Air Traffic Controller Training in Suffolk, VA - Where Do I start?
Air traffic controllers in Suffolk, VA play a vital role in modern aviation. From providing up to date weather information to keeping planes from getting too close, air traffic control is an exciting and necessary career. If you're considering becoming an air traffic controller inSuffolk, VA, you must go through a multi-step process that begins early.
Specifically, those training for an air traffic control career must be younger than 30 unless they already have experience as an air traffic controller (such as through the military). From there, you must go to college, apply for an ATC job, and attend the FAA training academy.
For Air Traffic Controller Training in Suffolk, VA Attend College or University
While not totally essential, the easiest way to begin a career as an air traffic controller is to go to college. There are numerous FAA-approved schools nearSuffolk, VA offering training through the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) that will help you meet the minimum requirements for applying for an ATC opening with the FAA.
Once you have completed your two-year or four-year degree, you should receive a letter of recommendation from your school and apply for an ATC job.
If you've already gotten a degree or you're switching careers, you must have either progressively responsible full-time work experience or college study to qualify. Specifically, you need three years of work, four years of college, or some combination of the two to satisfy the minimum requirements.
Where You'll Work as an Air Traffic Controller
As an air traffic controller inSuffolk, VA, you can expect to work in one or all of these four areas:
At the airport - these controllers work at what's called the "tower" even though you may or may not actually be located in the tower. Tower controllers are responsible for local airport operations including reporting weather, issuing takeoff clearances, controlling aircraft on the ground, issuing runway assignments, handling all arriving and departing traffic, and above all, ensuring that all of these aircraft maintain a safe distance from each other at all times.
Near the airport - Terminal "approach" control, or TRACON for short, handles all inbound and outbound traffic in a specific area near an airport, or a group of airports. A good example is that most big cites have TRACON services that handle all aircraft in the general vicinity of the metropolitan area.
TRACON controllers make sure all aircraft are properly sequenced and spaced for safe arrivals and departures from all airports in the entire area.
En route - Between major metropolitan areas are vast expanses of airspace. "Center" controllers handle all traffic in these areas and rely on long-range radar and radio services to maintain contact with, and separation for, all aircraft under their control.
Flight Service Stations (FSS) - Flight service stations are regional offices that supply vital flight planning, weather, en route, communication, and navigation information via radio to pilots already airborne, and via telephone and computer to pilots planning flights on the ground.
Sometimes flight service specialists (people who work in an FSS) will help other ATC personnel by relaying radio messages to pilots who cannot talk to other ATC controllers because of current location and altitude.
Air Traffic Controller Requirements
Air traffic controllers fromSuffolk, VA must be good multitaskers, with the ability to make quick decisions efficiently. Most of the time, controllers are "working" several aircraft simultaneously, and are responsible for giving the pilots correct information via radio, making sure that the aircraft are not too close to each other (separation), and all the while, ensuring the efficient flow of traffic into and out of the controller's sector. Learn more about air traffic controller jobs.
Apply for an Air Traffic Controller Job in Suffolk, VA
Once you've met education or work experience requirements, you must pass an exam. The computer-based pre-employment exam requires about 8 hours to complete and is only offered by the FAA. Typically, there are more applicants than test slots, but AT-CTI applicants in good academic standing are guaranteed an opportunity to take the exam.
Once you've passed the exam, you are technically eligible for an air traffic controller job nearSuffolk, VA, unfortunately, you must then undergo an extensive background check and drug testing. It's safe to say, the FAA doesn't let just anyone work ATC.
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Attend FAA Air Traffic Controller Training Near Suffolk, VA
Finally, once you're hired, the FAA will send you to Air Traffic Controller training for 12 weeks of intensive training on the ATC system, regulations, and equipment. Thankfully, if you're a graduate of an AT-CTI program, you may be able to bypass the first five weeks of training.
Once you've graduated from the academy, you will receive an assignment to a real air traffic control facility for an additional 2 to 4 years of on-the-job-training. If you make it through all that training, you're all set for one of the most fulfilling careers available today.
As you can tell, air traffic controller careers are not for the faint of heart. The training is extensive, but it has to be because ATC is a high-stakes career. If you think you've got what it takes, now is the time to start training for your air traffic controller career.
Air Traffic Controller Career Center in Suffolk, VA
An air traffic controller's primary responsibility is to "maintain separation" between all types of aircraft. Other responsibilities include aiding the swift and efficient movement of aircraft to and from airports and across great distances en route. Finally, air traffic controllers assist pilots in emergency situations.
Air traffic controllers typically work for the U.S. Government and are employed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), although some controllers work in what are called "contract" towers where air traffic control (ATC) services are awarded to private companies. If you would like to begin training to become an air traffic controller, start now.
You must be 30 years old or less to apply for a job with ATC. Learn more about air traffic controller training.
Air Traffic Controller Salary Info - How Much Do Air Traffic Controllers in Suffolk, VA Make?
U.S. Air traffic controllers fromSuffolk, VA make a good living and have excellent benefits. According to a 2010 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most Air traffic controllers average $110,000 per year in salary, with some controllers making less and some making more.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the starting salary for new controllers was $37,070 in 2010. Controllers' salaries increase as they complete each new training phase. According to the FAA, controllers who have already completed on-the-job training had an average annual salary of $118,000 in 2010. Get more information about air traffic controller jobs here.
Aviation History for Suffolk, VA and Fun Facts for Suffolk, VA
Whirly-Girls History: Jean Ross Howard Phelan, Whirly-Girl #13, founded Whirly-Girls in 1955. In hopes of developing an organization where female pilots could share information and camaraderie, she was one of 13 charter members representing women helicopter pilots from France, Germany and the United States. As of 2011, there are over 1700 registered members representing 44 countries. Whirly-Girls is an official affiliate member of the Helicopter Association International.
New Helicopter Pilot Training Facts:
When the engine quits during a hover, the pilot needs to make three control inputs. The right pedal is pressed forward to reduce tail rotor thrust. Now that the engine isn't running, you don't need all of that anti-torque. The cyclic is pressed slightly right to return it to a neutral position. An American helicopter has a tendency to drift right in a hover, which means that a pilot has to hold a slight left cyclic input to keep the helicopter stationary. (The cause of the drift is tail rotor thrust.) When the engine power is removed, leaving this input in will result in a left drift. Thus the need to pull the cyclic slightly right. The final required input is an upward pull of the collective, starting at about 1' from the ground. This cushions the impact.