Changing facilities/moving

Andrew_VT

Well-Known Member
Hi all, first time post in the ATC forum, I've been soaking in the knowledge here for a few days now. I'm still in my inital stages of even considering ATC as a career (I'm a current regional FO with much more job security than most) but have some Q's I can't find the answers to. I hope noone minds if I use this thread to keep posting my Qs as they come up.

Q1- How easy is it to move between facilities, tower to tower of similiar pay levels? Does your seniority start over or do you have a "master FAA Date of Hire" type of seniority number like in the airlines?

Q2 - Do the facility managers get to pick who can come into their facility to replace retirements? Do existing controllers looking to transfer get automatic priority over new-hires?

Q3 - Is job security/financial security/retirement security/sleeping in my own bed every night/not commuting worth my sense of adventure and urge to travel and only marginally likely career goals to end up at an airline eventually that has "good" pay and QOL?

Ok I'm on my own for Q3 but the other two are serious Qs:D
 

Sunburn

Well-Known Member
Hi all, first time post in the ATC forum, I've been soaking in the knowledge here for a few days now. I'm still in my inital stages of even considering ATC as a career (I'm a current regional FO with much more job security than most) but have some Q's I can't find the answers to. I hope noone minds if I use this thread to keep posting my Qs as they come up.

Q1- How easy is it to move between facilities, tower to tower of similiar pay levels? Does your seniority start over or do you have a "master FAA Date of Hire" type of seniority number like in the airlines?

Q2 - Do the facility managers get to pick who can come into their facility to replace retirements? Do existing controllers looking to transfer get automatic priority over new-hires?

Q3 - Is job security/financial security/retirement security/sleeping in my own bed every night/not commuting worth my sense of adventure and urge to travel and only marginally likely career goals to end up at an airline eventually that has "good" pay and QOL?

Ok I'm on my own for Q3 but the other two are serious Qs:D
A1- Currently once you reach CPC/FPL (Certified Professional Controller/Full Preformance Level) , it is relatively easy to move intrafacility, granted there has to be a staffing opening and everything, and if you are moving to a higher facility most of the time they need you have to have at least one year of being checked out at your current facility. You seniority is determined via SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) and is different at each facility.

A2- Facility managers do have a large say from what I have been told. As far as new hires v. transfers having priority heading into a facility, this I do not know, I can say this, it would make sense that someone transfering into the facility would take priority over a new hire. However we are also talking about the same group of people (myself included) that have put a C172 on 5 mile final with a PAY1 smoking down on him. I am being nice, I have seen C150 on 6 mile final with C750's or FA20's bearing down on him, and naturally they have to spin the exec. jets.

A3- You would be hard pressed to find any line job that has the job security of the FAA, you probably wouldn't be as hard press to match the base salary if you got hooked up with a large carrier. Can you beat a retirement plan were your employer matching your contrabutions up to 5% of your wage? The rest of it, you are on your own to answer.
 

Delta Romeo

New Member
Seniority is not dictated by SOP....it's determined by the Union at the National level. And yes, your EOD (entry date of duty with the FAA in air traffic) does determine this date. That date stays with you through your whole career, regardless of where you transfer. You do not start over with a new date when you move to a new facility. There are, howver for simplicities sake, a few exceptions like if you take a manager or supe job at some point, etc. then that would dirsupt your seniorty and put you back to zero.

The references are the NATCA Contract (or IWR) page 150 (Article 83) and the NATCA National Constitution.
 

darli328

Well-Known Member
What about moving from Enroute to Terminal? Say Center to Tower... Would you need to go back to OKC for Terminal/Tower Training?
 

Delta Romeo

New Member
Most folks who go to Centers find it hard to be released (by Center Management) into the Terminal world, or any other Center for that matter. I've only known 2 or 3 in my 25 years who actually got out of the Center they started at. The number is slim.
 

darli328

Well-Known Member
Most folks who go to Centers find it hard to be released (by Center Management) into the Terminal world, or any other Center for that matter. I've only known 2 or 3 in my 25 years who actually got out of the Center they started at. The number is slim.
Well that's not good to hear but thanks for the heads up.
 
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