Air Traffic Controller - Try it for 5

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I work for the Royal Australian Airforce

I work for the Royal Australian Airforce

I initially joined as a pilot,

but I didn't pass pilot's course, so I switched to air traffic control

A lot people here have a background in aviation and it can be advantageous.

However they're air traffic controllers from all walks of life.

I have to check the day's schedules before I start and see if there has been any changes to the local orders,

including any changes to radio telephony or separation standards.

Safety is our primary concern.

They're regulations just at every situation, and I need to know them all!

This is a training base, so the pilots are learning basic skills.

In this room we're monitoring the flight paths outside the Tower

and letting the pilots know what they can and can't do!

It's a team environment, It takes more than just a pilot,

to safely fly a plane.

You've also got Ground control, Tower control

people like myself in the approach room.

and other traffic control agencies all needing information on each individual flight.

You might have to take information from all different areas at once.

You might have aircraft talking to you, other controllers talking to you, taking information from the radar screen

and also needing to write on flight progress strips.

You need to be able to calmly interpret all the information.

Determine what you are going to do and say. Make a plan and carry it through!

Time for a break!

It's good to get away from the screens for awhile although most times,

you find yourself doing more work on tasks such as administration, stock control

briefings and training.

Part of the job is to provide training to other people

so they can learn the skills to be able to do the job by themselves.

".. by talking to tango 211 first when you cross the line, that way,

when 226 calls us, we have time to sort him out, where as if we waited

226 calls us we deal with him have a bit of a chat, tango 211

now gets initial approach fix, we haven't given him decent, so if we can do it

get it out of the way, straight out of the way."

Working for the defense forces

you get posted different places roughly every three to five years.

Some people don't like it.

But would be good to see new places, faces and bases.

" Kilo Whiskey Oscar, Pearce Centre identified seven zero miles south of Perth veered Bunbury

Perth, Jandakot flight level One Three Zero

Raptor, Pearce Centre, we have a civil aircraft transiting Romeo One Six Six at flight level

One Three zero

Can you except operation not below five one four zero?"

(Radio chatter: not below five one four zero and how long)

It‘s good to have maths and physics skills

to this job.

The one thing you learn is diplomacy. Sir! we got Kilo Whiskey Oscar

tracking Bunbury to Perth at flight level One Three Zero

we also have raptor tracking down to gulf

flight level one four zero

Their not willing to accept operations not below flight five four one zero

what do you reckon we should do?

keep Kilo Whiskey Oscar over land

and we will get Raptor over water there

OK! for the transmit

Raptor! do expect under restricted operations over water and gulf,

turn right, heading

One Niner Zero to establish

If we could do something with Springbok two eight zero and Raptor there

They are going to conflict at Canac

so we probable need to give them on track direct!

to his way point position

Springbox two eight zero cancel sid.

Redirect position to three three south one zero five east.

see if we can push them down quickly sir!

Max rate of decent

we'll tidy this up. Get Raptor full clearance

Everything that you do is recorded every transmission, every mouse click!

these are kept upon backup tape for thirty days. So we can review them and see exactly what happened

This is an environment governed by regulations

but it isn't black and white either.

You need to be flexible in applying the rules, to achieve the results

Every air traffic controller has had a time when they've thought, Boy that

was close!

But everyday brings a new sequence of aircraft and getting through it successfully

is really rewarding

Vocabulary

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