airport, from the surface to about 10,000ft. They use radar to keep aircraft a prescribed distance from one another, and line them up for arrival to airports under their control (usually a big primary airport and a bunch of smaller airports). They'll also manage overflight aircraft that are passing through within their altitude strata on their way to other destinations. TRACONs will split areas of their airspace off to separate controllers as needed for traffic complexity. Smaller places may have a single controller working both arrivals and departures. Bigger facilities can have 10+ separate sectors that can be split or combined as needed, covering a much larger geographical area.

Arrival controllers receive aircraft from the Center, sort them into a proper order for arrival to the airport, and descend them to an altitude from which the pilots can make an approach to the runway. They'll tell aircraft which way to turn, what altitude to maintain, and even how fast to go, to try and get as many airplanes into the airport as quickly as possible without losing required separation.

Satellite controllers will work areas other than the primary airport, and handle traffic to and from those small uncontrolled fields I mentioned earlier, or from smaller tower controlled airports. In very busy areas, the satellite traffic is kept away from the main departure and arrival corridors for the primary airport. They try to get everyone where they're going as fast as possible, but generally the flow of the primary airport's traffic will not be interrupted.

Departure controllers are responsible for coordinating with their towers to release aircraft, put them on course, and climb them to an altitude where they can be transferred to a higher up Center controller (or the aircraft's requested cruising altitude, whichever is lower). They may need to work around the arrival controller's traffic by turning their planes away, or holding them at a lower altitude until they're past the arrival corridor. As soon as they can, they allow the aircraft to proceed on course and hand the flight crew off to:


hottest sex scene movie Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC) [Center]


Well this is where my knowledge starts to lapse. I'm a Tower/Approach/Departure controller, and Centers are a whole different animal. They are the largest air traffic facilities, working hundreds and hundreds of miles of airspace from the surface (when no TRACON exists beneath them) all the way up to space (or 60,000ft, I forget). They monitor traffic en route at high cruising altitudes, where people are going STUPID FAST and can't turn on a dime. They manage climbs and descents for aircraft transitioning to or from their cruise. They even perform most TRACON functions for airports that lack a local facility. They contain a lot of support staff, managers, and specialists, and an entire unit dedicated to managing traffic flow by holding aircraft on the ground at their departure airports. Their radars update more slowly than a TRACON's, and they work many large areas that have no radar coverage at all. In those areas, they have to revert to that old school style of non radar controlling, with pen and paper and a good clock. They also deal with a massive amount of special military airspace and oceanic flights.

Centers are split into several specialties, so a single controller does not have to learn the entirety of that center's operation. Within that specialty, a controller will be responsible to work several radar sectors, and perhaps some non radar sectors. They are zoomed out so far on their displays that 10 miles can look like half an inch on the screen. It's a totally alien method of working airplanes to me, so I should leave it at that and let some of the center controllers chime in.

free cartoon sex comics Well that was a whole lot of words, where do we go from here?

I can't tell what, if any, of this stuff is interesting to the typical forums user. Please ask me any questions! I will also write a new post below to expand on what I know about the hiring process to try and help anyone interested in applying. It's not a job for everyone, but I've found it to be a very rewarding career thus far. It has been the most challenging and exciting thing I've done in my adult life (which might be why I can so easily blab on about it).

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The Ferret King
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Minimum Requirements

video porno de rubias KEY REQUIREMENTS

US Citizenship is required.
Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
Three requirements must be met to be referred for selection consideration:
Basic Qualifications
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Air Traffic Selection and Training (AT-SAT) Exam
This vacancy will be open for a minimum of 5 days and extended as needed

quote:

hillary duff naked photos Age Requirements: A maximum age of 30 years is established for initial entry into air traffic control positions covered by Public Law 92-297. Persons who have reached their 31st birthday may not be originally appointed to these positions. If experience was gained as a civilian ATCS with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or Department of Defense (DOD), you must have been hired prior to age 31. Maximum Retention Age: 5 USC 8335 (a) and 5 USC 8425 (a) require mandatory separation at age 56 in a career controller position.

my first porn 8 Why the age 31 limit?

FAA controllers are forced to retire at age 56. You must be in the job for 25 years to qualify for your pension. So when hired at 31 you'll get your retirement benefit eligibility at the proper time. Why a prorated option isn't available I have no idea. I guess they really do want the full 25 years out of you. Though the FAA website says you must attend the FAA Academy by your 31st birthday, in the past they have considered your age "frozen" upon receipt of a tentative offer letter, which happens several months prior to your academy start date. Additionally, the FAA tries to expedite the hiring process from a certain point for those in danger of getting too old. At what point this happens, I'm not sure, but it's certainly after you've taken the entrance exam.

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The Biographical Assessment (also called Biographical Questionnaire or "BQ") is a highly controversial screening test meant to ensure the FAA is hiring from a sufficiently diverse pool of applicants who are qualified to work as controllers. It's a character assessment of sorts. The FAA began administering this test last year during the open hiring announcement, and it disqualified a huge majority of applicants (up to 90% according to reports) which has caused a party porn free videos of controversy, especially from folks who went to college specifically for ATC, those with prior ATC experience, and military veterans.

download porn mp4 videos The announcement closing August 15th, 2016, does not require applicants who previously completed a CTI college program, or eligible military applicants, to take the BQ

lick her pussy clean What's the pre employment test?

