Aerospace Control Operator
Aerospace Control Operators operate radar, computer, communications and other sensor systems for the surveillance and control of airspace.
The Aerospace Control Operator controls and coordinates the movement of military and civilian air/ground traffic at Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) aerodromes and tactical units. The primary responsibilities are to:
- Operate command and control systems
- Provide ground control instructions to aircraft and vehicular traffic operating on the ground and flight advisory to aircraft
- Receive, relay and record flight plan information
- Interpret weather reports
- Maintain records
- Respond to emergency situations
Aerospace Control Operators’ working environment can be underground or onboard aircrafts. They may be employed throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. Aerospace Control Operators can also further operate Air Traffic Control services such as flight advisory, ground control and Precision Radar control to the Wings and Tactical Helicopter squadrons across Canada.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully trained Aerospace Control Operator is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Aerospace Control Operators who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression and advancement.
Related civilian occupations
- Air Traffic Controller
- Railway and Maritime Controller
Basic military qualification
The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the CAF physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.
Basic Air Force training
Air Force recruits are introduced to the working environment and culture through a four-day course before starting the training in their chosen job.
Basic occupational qualification training
Aerospace Control Operators attend the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Control Operations in Cornwall, Ontario. Training takes approximately three months and includes:
- Performing the surveillance function
- Assist with Visual Flight Rule services
- Assist with Instrument Flight Rule services
- Performing the Air Traffic Services function
Aerospace Control Operators may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Precision Approach Radar Controller
- Data Systems Coordinator
- Air Communication Control Squadron System
The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Quebec with Grade 10 applied Math or Math 426 in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.
This occupation is available part-time within the following environment: Air Force
Serve with the Reserve Force
This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at an Air Force Wing in their community. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.
Aerospace Control Operators employed on a part-time or term basis usually serve at CAF bases and tactical units at locations within Canada.
Reserve Force training
Reserve Force members usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic military training, the home unit will arrange for additional training for specialized skills. Training for the Aerospace Control Operator qualification requires about two months and is conducted at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Control Operations in Cornwall, Ontario.
Air Reserve members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts and are employed in the same unit and perform the same job. Air Reserve members usually serve up to 12 days per month in a regular work day, with opportunities to serve full-time for short durations as needed. Reserve Force members are paid 85 percent of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.
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