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The Fleet

AIRCRAFT CONTROLLER

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    Average pay:
    RN and RM Officers and Ratings Rates of Pay 2008
    Age on entry:
    16-36
    Nationality:
    British or British dual citizenship
    Qualifications:
    2 GCSEs (or equivalent) in Maths and English grade A*-C
    Gender:
    Aircraft Controllers (AC) can be men or women

    Job description

    As an Aircraft Controller (AC) you play a vital role enabling the aircraft to take off, achieve its mission and return safely. You are the communication link between the aircraft and the ‘home’ unit -whether that be a ship at sea or a land-based Naval Air Station. Therefore, the work you do is essential whenever the Royal Navy is flying.

    As an AC you will co-ordinate the aircraft’s missions which could be anything from live combat to complex training exercises, Search and Rescue to carrying Royal Marines Commandos, weapons and vehicles to the front line.

    We offer most people the security of a Full Career, which is 18 years or to age 40, whichever is later.  Some people may have the opportunity to serve for longer, depending on their wishes and the needs of the Service. However, if you want to leave the Royal Navy, you can submit 12 months’ notice two and a half years after the end of your initial professional training. The exact length of this training period depends on the particular job you do and the level of training it requires.

    Aircraft Controller information pack

    PDF fileDownload the PDF

    On board

    Name: Jucinta Mulholland

    Age: 24

    What's an average day like?
    There is definitely no 'average day' as an aircraft controller! One day we could be briefing the aircrew on important tactical information in the Mediterranean, the next controlling multiple aircraft during a NATO exercise or carrying out firefighting training on a ship off the coast of India, - nothing average about that! The best thing about being an Aircraft Controller is that no two days are the same.

    It sounds like there is a lot of responsibility.
    There is a lot of responsibility as an Aircraft Controller; however, that’s what makes the job attractive and vastly rewarding. There is nothing better than seeing the aircraft land safely back on the deck in bad weather or during an emergency, thanks to you the Aircraft Controller.  I have found that my confidence has grown a great deal as I’ve become more experienced, things like giving briefs to senior officers and controlling multiple aircraft in various environments soon becomes second nature. It has definitely given me more life skills that I can call upon to use everyday.

    What's it like being a part of the Fleet Air Arm?
    The world of Naval Aviation is very exciting; it involves a large number of highly professional people all working together towards a common goal - getting an aircraft to complete its mission as safely and effectively as possible.  As an embarked Aircraft Controller you are vital in this process. It's also a huge amount of fun – and my friends back home can't believe what I do for a living!

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