The Air Traffic Selection And Training test (ATSAT) is an 8 hour cognitive ability test taken on computer. It's split into the following sections (click the section names for more complete information, courtesy of Stuckmic.com):

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free heshe porn videos nude video clips free You're shown a variety of dials and gauges and asked to describe their incrementation, or to read the dial/gauge value.
the watchmen sex scene four play in sex A short questionnaire about how you'd describe your personality. This is not the MMPI2 psychological questionnaire, which you take later on during your medical screening.
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older woman sex scene hardcore xxx porn clips A screen is filled with data tags for aircraft, each containing a 2-digit, 2-letter ID. At the bottom is a range between two numbers. Any aircraft whose ID falls outside of this range needs to be excluded by typing the 2-digit aircraft ID and then the enter key. You keep filtering out unwanted aircraft as more are added, and the range of numbers at the bottom occasionally changes.
marge simpson nude video free nude female pic A basic representation of a radar screen with simulated aircraft. You have to guide them to their landing runway or outside of the airspace along the proper routes while maintaining separation from other aircraft and the airspace boundary itself.

family sex video tube The starting pay seems really low

Starting salary for attending the academy is quite low, but supplemented with a per-diem that was around $80-90/day when I was there last. Some is only usable for housing, but the incidentals portion of the per diem can be spent or saved as you see fit. When I ran the numbers for my stay at the academy, I calculated I was really making more like $30k-35k effectively with the per diem figured in. It was livable for me, your mileage may vary.

Once you pass the academy and report to your facility, you start at the bottom of that facility's AG (academy grad) pay band. It's about $37,000/yr now I think plus a locality adjustment (what they call their cost of living adjustment) of between 14-35% depending on the geographical area of your facility. As you earn certifications through your facility, you hit certain Development Steps (D#) and start making the bottom of that pay band. Here they are for 2014 (you get 14-35% locality pay on top of this amount based on your location):



The numbers at the top are the facility complexity level. When you go to a facility with more traffic, you get more pay, basically. Facility levels can be found nude in the air CPC is "Certified Professional Controller," you move to the bottom of that pay band once you certify on all required positions at your facility.

asian lesbians free porn What are the medical qualifications?
You need to be able to pass an Airmen's 2nd Class medical plus EKG screen. You will also need to pass a psychological exam (it's the MMPI-2 short version). If you don't know what goes into obtaining and maintaining an airmen's medical, make sure and do your research before putting stuff down on paper. You may have trouble if you've had a history of anti depressant use, diagnosis of any mental or neurological disorder, or any sort of cardiovascular problems. These medical exams weed out a lot of folks who come unprepared. I can try to answer specific questions about the airmen's medical but it's pretty complex, and everything's case by case.

quote:

On anti-anxiety/depressants, 10mg once daily. How much would this screw with my chances of making the ATC cut?

You can't be on them and control. You'd have to be off them for a certain amount of time and then be evaluated by an FAA designated psych doctor and probably take an expensive battery of tests. You'd need to be free of the underlying condition's diagnosis before they'd issue an airmen's medical.

There are certain anti depressants that are now allowed for use by pilots after a 1yr evaluation period and a bunch of tests. There are only 3 or 4 specific drugs allowed though and it's currently not an exception that's available for ATC.

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I got a weird security certificate message on that website but I've been there a lot before and never had a problem. Our Union uses them.


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No felonies. DUI/DWI/Public Intox or past drug use will be a hindrance. It's possible to make it through the screening with these issues but it complicates things a lot. If you have an unreasonable credit history you may have trouble getting your security clearance. Substance related offenses harm your chances of getting the medical clearance also, so you get double-screwed.

donkey punch porn clip What's the training like after you're hired?

The academy is pretty intense. You go to the FAA's facility in Oklahoma City for several months (varies depending on facility type you're placed in). There are weeks and weeks of book work, memorization, and written tests. You absolutely have enough time to learn it all if you acknowledge your study limitations. Some people read something once and retain it. I studied after class every day just to make sure I aced the tests. And I did (this isn't an accomplishment, nobody cares how you did at the academy once you're out).

Nobody fails the written material, they just won't let you be that bad. Once you're done in the classroom portion you move on to the practical academy training. You work in either radar sim, or tower sim labs. Radar sims look just like the real thing except the traffic isn't real. Tower cab sims are an array of angled LCD monitors with a simulated view outside the tower windows. You practice scenarios for a couple weeks, increasing in intensity, and you'll have certain scenarios that are graded. Center students will also do a non radar lab portion, where they practice the Dungeons and Dragons method of ATC (I'm just poking fun at pen&paper ATC, I get to actually see all the airplanes I work).

The way they calculate the pass/fail scenarios has changed since I went. I believe now that you take several scenarios that are graded (like 2 or 3) mixed in between your normal sims, and then a final examination on the last day. Your cumulative score must be passing or you'll have to retake the final practical exam to try and get a high enough score. If you fail the retake, you are terminated and you no longer have a future with ATC. When I went, it was 100% based on that final exam. That was a tense day, let me tell you.

If you pass, you go to your facility and begin your local classroom work. More memorization, more bookwork, way more than what the academy threw at you. Still plenty of time allowed to learn it all, but you had better learn it ALL. After class, you may have a simulator portion of training if available, or you'll go to the operational area and work alongside a certified controller. You'll be expected to know your written material very well, and have an overall good sense of judgment. You'll be working live traffic. Your instructor will critique you on the spot, override you when you do something really stupid, and write up a training evaluation form for every training session.

