It's no average 9 to 5 at Ronaldsway Airport!

 I visited some of the team at Ronaldsway Airport and got to see what students will be doing whilst on their work experience placement, and yes you guessed it- they’ll be visiting the Air Traffic Control Tower!

The airport has recently been looking for new staff to join the Air Traffic Control (ATC) team, which is a lengthy and intensive process for applicants. Paul Warriner, ATC Supervisor, explained to me that all suitable applicants are required to take part in rigorous aptitude test and out of all the candidates who applied earlier this year, only two were successful and being offered the opportunity to train as an Air Traffic Control Officer. The tests don’t stop there however, ATC Officers can train for anywhere between 5 and 10 years to become fully qualified, it is the type of role that evolves and has many new things to learn as technology advances.

To learn more about Air Traffic Control careers NATS (New Aviation Tool Set) have comprised a really useful information page

*image: Chris McKenna, Air Traffic Control Officer

The Airport are developing several initiatives aimed at promoting the career options available, developing an engaging work experience programme is an excellent place to start. After all, the Year 10 students coming out to them this year could potentially be members of their future workforce! The many students visiting the airport for their work experience placement this academic year will get the opportunity to visit some or all of the following departments:

Air Traffic Services: Observing the trained ATC Officers both in the radar department and in observation tower as they guide planes into and away from the airport.

The Meteorological Office: Finding out how the team there watch the oncoming weather via satellite feed, and how they then produce weather and shipping forecasts to be published to the Manx residents.

Airport Information desk: Greeting visitors to the airport and helping with any queries, this will be a good opportunity to develop those all-important communication skills.

Menzies Aviation: The Menzies team basically keep the show running throughout the airport! From boarding passengers, to plane safety checks, to maintaining the airfield and to checking in customers- students will have a chance to do it all over a 2-day period with the Menzie’s team.

Airport Fire Service: Students will get the opportunity to learn about the type of fire emergencies that could happen at the airport and will assist in the setting up, maintenance and checking of equipment.

What a fantastic opportunity and a great way to let a student develop some of those vital employability skills- I think they’ll be exhausted after such an intensive learning experience! I’m looking forward to finding out what students and may even spring a surprise interview on them!

Special thanks to Tracey Jopson who has kindly set up this placement for us, and to Paul Warriner in Air Traffic Control and Steve Quirk in Menzies- for letting me chat to you about your work!

This is Officer Yanknee- Alpha- Tango- Echo- Sierra, over and out.