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A question for those controllers out there.  Can one become a controller part time?  Do (specifically) control towers schedule shifts on an availability basis?  Does it depend on the tower?  I've thought about doing ATC, but I want to pursue a carrer in astrophysics and was wondering if there was a way to do both.  Thanks!


Some towers are part time towers, meaning that they are not open 24/7.  A majority of these towers are located at smaller airports.  Further, a majority of those facilities are contract facilities, meaning that they are not owned and operated by the FAA.  In addition, this also means that there is no going to Oklahoma City for weeks on end.  The downside is that the companies who run the contract facilities usually want you to posess a Control Tower Operator license and have about a year experience in a facility.  Basically, they don't hire just anyone off of the street and many people come from the FAA to work at these facilities (since they are usually the only ones that have experience, alongside some military controllers). 

It sounds like you're at a standstill between astrophysics and ATC.  I don't know if you'll be able to do both however.  Here's a couple of links to the contract facility owners:

Midwest ATC: http://www.atctower.com/
Robinson Aviation: http://www.rvainc.net/operational-air-traffic-control/

There is another company that also does it and I can't remember the name at this time.

And if for some reason you decide you want to do ATC full time, there is a public application for the FAA for an ATCS position (Air Traffic Control Specialist), but it closes at midnight tonight.

Either way, if you are interested in really getting into ATC full time, let me know and I'll try and answer your questions!  :-)

ATC 101 Blog: http://atcontrol101.blogspot.com/


--- Quote from: atcman23 on December 16, 2008, 07:58:10 AM ---There is another company that also does it and I can't remember the name at this time.

--- End quote ---

Serco: http://www.serco-na.com/?q=Capabilities/Services/Transportation-Management/Aviation-Services
They operate many of the towers out west.

Mark, thanks for all of the information.  I will look into it some more and keep your knowledge in mind.


Galaxy, Checkout www.advancedatc.com  we can give you the right information to see if an ATC career is right for you.


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