You'll be given so many allowable hours to log on that position/sector while training. If you exceed those, a board will be convened to determine your future with the facility. You don't want this. It can lead to anything from extension of hours (we think you'll get it but just need more time) to relocation to a slower facility (we think you're capable but just not capable enough to work here) to termination (we don't think you're capable, or more honestly we don't like you).

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This stuff is actually pretty cool to me. How would you know a job like this is right for you? What sorts of majors/work experience can really help you get a job in this area?

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The Ferret King
Nov 23, 2003

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This stuff is actually pretty cool to me. How would you know a job like this is right for you? What sorts of majors/work experience can really help you get a job in this area?

I had no idea it would be right for me. I had a customer service and retail background. I knew I loved aviation, but in my late teens and early twenties I wasn't ready to commit to college, and I wasn't making enough money to where I was comfortable spending a ton of money on something like pilot ratings or aviation specific education. My friend told me about the FAA hiring off the street back in 2008 and I took a chance.

I had some serious concerns about getting into such a big responsibility. I wasn't sure I was ready to buckle down and really commit myself fully to a profession as stressful as I thought ATC was. I decided to go for it anyway, and I ended up doing pretty well at the academy. My training at my first facility went very smoothly, and I was encouraged every step of the way by older controllers and peers alike. The whole experience was intimidating, but awesome.

Get selected for the job first, when they do off the street hiring like this, it's all about meeting the basic qualifications for the hiring announcement. Then there's a lot of luck involved. Once selected, only your personal dedication and mental aptitude can determine if you'll make it through training. You won't know for sure until you try (some days I still don't "know" that I'm cut out for this).

I've always thought a really good bartender or restaurant server would probably also be a good controller.

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Dec 15, 2013



I'm still in college on scholarship so it's not worth it now, I was just wondering in the long term. Thanks for the advice!

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Theris
Oct 9, 2007


Any idea how long the hiring process takes between the announcement close and when you hit the academy? My 31st birthday is in late April, seems like it might be cutting it close.

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MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

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I'm currently an enroute (center) trainee, having graduated from the last academy class before the hiring freeze, in June, 2013. If anyone has specific questions about the enroute academy program, or about the academy more generally, or about the training process at a center, please feel free to ask.

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Nov 23, 2003

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Any idea how long the hiring process takes between the announcement close and when you hit the academy? My 31st birthday is in late April, seems like it might be cutting it close.

In 2008 it took me a little less than a year. I applied to the 2nd announcement they had that year and they did a total of 8. By the 8th people were waiting over 2 years to get selected and start the academy.

I'm afraid April is way too tight a time frame. I just couldn't see it being realistic. You could always try, maybe they'll do something different this year that speeds things up. Though the website says you have to attend the academy by your 31st birthday, it used to be that a tentative offer letter "froze" your age and you didn't have to worry about that. You'd get that tentative offer letter much sooner than your academy date, though still not April soon I don't think. It's still unlikely to happen by April, but I wanted to clear up what may be a discrepancy in the job posting.

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Theris
Oct 9, 2007


Yeah, wouldn't hurt to try. I'm a current federal employee and already hold a secret clearance, so maybe being a transfer might help.

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This stuff is actually pretty cool to me. How would you know a job like this is right for you? What sorts of majors/work experience can really help you get a job in this area?

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I'm still in college on scholarship so it's not worth it now, I was just wondering in the long term. Thanks for the advice!

To add in response, there are some colleges that do offer ATC/ATM (Air Traffic Management) as four year programs designed to prep students for work as controllers. My alma mater is one such school, and a buddy of mine is currently working air traffic graduated from our ATM program. If I recall correctly, doing one of these programs, which are certified or some such by the FAA, you can graduate and go right into working for the FAA, skipping the OKC Academy and going directly to your field assignment. I don't know if they still have to do the localized training or not, I'd have to ask.

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Apr 26, 2008

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In 2008 it took me a little less than a year.

You got extremely lucky getting a class date as quick as you did then. For this one? I have no idea what is going to happen.

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skipping the OKC Academy and going directly to your field assignment.

They stopped doing this for controllers. No clue about other fields.

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Nov 23, 2003

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If I recall correctly, doing one of these programs, which are certified or some such by the FAA, you can graduate and go right into working for the FAA, skipping the OKC Academy and going directly to your field assignment. I don't know if they still have to do the localized training or not, I'd have to ask.

That's the sore spot with those students now. That program was called CTI and it has been completely eliminated as a source of new hires for the FAA.

They stopped off the street hiring right after I got in, and basically told all interested that they had to go to these specially accredited schools and earn a certificate. Then they'd be able to apply to CTI announcements.

Then, they never posted any CTI announcements after the first year or so. Students were starting and completing their college courses (some schools got you finished up in 18months) without any idea when they'd be able to apply for work.

With the announcement posted today, the FAA lumped all of those CTI graduates in with the off the street applicants. It may have some impact on your resume for selection (that's total speculation) but the FAA has abandoned the CTI program as a source of new hire candidates for now. It was a really crappy deal for those who spent that money, or are currently enrolled.

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You got extremely lucky getting a class date as quick as you did then. For this one? I have no idea what is going to happen.

HR was even still answering the phones and they let me change my assigned facility (gave me a choice of 3 different ones, actually). My timing couldn't have been more accidental, nor more perfect. It wasn't long after that their backlog got insanely big, they quit answering phones, stopped approving applicant requests, and kinda went into lockdown. Class dates got strung farther and farther out. I'll probably be repeating this a million more times in this thread, but I was VERY lucky.

