Air operations support

Flight Operations Officer

Flight Operations Officers assist in the planning, tasking, co-ordination and monitoring of air operations. They are the vital link between the operations room and the aircrew.

Typical Responsibilities:

  • Create flight plans
  • Maintain flight safety standards
  • Supervise mission plans
  • Manage teams of Flight Operations Assistants

Similar civilian roles include Airport Manager, Airline Manager and Transport Planning or Logistics Manager

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

RAF Regulars and Reserves work side by side.

Scroll down to explore the opportunities as a Flight Operations Officer in the RAF.

Key Facts

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Full Time
Regular

Initial pay after training

£25,220 + Benefits

Pay during training

£16,468 + Benefits

Entry level

Officer

Commitment

Usual Service

12 Years

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Spare Time
Reserve

Initial pay after training

Day rates dependent on rank, role and experience

Entry level

Officer

Commitment

27 days per year for 12 years minimum. Each year includes a 15 day block for general RAF training, which is taken over a two week period, and 12 days for additional/trade training, or training exercises.

 

The possibility of being deployed to a UK or overseas base for up to 6 months after the first year.

Locations

RAF Northolt, Middlesex

Glasgow

RAF Benson, Oxfordshire

RAF Woodvale, Merseyside

Aldergrove Flying Station, Co Antrim

RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire - Ex-Regulars only

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'‘When Pilots and navigators strap themselves into their aircraft, they need to be confident that all the necessary planning has been done.’

Chris, Flight Operations Officer

In the RAF

My Role

‘As a Flight Operations Officer you’re like the hub at the centre of a wheel – all the spokes radiate out from you, so you’re always aware of what’s going on and are consequently able to maintain control.

Once the flying starts, you need to react as quickly as possible to any problems that may arise. That’s what makes a Flight Operations Officer’s job so interesting and challenging – when things go wrong everyone turns to you for solutions.’

My Day

‘Here at Goose Bay (Canada) my team takes care of the operations organisation. Our main task is to ensure that when aircrew from the flying squadrons walk through the door, everything they’re liable to need is there for them. I also act as liaison to the other national forces based here – not only the Canadians but also the Germans, Dutch and Italians.’

Chris, Flight Operations Officer

Training

Full Time
Regular

Initial Training

Initial Officer Training

Like all our officers, you will begin your RAF career with Initial Officer Training at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire.  You will follow a challenging 30-week course designed to develop your leadership and management skills.  The course includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.

Specialist Training

After Initial Officer Training, you will complete a 3-month specialist Flight Operations Training Course at RAF Shawbury, Shropshire, which includes theoretical and practical training in: airmanship, flight planning, flight security, navigation, meteorology and airspace management. 

Foundation Tour

During your first tour you are most likely to find yourself working in the Operations Room of a RAF base where you will receive on-the-job training and work under supervision to plan and manage aircraft tasks.

Your Career Prospects

You will join the RAF on an Initial Commission of 12 years and may be selected to serve on a pension earning commission of 20 years service or age 40, whichever is the later, during this time. Promotion to the rank of Flight Lieutenant is on a time served/satisfactory service basis after 3½ years from completing IOT. Further promotion to Squadron Leader and above is by competitive selection.

Ongoing Development

As a Flight Operations Officer you will have the opportunity for further professional training and development throughout your career as well as the chance to undertake additional leadership and management training.

Transferable Skills

As a Flight Operations Officer the skills and experience you gain throughout your career could equip you for a number of civilian jobs including: airport manager, airline manager or transport planning and logistics manager.

Spare Time
Reserve

Initial Training

Reserve training starts with basic RAF training at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. This 15-day residential course offers a solid introduction to the RAF Reserve lifestyle. It includes military skills training, drills, field training and team-building exercises. It may be challenging at times, but there will be support and guidance along the way.

Reserve Officer Initial Training

After basic training, recruits go on to Reserve Officer Initial Training during their second year. This combines distance learning with residential weekends at the prestigious RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. It also includes a two-week residential phase at Cranwell where Reserves mix with Regular Officers on their initial training. During this period you will gain the skills and knowledge to command and lead in military roles and beyond. 

Specialist Training

After successfully completing initial training, you will be trained for your specific role in the RAF either at your squadron or another RAF station in the UK.

Requirements

Full Time
Regular

Job requirements

Qualifications:

You will need a minimum of 5 GCSEs (or acceptable equivalents) at a minimum of grade C, including English Language and Mathematics or 5 Scottish National Equivalent (SNE) grades at a minimum of grade 5, including English Language and Mathematics.  In addition, you need at least 2 A2 Levels/3 Highers at grade C or above (excluding General Studies or Critical Thinking) which must total a minimum of 160 UCAS points.  Alternatively, if you hold a UK degree at grade 2:2 or higher (or acceptable alternative) you only need Mathematics and English Language GCSEs at a minimum of grade C or Mathematics and English Language SNE at a minimum of grade 5.

Age:

  • 17.5-40

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.

Spare Time
Reserve

Job requirements

Qualifications:

2 A-levels or 3 Highers or equivalent, plus 5 GCSE/SCEs at Grade C/2 minimum or equivalent, including English language and maths.

Only qualified ex-military personnel, within this role.

Age:

  • 18 - 54.6

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.