Understanding ATC

I’ve had a longstanding interest in pursuing a career in the aviation industry and having spoken to employees and past placement students about how beneficial the Early Careers Scheme is and how stimulating it was to be a part of NATS, it was a no brainer for me to apply.

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Air traffic controllers might not be in the business of saving lives, but every day they – along with our engineers – help thousands of people safely reach their destinations. And the same is true on Christmas Day, with controllers across the country giving up time with family and friends to help make sure others can get to theirs.

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I applied to NATS because I knew I didn’t want to go to university as it wasn’t the best option for me. Instead, I applied to three different companies for engineering apprentice roles and after receiving offers from two out of the three, I ultimately decided that NATS’ Early Careers Scheme was the best option for me.  

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Having worked at NATS for 13 months as an Industrial Placement student, I was incredibly happy to be offered a graduate role in the Supply Chain department this year.  In fact I was so keen to come back to NATS as a graduate that I think I said yes before my manager had even finished asking me!

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Studying Mathematics can often be highly theory based and sometimes lacking real life context so when searching for a placement, I was looking for a role that used the skills I had gained throughout my education within an interesting context. Although I had little knowledge of air traffic control, it sounded like a unique place to work and fit what I was looking for perfectly.

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We’ve created Plane Talking, an amazing new visualisation that focuses on just one single flight amongst the thousands we handle on a daily basis, offering a wonderful insight into the dedication and professionalism that sits behind every one.

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Zoe, who is currently training with NATS as an Engineering Technician, tells us a bit more about her role at Britain’s biggest and busiest international airport…

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Last summer, NATS handled almost a quarter of all air traffic in Europe and yet contributed just 2.6% to total delays, but airspace capacity continues to challenge operational resilience.

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On 24 June 1948, ground access to the French, British and American zones of Berlin was cut off by the Soviet forces in East Germany. On 26 June, the first airlift flights departed for West Berlin. Over the following fourteen months over two million people were supplied with food, medicine, clothing, fuel, water and any other necessities by air.

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