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Yeah, wouldn't hurt to try. I'm a current federal employee and already hold a secret clearance, so maybe being a transfer might help.

Coworker of mine and I were at the academy together, same start date at our facility. He had some years with the TSA and that broke our seniority tie in his favor for bidding time off/shifts. Your government time should be an asset in at least some small way.

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Apr 26, 2008

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HR was even still answering the phones and they let me change my assigned facility (gave me a choice of 3 different ones, actually). My timing couldn't have been more accidental, nor more perfect. It wasn't long after that their backlog got insanely big, they quit answering phones, stopped approving applicant requests, and kinda went into lockdown. Class dates got strung farther and farther out. I'll probably be repeating this a million more times in this thread, but I was VERY lucky.


Yeah, THIS is even more impressive than getting picked up on the random chance of a public announcement.

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There are also many MANY airports in the U.S. that don't have towers at all! These public/private airports have a low enough traffic density american sex star download (we hope) that pilots can handle their own affairs when getting in and out. They're all over the place here and they're very popular with smaller aircraft.

We have an uncontrolled airport in our airspace that we do approach control for. We are absolutely amazed there hasn't been a serious incident there yet. We've had pilots on the frequencies saying it needs a tower BAD, and even our management agrees. My first week there I was asking why the hell there wasn't a tower there. I can't count the number of times we have cleared someone on an approach, and literally less than 20 seconds later some guy says he departed VFR the OPPOSITE runway and is looking for his IFR clearance.

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The Ferret King
Nov 23, 2003

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I met my HR rep at my pre employment processing in Kansas City... I don't recall if I bought her a beer or not. I hope I bought her two.

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Jan 28, 2002

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Good thread, thanks for putting this up and letting us know they're taking off the street applications again.

What's your schedule like? amount of days worked on/off, hours, etc. I remember reading that it was a 3 days on, 4 days off, 4 days on, 3 days off sort of schedule in the past with 12 hour shifts but I'm not sure if that was just fantasy or not when you figure in the new guys getting the worst shifts, forced into doing overtime/extra days, and whatnot. How much paid time off do you get in a year?

Is it usually possible to get assigned to one of your top choices out of academy as long as you aren't requesting very small or extremely popular facilities? For instance, if I said my top three were Austin TX (my current home) / Portland OR / Denver CO is there a good chance I'd be assigned to one of those?

The salaries were cut by 30% back in the 2000's and that's still in effect, right? I know the salaries differ a lot depending on what facility you go to and what your discipline is, but do you mind sharing the normal average progression for someone from 1-10 years in the profession?

What is the pension like? I know what is offered now most likely won't be the same 25 years from now, but I'm still curious about how it is structured.

I'm somewhat like you in that I love aviation; but when I was starting out in school, there was no way I could afford all of the flight time and training to become a commercial pilot. The military wasn't something I was interested in either. I've always felt like I work very well under stress and that my mind can juggle a lot going on at once so I figured I might make a decent ATC'er. I graduated from college in 2009, though, and there hasn't been another off the street hiring since then so I concentrated on my chosen career and kind of gave up any thought about going into this field.

I work offshore as an engineer on a 4 week on 4 week off schedule so I love the time off I get along with the pay and travel but sometimes still wish I had a job that at least had me in my own bed every night and with a somewhat normal life so it is interesting to consider applying for this now that it is opened back up. The hardest part would be starting back at 1/3 of my current salary, though. That's why I'm asking about the average salary progression.

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Cuchulain
May 15, 2007

My tiny godly CoX shall burn forever!

Put in an application this morning. Here's hoping I hear back.

I did like OKC the one time I visited.

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To add in response, there are some colleges that do offer ATC/ATM (Air Traffic Management) as four year programs designed to prep students for work as controllers. My alma mater is one such school, and a buddy of mine is currently working air traffic graduated from our ATM program. If I recall correctly, doing one of these programs, which are certified or some such by the FAA, you can graduate and go right into working for the FAA, skipping the OKC Academy and going directly to your field assignment. I don't know if they still have to do the localized training or not, I'd have to ask.

I'm not at a college that does that, though, and I'm happy where I'm at. Is there a B.S. (or even a B.A.) you'd expect at a tech school that could get you in a similar position? I don't know if this job is a long-term goal, but it's something that seems a little interesting.

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The Ferret King
Nov 23, 2003

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Good thread, thanks for putting this up and letting us know they're taking off the street applications again.

What's your schedule like? amount of days worked on/off, hours, etc. I remember reading that it was a 3 days on, 4 days off, 4 days on, 3 days off sort of schedule in the past with 12 hour shifts but I'm not sure if that was just fantasy or not when you figure in the new guys getting the worst shifts, forced into doing overtime/extra days, and whatnot. How much paid time off do you get in a year?

Facilities can negotiate their own schedules and rotations to an extent. We must have at least 8 hours off between shifts (9 hours if the time off period is over night), we must work no more than 6 consecutive work days before getting a full 24 hours off, and we can work no more than 10 hours in a shift.

So both places I've worked were usually on a 5 day work week. 6 days were occasionally necessary for a while due to staffing, but sequestration and budget cuts hurt overtime availability for many facilities. I didn't work much OT last year at all. You bid your weekends yearly right before you bid your annual leave.

