Nats to boost air traffic controller recruitment

Nats to boost air traffic controller recruitment

More air traffic controllers are being sought by the UK’s main provider.

National Air Traffic Services (Nats) is looking to recruit more than 200 trainees a year to keep up with demand.

It wants students who are about to receive their exam results to consider becoming air traffic controllers.

Graduates and people “from all walks of life” are also being urged to apply.

Nats said it was responding to a predicted surge in flight numbers.

As many as 355 million passengers are expected fly to and from the UK on more than 3.1 million flights by 2030 – an additional 500,000 extra flights a year.

This summer alone is forecast to be the busiest on record, with daily flights across the entire UK peaking at more than 8,800 in a single day.

Nats currently has about 1,670 controllers, whose job is to manage the flow of aircraft through UK airspace, at 13 of the country’s busiest airports.

Daryl Heaselgrave, general manager of Nats at Aberdeen airport, told the BBC: “We are looking to recruit a good number of ATCs over the next few years and we are looking for people from all walks of life.

“We are not necessarily looking for aviation geeks – we are looking for people who want to get into a job that is exciting, demanding and lives at the centre of the airport.

“It is not necessarily about academic capability – it is about aptitude. Yes, we would like people with a good basic mathematical brain but we are also looking for decision-makers, for people who can prioritise and people who can multi-task.”

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