Air Traffic Controller

Top 5 blog post of 2015

We thought we’d share our favourite aviation blogs from 2015 with you. Is there something you would like us to cover in 2016? Which was your personal favourite blog we posted from 2015?

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What is a FISO?

Air Traffic Controllers are only one aspect of the air traffic services provided to commercial and general aviation by NATS. Another aspect is the basic service FISOs (Flight Information Service Officers) give to aircraft operating outside of controlled airspace.

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The Scottish Airshow made a welcome return in 2014 following a 22 year absence, with more than 120,000 visitors casting their eyes across an impressive range of aircraft and waving a fond farewell to the Vulcan that now goes into retirement.

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Visiting pilots to the NATS simulator at a recent CAA/Department for Transport event in Duxford were encouraged to see what the world looks like through the eyes of a controller, especially when dealing with infringing traffic.

Sat at the simulator, pilots watched the busy radar and had to make quick-fire decisions to avoid the infringing aircraft as well as continuing to allow commercial traffic to land and take off.

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For anyone who have seen the film ‘A Matter of Life and Death’, it’s easy to think that it is nothing more than a wartime love story (although it does have an interesting metaphysical theme). However, to aviators it is likely to mean just a little bit more.

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We spend a lot of time talking about what air traffic control (ATC) is and explaining how it works, but what about the many myths that are out there about ATC?

Films such as Pushing Tin do nothing to help separate fact from fiction so we’ve attempted to do just that right here and tackle eight of the most common misconceptions about ATC, airspace and controllers. Let us know if you believed any of these falsities or have any others that aren’t included here.

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The average passenger on board any one of the 5000 plus flights through UK airspace every day is likely to be aware of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) sat in the control tower at their airport, ensuring a safe and efficient arrival or departure.

However, many people simply aren’t aware of the controllers who make sure that aircraft get to their destination through the airspace in-between airports – either just in the UK or connecting a flight between different countries airspace – that’s the job of the area controller.

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The ferroNATS project encompassed a series of safe and seamless transitions from one ATC provider to another, and also the recruitment and training of new air traffic controllers, creation of new safety cases for each airfield and the implementation of NATS’ renowned Just Culture for safety reporting.

Now that FerroNATS is firmly established as a trusted air traffic services provider in Spain we take a look at the project, its challenges and its benefits in a new interactive feature.

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There is one group of people that are often over looked when thinking about those working during the festive season; that of air traffic controllers.

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Find out in this video what it’s really like to train and work as an air traffic controller, and what one of our controllers likes best about her job.

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