Our schedules descend. Flat 8 hour shifts, I'll just list my typical start times mon-fri: 330pm, 130pm, 800am, 600am, 1030pm that night. You'll see that's two "quick turns" a week. Getting off work at 930pm on my tuesday, going back at 800am the next morning. Then again on my Thursday I get off work at 2pm and go back at 1030pm for the midnight shift. The good news is I'm off work on Friday at 630am and I don't go back until 330pm Monday afternoon. Bad news is it can be fatiguing if you aren't able to sleep on queue. These aren't my actual days off personally, I was just using mon-fri to illustrate the shift order.

Other facilities can do things like 4 10 hr shifts or whatever, but I think what I've seen at my two facilities is probably the most common structure.


quote:

Is it usually possible to get assigned to one of your top choices out of academy as long as you aren't requesting very small or extremely popular facilities? For instance, if I said my top three were Austin TX (my current home) / Portland OR / Denver CO is there a good chance I'd be assigned to one of those?

This will be the first time in many many years that facilities are given based on academy performance. I'm not really sure how they plan on working it exactly, sorry. I knew my facility months before going to the academy. They placed you first back then, then sent you to school. This resulted in some talent going to slow Podunk airports, and some real useless trainees going to huge busy facilities.

It also caused trainees with potential to start at places way too busy for their lack of experience and result in either termination or the stressful process of "washing out" of training and getting moved to a slower facility. This was even worse back during the labor dispute a couple years back during the time our contract had lapsed. I may go into more detail on those days in a later post, though I was hired closer to its resolution and didn't suffer much from it personally (I was VERY lucky).

quote:

The salaries were cut by 30% back in the 2000's and that's still in effect, right? I know the salaries differ a lot depending on what facility you go to and what your discipline is, but do you mind sharing the normal average progression for someone from 1-10 years in the profession?

Progression by years served isn't a great indicator. If you stay in one place your pay never changes appreciably unless there's some new contract (lately these have NOT been favorable to the workforce) or you go to a higher facility. Those pay bands in my second post are what you're gonna get, plus locality. You'll be at the bottom of the band and creep up yearly with congressional and presidential raises. Those are normally a percent or two annually and lately have been absent or not kept up with inflation.

The cut in 2006 I'll try to talk more about later. The pay was cut drastically for new hires, and it took until late 2009 to arbitrate a new contract to restore the pay to more reasonable levels. They rolled out the restoration over a 3 year period, completing it in 2012 (that's why that image way above says 2012 pay band). After they finished restoring the pay bands, it was still less than what pre 2006 controllers were making, but it was close. This was branded as a huge pay increase by some media outlets but really it was a big pay cut, followed by a smaller pay raise, followed by a pay freeze.

quote:

What is the pension like? I know what is offered now most likely won't be the same 25 years from now, but I'm still curious about how it is structured.

This is all changing for new hires and I'll try to get more complete info for you soon. Now it's something like 1.5% of basic salary per year up to 20 years, then 1% each additional year of service. I think those figures are staying the same but I'm only paying .8% into it from my payroll and the FAA covers the rest. They're trying to make new employees contribute 5% or something. These are fuzzy numbers I'm working off memory.

quote:

I work offshore as an engineer on a 4 week on 4 week off schedule so I love the time off I get along with the pay and travel but sometimes still wish I had a job that at least had me in my own bed every night and with a somewhat normal life so it is interesting to consider applying for this now that it is opened back up. The hardest part would be starting back at 1/3 of my current salary, though. That's why I'm asking about the average salary progression.

You can increase your earnings steadily but it'll take time. It took me 16 months to fully certify at my first facility and some places take longer. Some take less time and a lot depends on individual dedication.

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Boola
Dec 7, 2005


Thanks, that's all very helpful.

I understand the pay scale now after your reply. So you work your way from AG pay at a facility up through D1-D3 and then CPC, and that took you 16 months to do. Correct? (And obviously it might take more or less time to reach CPC depending on facility/yourself) Roughly how long did it take for you to reach D1, D2, D3? Those pay bands are also before the locality adjustment is added onto it, correct?

Glad to hear they raised pay back up to near pre 2006 levels.

The schedule is a little different than most jobs, but I actually like how that sounds. How much paid time off do you get in a year? Is the PTO based on seniority or flat?

I might just apply while I consider & research this more since it might take from a year to who knows how long before I get invited to go to academy (if I even do), and there might not be another off the street hiring before I turn 31 (I'm 28 now). If I decide it isn't the best path for me, I can just say no thanks later.

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MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


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You can increase your earnings steadily but it'll take time. It took me 16 months to fully certify at my first facility and some places take longer. Some take less time and a lot depends on individual dedication.

In the center environment, the training program is a bit more structured, but that can lead to situations where you are ready for a required class, but they dont have enough people who need it, to fill it, and thus, you get to wait until they can. As an example, my OKC classmates didn't get into what we call D School until I was already done with it, and on-the-job-training on my first two D positions.

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MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


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I understand the pay scale now after your reply. So you work your way from AG pay at a facility up through D1-D3 and then CPC, and that took you 16 months to do. Correct? (And obviously it might take more or less time to reach CPC depending on facility/yourself) Roughly how long did it take for you to reach D1, D2, D3? Those pay bands are also before the locality adjustment is added onto it, correct?

I started at the academy on Feb 15th 2013, reported to Miami Center in June, and I'm looking at getting my first two certifications and my D1 raise next week or so. That was honestly pretty quick, though. I caught a couple breaks on classes.

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The schedule is a little different than most jobs, but I actually like how that sounds. How much paid time off do you get in a year? Is the PTO based on seniority or flat?

