Air operations support

Flight Operations Assistant

Flight Operations Assistants provide direct support to aircrew, air traffic controllers and operations managers in a variety of roles. In support of aircrew, you could be employed in a squadron operations room, where you will be responsible for the maintenance of aeronautical information and operating mission support IT, both of which are critical to the safe and expeditious conduct of the mission. Alternatively, you may be employed in an air traffic control tower, updating IT systems with real-time flight information and operating radio equipment in support of the controllers. You may also be employed in station operations and flight planning and be responsible for coordinating military and civilian aircraft operations and utilising your specialist flight planning knowledge to give advice to visiting aircrew on submitting their flight plans. 

Like many RAF personnel, you will probably move jobs every few years, and each job is known as an assignment. Within your first few years, you will probably be detached overseas for anything from a few days to a few months. Your duties will be similar to those at your home base, but will be more demanding with opportunities to work with other services and nations in an operational environment.

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

RAF Regulars and Reserves work side by side.

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

Key Facts

Full Time
Regular

Initial pay after training

£18,489 + Benefits

Pay during training

£14,931 + Benefits

Entry level

Airmen/Airwomen

Commitment

Minimum 3 years post Phase Two Training

APPRENTICESHIP: Int Apprenticeship In Aviation Ops On The Ground

Spare Time
Reserve

Initial pay after training

Day rates dependent on rank, role and experience

Entry level

Airmen/Airwomen

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

502 Sqn Aldergrove Flying Station, Co Antrim (Extremely Ltd Vacancies)
600 Sqn RAF Northolt, Middlesex (Extremely Ltd Vacancies)
602 Sqn Glasgow
606 Sqn RAF Benson, Oxfordshire (Extremely Ltd Vacancies)
611 Sqn RAF Woodvale, Merseyside (Extremely Ltd Vacancies)
622 Sqn RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire - Ex-Regulars only

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

I enjoyed my trade training, I found it hard work but thanks to a Corporal instructor who helped me study, I absolutely flew through it.'

Matt, Flight Operations Assistant

In the RAF

My Role

For detailed information about the different roles available as a Flight Operations Assistant please open one of the following documents:

Flight Operations Manager
Flight Ops - ATC
Flight Ops - Sqn Ops
Flight Ops - My Story

My Day

As a Flight Operations Assistant (FOA) I am responsible for various elements of supporting Air Traffic Controllers keep aircraft safe under their control. My daily duties vary on day-to day basis due to being fully trained in all FOA positions in the tower. This means I can work assisting the controllers within the Visual Control Room at the top of the tower to measuring the friction on the runway with specialist equipment.

 

If I am working within the Visual Control Room I am responsible for keeping track of all aircraft flying in the visual circuit but also passing instructions over radio to make sure all vehicles operate safely across the aerodrome. I have recently been chosen to conduct Runway Controller duties, which means I am responsible for performing last look checks on aircraft to make sure the aircraft is operating safely when it takes off and lands.

This is a vital flight safety role and I have the authority to signal to it that it shouldn’t land or take off. To be given this responsibility shows my advancement within the tower environment.

 

Thomas, Flight Operations Assistant.

Training

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

Full Time
Regular

Initial Training

Your career will start with a 10 week Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you will also learn about the RAF lifestyle.

Specialist Training

The next step is the 12-week Flight Operations Assistant Course at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire. You will be taught the basic theory and regulations of flight operations and air traffic control. The course also covers aircraft and airfield operations, meteorology and navigation. By the end of the course, you will have gained an understanding of Flight Operations Assistants duties and will have practised carrying out your role using the air traffic control, flight operations and flight planning simulators. At the end of the course, you will receive your first assignment.

Additional Qualification Opportunities

During your Phase 2 training you will be offered the opportunity to gain a Certificate in Aviation Environment. This consists of a Level 3 Diploma, Functional Skills Level 2 in English and Mathematics, completed at RAF Halton, concluding in a Level 3 Intermediate Apprenticeship in Aviation Operations on the Ground.

