FAQ – Air Traffic Services (ATS) Training

A significant volume of Air Traffic Control (ATC) training will be required to ensure that we have a sufficient number of Air Traffic Control Officers (ATCOs) and Air Traffic Control Assistants (ATSAs), with the necessary qualifications, to deliver the programme on schedule.

This will involve those ATCOs that do not currently have Radar Approach Control (APS) ratings undergoing an APS course at college followed by unit training.

ATCOs who already hold APS ratings and validations will be required to undergo conversion and transition training for the new systems installed in the Combined Surveillance Centre (CSC). Furthermore, there is likely to be a requirement for additional On-the-Job Training Instructors (OJTIs) and Assessors.

The Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) Board have approved a proposal for APS, OJTI and Assessor courses for existing ATCOs and ab-initio courses for new inductees to be conducted at an approved Initial Training Provider (ITO) as per the current arrangement.

However, all development training associated with the ATMS programme e.g. conversion, transition and systems training etc. will be conducted at the HIAL Training Centre which will be located at the new Contingency Centre.

Q. What support will staff be given prior to undertaking external APS Courses?
A. We appreciate that many of our staff have not undertaken a formal ATC training course for some time. Therefore, our intention is to ensure that staff are well prepared and feel confident to undertake the APS course.

We are exploring the development of a “pre-course programme”. We will work with staff to identify any other support that be may required.

Q. What happens if staff do not pass APS course or unit endorsement?
A. We understand the challenge of obtaining an additional validation and of using new technology. Therefore, we will work with staff to review what support may be required to assist staff to pass the APS course and help attain endorsements.  Ultimately, we want to ensure the best outcome for all concerned. We will explore re-deployment into a suitable role where necessary.

Q. Will staff have to relocate before I do my APS course?
A. The training schedule will be linked to the transition plan to ensure minimal disruption to family life and ensure staff have additional licences ratings before relocating.