As a new employee, I get 4 hours of annual leave, and 4 hours of sick leave per pay period. (~2 weeks.) Both are bankable, with a few limits on how many hours you can save, (Its really a lot,) so you can carry it forward. As you gain seniority with the agency, you get more leave.

EDIT: Went and looked, I can bank 240 hours of annual leave. Past that, it becomes use-or-lose.

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Desi
Jul 5, 2007
This.
Changes.
EVERYTHING.


If any of my fellow Canucks are reading this and its piquing your interest, check out NAVCanada's website. NAVCAN is a bit weird because its Canada's privatized ATC service provider and runs independently of the government. In 1996 an Act of Parliament created the private, not-for-profit corporation that owns and operates Canada's entire civil air navigation system without any government funding. The Crown is, however, the only shareholder.

I'm an outsider (pilot), but from what I've heard NAVCanada has never really stopped hiring and has a massive backlog of people eligible for retirement but being bribed with bonuses to continue working because they don't have enough replacements. When I did a tower tour a year or so back they were practically begging our entire group to apply. Check out their site, it seems like a pretty sweet gig. I am more interested in flying than controlling, but I put in an application a few days back just to see what happens.

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Taliaquin
Dec 13, 2009

Turtle flu


This is not a question, but as someone who has to fly a couple of times a year and is terrified of being in a plane crash, thank you for helping planes not crash.

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Tommy 2.0
Apr 26, 2008

My fabulous CoX shall live forever!

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In the center environment, the training program is a bit more structured,


Also, it isn't training. It's more like monitoring. Center training is a joke. Trainers that actually train are rare in enroute, most of the time it's just a person monitoring for an extra 10%. The sad part is, in the D/R schools they actually DO train, but unfortunately it is on a lot of poo poo you don't use, or the wrong poo poo entirely since on the floor you will do things so differently.

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MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


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Also, it isn't training. It's more like monitoring. Center training is a joke. Trainers that actually train are rare in enroute, most of the time it's just a person monitoring for an extra 10%. The sad part is, in the D/R schools they actually DO train, but unfortunately it is on a lot of poo poo you don't use, or the wrong poo poo entirely since on the floor you will do things so differently.

This is mostly 100% true. I have a good friend that just washed on his first two R sides, and is going to Greensboro NC, partially because of it. I've experienced this already as well, but I've been exceptionally lucky, and got my original two trainers partially replaced with two that are a bit more engaged, and are both much better teachers.

The second part of your point is a good one, as well. When you get to D/R school, they tell you to forget everything youve learned on the floor, and to do it the "right" way. When you get to the floor, they tell you to forget everything you learned in the schools, and do it the "right" way. The same applies to the Academy to facility transition. Its frustrating.

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Tommy 2.0
Apr 26, 2008

My fabulous CoX shall live forever!

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This is mostly 100% true. I have a good friend that just washed on his first two R sides, and is going to Greensboro NC, partially because of it. I've experienced this already as well, but I've been exceptionally lucky, and got my original two trainers partially replaced with two that are a bit more engaged, and are both much better teachers.

The second part of your point is a good one, as well. When you get to D/R school, they tell you to forget everything youve learned on the floor, and to do it the "right" way. When you get to the floor, they tell you to forget everything you learned in the schools, and do it the "right" way. The same applies to the Academy to facility transition. Its frustrating.

Yeah, being prior USAF, the FAA's "training" has been one of the most frustrating things in the world to me. It is honest to god done to the bare minimum to legally cover their rear end. If you don't absolutely "get it" on your own then you are hosed.

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sleepy gary
Jan 11, 2006



Why does that pay chart completely ignore facilities less than 4 in complexity?

Is there any such thing as a part time controller?

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MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


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Why does that pay chart completely ignore facilities less than 4 in complexity?

Is there any such thing as a part time controller?

I don't think the FAA still operates any facilities rated at less than a level 5. Those facilities that would warrant a 1-4 rating are now contracted out. To get jobs there, you essentially have to be a former FAA, DOD, or Military controller, though.

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Apr 26, 2008

My fabulous CoX shall live forever!

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Is there any such thing as a part time controller?

Yes, but they only allow that AFTER they get fully certified.

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Dec 12, 2009

I'm the finger down your spine when all the lights are out. I'm the name on all the men's room walls. When I pout, the whole world tries to make me smile. And everyone always wants to know, who... is... that girl?

My father worked as an Air Traffic controller for 20 years. After he retired as a supervisor for a year Raytheon picked him up to train Controllers is that normal?

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Yes, but they only allow that AFTER they get fully certified.

My facility doesn't allow that. We've had a couple ladies that tried to go part time after having kids and they wouldn't have anything to do with it.

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Apr 26, 2008

My fabulous CoX shall live forever!

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My father worked as an Air Traffic controller for 20 years. After he retired as a supervisor for a year Raytheon picked him up to train Controllers is that normal?

Yeah, it is. Was he enroute or terminal?

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My facility doesn't allow that. We've had a couple ladies that tried to go part time after having kids and they wouldn't have anything to do with it.

Tell them to go to the union or something. It's a common thing at my facility for just that reason. They might have a lawsuit.

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Dec 12, 2009

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Yeah, it is. Was he enroute or terminal?


Tell them to go to the union or something. It's a common thing at my facility for just that reason. They might have a lawsuit.

He was Terminal

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Apr 26, 2008

My fabulous CoX shall live forever!

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He was Terminal

Ahh cool. At least he will know what the hell he is doing.

