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.
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 specialist trade training you will be offered the opportunity to enrol in an Advanced Apprenticeship in Aviation Operations on the Ground. This consists of a Level 3 Technical Certificate and a Level 3 Diploma 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.
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.
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.
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.