Ongoing Training/Development Opportunities

As your career progresses, we will continue to train you in new skills that include training and standards responsibilities and Trade management for additional responsibilities. You will be required to undergo on-the-job training for each assignment, as no two assignments are the exactly alike. Several aviation-based courses can be undertaken depending upon the role to which you are assigned.

Your First Assignment

For your first assignment, you may be employed within an air traffic control tower, the air operations or flight planning at an airbase in the UK. During this assignment, there may be an opportunity to move to one of the other roles.

Your Future

Following your first assignment, you will be assigned to another airbase. In addition to air traffic control, station operations and flight planning, you may also be employed in squadron operations, area radar or airspace management duties.

Career Prospects/Progression

You will initially join the RAF for a period of twelve years on a Notice Engagement. After completing one year’s total service, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman, providing you pass a Trade Ability Test and Basic Trade Training. Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is by competitive selection. Following your first assignment, you will be assigned to another airbase. In addition to air traffic control, station operations and flight planning, you may also be employed in squadron operations, area radar or airspace management duties.

Transferable Skills

The Diploma, Technical Certificate and Functional Skills in Mathematics and English that form part of the Level 2 Apprenticeship are as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF, meaning that whenever you decide to leave the RAF, you will be well placed to find a job in civilian airport operations.

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

Spare Time
Reserve

Initial Training

Your training will start with a Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) consisting of 4 weekends at your chosen RAF Reserves Squadron, followed by a 15 day residential training course at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. This training course will prepare you for service life in one of the most respected military forces in the world; it is also designed to help you tune into the military environment and way of life. As well as military training, you will learn about the core values, code of conduct and history of the RAF, as well as its unique lifestyle.

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 need GCSEs at Grade C (Grade 4 to 5 with effect from Aug 17) or equivalent in English Language and Mathematics or SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 (Grade A – C) in English and Mathematics.

All RAF ground trade recruits (except Air Traffic Controller – Senior Non-Commissioned Officer) must have or gain Functional Skills (FS) qualifications in English and Mathematics to graduate from Recruit Training. Your first chance to pass these tests, if you don’t already have the necessary FS grades, will be at the Pre-Recruit Training Course. The level of FS qualifications you need to achieve depend on the trade you are applying for; as, Flight Operations Assistant, you will need to pass the Level 2 FS tests in Mathematics and English.

Even if you have other qualifications in Mathematics and English (like GCSE/SCEs), you will still have to take and pass the FS Mathematics and English tests. Further information will be available from your local AFCO.

Age:

  • 16-40 (Must attest before 40th birthday)

RAF Requirements

‘Due to the Royal Air Force transitioning to a new IT system we are currently only able to take registrations for each role. As soon as the new system becomes available you will be contacted with the link to allow you to begin your online application. The move to the new system should not affect those who have already applied and these applicants will continue through the recruiting process. Any issues or concerns should be directed to your local Armed Forces Careers Office (RAF) or Reserve Squadrons.’

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:

You need GCSEs at Grade C (Grade 4 to 5 with effect from Aug 17) or equivalent in English Language and Mathematics or SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 (Grade A – C) in English and Mathematics.

Age:

18 – 54 (Must attest before 55th birthday – Ex Regulars over the age of 55 may be considered on a case by case basis)

RAF Requirements

‘Due to the Royal Air Force transitioning to a new IT system we are currently only able to take registrations for each role. As soon as the new system becomes available you will be contacted with the link to allow you to begin your online application. The move to the new system should not affect those who have already applied and these applicants will continue through the recruiting process. Any issues or concerns should be directed to your local Armed Forces Careers Office (RAF) or Reserve Squadrons.’

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

BE PREPARED

THIS ROLE REQUIRES YOU TO TAKE THE AIRMAN SELECTION TEST

Apply


Full Time
Regular

Spare Time
Reserve