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Boola
Dec 7, 2005


How do they come up with the locality added to the pay bands? Is it part cost of living part desirability or something else?

I see that Seattle is 14% and Houston is 28%, even though Houston has a way lower cost of living. I definitely see Seattle being a lot more desirable than Houston, but when you figure Houston is a 12 level facility and it gets 28% locality... that's hard to beat.

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Nov 23, 2003

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He was Terminal

Just for those unfamiliar, Fat_Cow's dad was not dying. We tend to refer to ourselves as split between to categories. En Route (those that work in ARTCC Centers) and Terminal (Those who work in Towers and/or TRACONs).


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Tell them to go to the union or something. It's a common thing at my facility for just that reason. They might have a lawsuit.

I've yet to see part time at my facilities either, but I'm not certain it's ever been requested. Also I've worked at places with ~20 or ~40 controllers. You guys have hundreds of coworkers so maybe it comes up more often.


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My father worked as an Air Traffic controller for 20 years. After he retired as a supervisor for a year Raytheon picked him up to train Controllers is that normal?

I think so. And honestly that sounds like the sweetest gig. You're retiring around the same time that the FAA would be hiring a bunch of new people (to replace the retirees) and at that point you're a subject matter expert hopefully. All of my instructors at OKC were retired FAA controllers. I went to OKC twice. Once for tower school and again for radar school since my facility had both.

I think they make $60-80k/yr or something and that's on top of their retirement benefits from the FAA. It's gravy.


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Why does that pay chart completely ignore facilities less than 4 in complexity?

There aren't any facilities rated less than 4. In my second post I linked to this PDF of facility complexity ratings: hairy teens having sex (look at the ATC 2012 column).

You can see there are a few level 4s throughout the nation. BPT (Beaumont Port Arthur, TX), CSG (Columbus Metro, OH) etc. MrYenko is right, a lot of these end up getting contracted out to private companies to run (the FAA still pays the company to operate the facility, yay government contracts). Contract controllers are usually former military/FAA controllers who have good personal connections in the industry. You don't normally get hired directly into a contract facility off the street or anything.

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How do they come up with the locality added to the pay bands? Is it part cost of living part desirability or something else?

I see that Seattle is 14% and Houston is 28%, even though Houston has a way lower cost of living. I definitely see Seattle being a lot more desirable than Houston, but when you figure Houston is a 12 level facility and it gets 28% locality... that's hard to beat.

It's based on local taxes. Houston's biggest facilities are located in Spring, TX, a ritzy suburb with shitloads of oil money. The school and property taxes there are high, and artificially inflate the locality adjustment. As a result, Houston Bush Intercontinental Tower (IAH), and Houston TRACON (I90), are highly desired facilities to work in the FAA because they're the only level 12s in the nation with such a high locality %. You make the most money at those facilities and get to live in a relatively low cost area. It's a sweet deal if you're able to work level 12 volume (12 is the highest rating). Your pension is calculated free teenage porn sites based on an average of your highest 3 years salary. They're trying to change this to the highest 5 years for new hires. Regardless, people will sometimes want to go to places like I90 or IAH for at least 3/5 years to secure the largest retirement possible.

The Houston facilities are somewhat of an anomaly and people know it, so it can be tough to get into them.

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The Ferret King
Nov 23, 2003

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not having sex anymore Labor History and the Union

I'm going to fudge history again and gloss over some details, and I want to avoid any sort of dramatic pro labor language that miffs people or turns people off to our profession (though SA is probably a pretty safe environment for that overall). This stuff is highly relevant to the current hiring announcement, because past labor relations directly led to the requirement to replace nearly all of the controller work force every 25 years. This massive, repeatable attrition is what causes the FAA to begin hiring from off the street and open up this career to peons like myself.


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mandy moore nude scenes Where Did it Start?

In 1968 the hot latinas nude pics formed and was later recognized as a Labor Union, to organize and protest what the workforce thought was an untenable traffic volume situation. This began with a workforce-wide protest. Controllers insisted on forcing proper separation standards of all the aircraft being worked nationally. Previously, there was pressure from management to run airplanes much closer than legally allowed, to make up for the lack of infrastructure to handle the ever increasing traffic volume. There was no oversight, and the general public would have had no idea that the controllers responsible for their flights were being encouraged to skirt the separation standards in favor of quicker operations. Near collisions were common, but nobody ever heard about them. Airport expansion and ATC systems modernization was stagnant, and there were too many god drat airplanes in the air.

Federal limitations on strikes for civil service employees complicated PATCO's ability to force the FAA's hand on many issues important to the controllers. What follows is a short, hopefully unbiased history of what happened:

-In 1969, almost 500 controllers organized a 3-day "sickout"
-In 1970, about 2,000 controllers organized a sick out to protest what the felt were unfair practices of the FAA.

Then in 1981, PATCO declared a strike, and about 11,000 controllers (of approximately 13,000 total) refused to show up to work. Striking of government workers was still banned. President Reagan ordered the striking controllers back to work within 48 hours, lest they be fired. Almost the entirety of the striking workers refused the presidential order, and were fired (yep, 11,000 of them).

Right or wrong, PATCO was striking to protest work rules, under-staffing, and pay. Well if you already thought the ATC system was understaffed, how about after 85% of its workforce was fired? The strike and firings placed an unprecedented burden on the national airspace system. Supervisors, Managers, office workers with ATC background, were hastily placed into control positions. The military gave as many controllers as they could. The FAA began an aggressive hiring campaign, but it takes years to train brand new controllers.

