I served in the Royal Air Force for around 7 years prior to joining NATS.  Although Air Traffic Control was a career that I always wanted to get into, I assumed that I’d need to be super qualified, so I never explored it any further. 

When I finally decided that I needed a new challenge in life, my attention drew back to ATC, and luckily by now the internet was readily available so I was able to carry-out some research.  Realising the career was accessible I submitted my application and my first round of assessments were booked without hesitation.  

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Over the past few weeks we have highlighted the issues associated with airspace infringements including the significant impact they can have on controller workload, the necessary avoiding action, delays and cost that can result to other pilots following an incident.

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Frequency Monitor Codes (FMCs) have now been in use in the UK for over 10 years and they’ve collected a range of names during that time such as Listening Squawks and Monitor Codes but they are all actually referring to the same thing.

Pilots are encouraged to use a FMC when they are flying outside controlled airspace, but close to controlled airspace boundaries, in order to increase situational awareness and help to combat infringements.

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Navigation at sea is very different to aviation – with the exception of a few very busy traffic management schemes such as those in the English Channel, ships are largely left to depend upon the training of the captain and self-separation. But on the issue of drones, there is absolute agreement – they are already here and are able to deliver substantial benefit to UK plc.

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We are always looking for new ways to challenge and inspire our thinking; part of that involves making sure that our solutions are not limited to a narrow Air Traffic Management (ATM) perspective and are instead considering how knowledge from other disciplines could be applied to ATM.

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Although Scottish schools are back in session, this week hundreds of school children are taking a field trip to an airport to learn all about the importance of Science, Technology, English and Maths at the Scottish Airshow STEM event.

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Most private GA pilots go flying to get away from the stress and strains of modern life. Some may think that talking to ATC will increase that stress, in fact the opposite is often true.

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In March easyJet invited friends and family into their HQ at London Luton Airport to give them a behind the scenes look into the world of aviation. It’s an important occasion where guests get an insight into what goes on behind closed hangar and cockpit doors.

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This week Europe’s aviation community gather for the European Commission-sponsored Aerodays conference. It’s a major event that only takes place once every few years to develop innovative concepts and technologies that will help ensure the aviation can grow, safely and sustainably, and to discuss emerging issues.

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Next week a major European aviation conference comes to London. Aerodays is the European Commission’s flagship event in aviation research and development.

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    Whiteley
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