BT From Canada, joined Feb 2005, 92 posts, RR: 2 Posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 4795 times:
Hey, well im finishing up high school now and im studying to be an air traffic controller, do you think if I contacted a local airport and asked if I could get a tour of one of the towers, what would they say, yes or no?
Pilottim747 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1607 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 4771 times:
It never hurts to ask. I know that SATCA, the University of North Dakota's Student Air Traffic Control Assoc, has sometimes found it hard to get into US facilities. However, I dont think there has ever been a problem getting tours of Nav Canada facilities in Winnipeg (close to UND). Try one of the towers near where you live. It's awesome to be up in an ATC Tower (even better when you've got a specific interest in ATC).
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N1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 28191 posts, RR: 74
Reply 4, posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 4740 times:
Listen, do not go to a specialist place. Go to a school where ever you want to work. Since you are from ANC, that is the western region and Mt. San Antonio Community College in CA is probably your best, and definately cheapest choice (especially if you live in CA for a year). The FAA of late has placed the priority on hiring out of the college programs, but will still take some directly into the Acadamy. Just remember, the college course does not certify or train you to FAA spec, you have to still do the Acadamy. If you want, I can give you my uncle's contact information (he has been a controler for almost 20 years).
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Type-Rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 4718 times:
As far as tower visits go, phone ahead and ask to speak to the tower manager. Explain to him what you are studying and ask if you could come down and talk to him about the business of ATC. But, if you want to tour a tower in the U.S. you have to be a U.S. Citizen. So probably a Canadian tower would be best for you.
A few weeks ago I was talking to a guy at HOU about aviation in general and we seemed to have a great conversation going. Later in the conversation I asked him what he did, he was the Regional Manager for the local FAA-ATC division! I asked him if I could tour the IAH tower, and the next thing I knew, I was up there! Security did ask me several times for ID's to make sure that I was truly a citizen of the U.S. Security at these locations is VERY tight! And I am sure that possessing a Commercial Pilot's license helped me out a little to boot.
Charlib52 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 165 posts, RR: 16
Reply 11, posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4646 times:
I think the best thing you can do is GET INVOLVED in the local aviation community. I got involved in local pilot groups when I was in high school (waaaaay pre 9-11) and got to know these folks. That pays dividends like you wouldn't belive. I was a volunteer for an "Aviation Academy" of middle Schoolers and so of course I invited the local tower chief to speak at our classes. From there, after a few episodes that made it obvious I was serious, it was simply a matter of a call on the phone.
However now that's changed. It's not easy access. But if you NETWORK with people it still pays off. I still get to visit the tower. But it takes time and effort, like lots of things in life...
I have always wanted to be an ATC specialist, but now at 32 I'm too old (!!). I hate that.