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Scottish School-Leavers Urged to Consider Career in Air Traffic Control Amid Predictions of Rapid Flight Growth

20 August 2018

As Scotland's airports gear up for what could be their busiest summer on record, NATS, the UK's main air traffic service provider, is calling on students receiving their exam results this week to consider a career in the aviation industry. Graduates are also being encouraged to apply.

The industry is set to grow rapidly over the next ten years and despite advances in technology, skilled-workers will remain at the industry's core. This summer is likely to be the busiest on record with daily flights across the entire UK peaking at over 8,800 in a single day. It's predicted that by 2030, 355 million passengers will fly to and from the UK on over 3.1 million flights - that's an additional 500,000 extra flights per year.

NATS currently has around 1,670 controllers whose job is to safely manage the flow of aircraft through the UK's busy and complex airspace, as well as at 13 of the country's busiest airports, including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. With the forecast growth in flight numbers and the value the aviation brings to the UK economy NATS is looking to recruits hundreds more ATCs over the coming years.

Air traffic controller candidates are only required to have 5 National 5 Grades (A-C) do not need a degree, are paid to train and when qualified can earn a six figure salary with additional benefits so it's surprising that research conducted by NATS reveals that only 5.7% of Scottish 16-25s have ever received advice on careers in aviation.

It revealed that jobs in retail, professional services and health were four times more likely to be discussed in career interviews than aviation.

The survey also showed that the majority of 16-25s are attracted to job roles that include solving puzzles, working as a team, delivering under pressure and doing something of national importance - all key aspects of a career as an air traffic controller.

  • Opportunity comes as Scottish airspace experiences busiest summer of flights
  • Predictions of additional 500,000 UK flights per year a year by 2030
  • Less than 6% of young Scots have been advised on careers in aviation, despite careers matching their dream job requirements
  • NATS offers media rare chance to go behind-the-scenes in Air Traffic Control.