To say things were a mess would be an understatement. Delays were enormous, controllers were even more overworked, safety was compromised. Scheduled flights even had to fight over vouchers for flight plan clearances off many airports. An airport would be given so many possible flight plan slots, and they were first come first served. Didn't get one that day? Well then you didn't get to fly with ATC service.

After a few years, some of the fired strikers were able to apply to get their old jobs back. And a new labor union was formed:




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Ok, so Take 2 (maybe 3, who's counting). FAA Air Traffic Controllers (and indeed several other bargaining units in the national airspace system) are represented today by the chubby hairy pussy pics Esablished in 1987, joining NATCA is optional. It costs you a percent or so of your facility basic pay very two weeks. The union has local representation at every facility, though not every facility is 100% union. My facility recently became 100% union, but prior to that we had a couple that elected not to join. Depending on where you work, this can create some friction between coworkers, but it wasn't an issue for my facilities, really.

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NATCA and the FAA butt heads regularly on all sorts of issues. Some seem more noble and worthy causes than others. The last big dispute occurred in 2006, with expiration of the "Green Book" contract that had been in place for years prior. Contracts are effective for so many years before the FAA and NATCA must go back to the negotiation table and reassess whether the contract still serves the needs of both entities.

The Green Book Contract contained some very unfortunate language. If a new agreement was not reached within a certain time frame of the Green Book's expiration, the FAA was allowed to invoke whatever changes it wanted. NATCA didn't foresee any reason for a stalemate because relations had been somewhat stable for a while and we didn't expect the FAA to feel the need to use that destructive clause.

Negotiations for the new contract to replace the Green Book got heated, and eventually there was an impasse over a couple articles mostly regarding pay. The FAA wanted to cut pay, NATCA was going to fight any such change. A new agreement was not reached in time, and the FAA exercised its power to assign it's own "contract." This was called the "White Book." NATCA called it Imposed Work Rules or IWR and would not agree to the articles concerning pay.

nude girls in usa Ouch (2006 Imposed Work Rule Pay for New Hires)


One of the worst things about this, is that only new hires would be getting this lower pay. This A/B-scale style of pay system is terrible for working conditions. The stressed out New York controller in his 40s was making way more than the stressed out New York controller in his 20s, and not by a normal factor of additional experience. We're talking a LOT more, and for doing the exact same job. Plus, depending on your tolerance for the stress of the job and what you think a good living wage is, there's no way anybody is going to volunteer to go to the busiest facilities to earn $80k when they can sit back at a facility several levels lower and make $65-70k. The difference in volume and complexity can be huge. $80k in the busiest and most expensive areas to live in the U.S.? No way.

Pay was the biggest sticking point for the impasse, but it didn't stop there. During the IWR, the tension between controllers and managers at facilities grew. The FAA took this opportunity to clamp down on personal luxuries. They mandated a dress code, they prohibited employees from leaving the facility to smoke or take a lunch break, and they gave incentive raises based on popularity instead of performance. Kissed enough rear end that year? Congratulations, you got a raise. They were also quick to escalate minor transgressions of rules. You had better not leave 30seconds before your shift ends or they'd drop the hammer on you. Have a loss of separation? They'd pull your certification and stuff you in an office for a few weeks. Mouth off to an overzealous supervisor? Maybe the Aviation Medical Office would get a phone call about your possible mental instability, wouldn't that be a shame?

Controllers were hardly angels during this time frame either. New hires were pouring in, subject to the lower pay and new shittier rules. Veterans had no motivation to deal with their poo poo while trying to take it from management as well. Training suffered, morale suffered. And plenty of controllers did everything they could to make manager's daily lives hell. Plus pay was frozen for everyone except managers. Many controllers left the union to become supervisors to earn more money. During a time of labor dispute this is a very serious slight to those folks' former colleagues. Everything escalated and it was looking like the FAA might not be a great place to work. Then in 2008:


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An aviation senate sub committee had been convened for quite a while already, discussing many issues of the national airspace, but the FAA/Controller labor dispute was definitely a high priority. Pressure from our new Democratic President (NATCA supported of course) finally moved things along and in 2009 (a few short months after I started working at my first facility, sex at school story I WAS SO LUCKY!) an agreement was reached. It's called the Red Book and it remains today. The pay bands referenced earlier in this thread are a result of the Red Book and several arbitration panels that forced an agreement to be made. The working conditions and rules were also relaxed back to more normal levels, and we got a lot of our protections from management indiscretion reinstated.

Regardless of what you think of unions, the pay new hires will enjoy is a direct result of relentless union action. I don't always agree with what our union does, but I generally feel better knowing they're behind me. I should mention, for those applying right now, that NATCA is fighting the increase of employee contribution to benefits for new hires.

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Tommy 2.0
Apr 26, 2008

My fabulous CoX shall live forever!

Seriously, the amount of people I work with that are anti-union and republican BLOWS MY MIND considering what happened with white book. I suppose that since they were grandfathered in it was "eff you got mine". It is freaking nuts the pay difference between guys getting checked out now compared to people 10 years ago. Like, a brand new lexus difference.

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CatchrNdRy
Mar 15, 2005

Receiver of the Rye.

Are your monitors and screens chosen for its appearance because its the most efficient? or because its difficult to update reliably? The screenshots look like what I'd stereotype air traffic control screens to be 20-30 years ago. Why doesn't it look like a trendy smartphone app!?!?!

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