Staffing at Lower Level Facilities

Piker

New Member
I get the sense a lot of OTS apps want to walk into NYC TRACON and start making the big $$$. I hate dumping cold water on this, but the FAA has over 2500 qualified applicants just from the first half of this year. Not to mention the thousands of controllers the FAA currently has.

As an OTS applicant myself, I'm still fuzzy on the staffing picture. The FAA has more lower level facilities than higher level ones. What is the general process for staffing these lower level facilities?

Does the FAA choose which controllers work at these places? Or are they hired in an application process like any other job? Or both?

And no, I don't think lower level controllers are some untouchable caste. An ATC controller is still responsible for people's saftey, whether at Columbus Metro ATCT or Cleveland ARTCC. This isn't about money. I'm new to all this and I'm just trying to get a better sense of the process.

I initially thought that as their training progressed, D-side controllers were placed into these lower level positions. But I've read PMs and threads that say trainees who can't cut it at a high level facility are simply fired. Is this true?

Incidentally, to determine a facility's level, click on the link below. The column that says "ATC Level July 2007" lists the level for each facility.

http://faaimposedpayrules.natca.net/localityratesrev13.xls
 

pm577

New Member
Makes sense. Are you going to be a trainee starting as a D2? Does a trainee starting at a Level 4 facility start as a D3?
Negative, you start at the VERY bottom (AG), when you checkout on ground then you jump up to the developmental rate. Small airports don't have clearance, but otherwise you'd need to checkout on that first.
Then you progress to CPC rate. (clearance+ground+local checkout = CPC rate)

Do level 4s even exist? I think level 5/6 are the common small airport facilities.

D3 means you're almost done, NOT the training rate
 

HiDef

New Member
Makes sense. Are you going to be a trainee starting as a D2? Does a trainee starting at a Level 4 facility start as a D3?
Every new hire, VRA, OTS, CTI starts out at the AG level until they start earning ratings. A trainee at a lower level facility i.e. a level 4 would not get his/her first (and only) raise until they became a cpc. Another example would be a trainee at a level 7 would start at AG and get his/her first raise after checking out through the tower and would skip D1 and go straight to D2, then D3 after some certs in the tracon and eventually to CPC after completing all applicable areas of the radar. The criteria for all of this is listed in the back of the white book.

HD
 

Piker

New Member
Do level 4s even exist? I think level 5/6 are the common small airport facilities.
There's a few of them. They're in that link in the OP.

A trainee at a lower level facility i.e. a level 4 would not get his/her first (and only) raise until they became a cpc.
Ahh.. ok. So those lower-level gaps on the pay scale don't mean the positions don't exist, they just mean there's no adjustment at that point. Once a lower level trainee gets CPC, I'm assuming they can apply for positions just like anyone else. Right?

The criteria for all of this is listed in the back of the white book.
Is this an FAA publication? Do you have a link to it?
 

venividibitchy

New Member
Old news. We've seen that document a dozen times.

The majority of OTS folks head to 7-9s, though I've seen several 10-12s on here. You just get to declare your preference by state/sometimes county, and leave some info in the comment box. The facility itself decides whether you're suitable for them, so someone could want NYC Tracon all they want, but...

Besides, 2,500 people is not all that much, considering the 50 states, plus all of the included US territories. I've auditioned versus more people for a measly theatrical production.
 

indyserpico10

Well-Known Member
I'm supposed to be headed to a level 9 at IND... its a smaller airport but we have FedEx (my current employer) who rocks INDs sox with the amount of traffic that comes through here at night... So keep in mind not all small airports are level 4-6 :p
 

pm577

New Member
I'm supposed to be headed to a level 9 at IND... its a smaller airport but we have FedEx (my current employer) who rocks INDs sox with the amount of traffic that comes through here at night... So keep in mind not all small airports are level 4-6 :p
Level 9 sounds big to me ...:panic: (San Francisco is a level 9!)

You'll be doing a lot of night shifts there, looking like this ---> :drool:
 

Johnsc81

New Member
Every new hire, VRA, OTS, CTI starts out at the AG level until they start earning ratings. A trainee at a lower level facility i.e. a level 4 would not get his/her first (and only) raise until they became a cpc. Another example would be a trainee at a level 7 would start at AG and get his/her first raise after checking out through the tower and would skip D1 and go straight to D2, then D3 after some certs in the tracon and eventually to CPC after completing all applicable areas of the radar. The criteria for all of this is listed in the back of the white book.

HD
I know the FAA is going thru this kick where they are pulling Tracons away from some relatively close geograhically speaking Facilities and combining them into regional Tracons, My question is, what happens if you are in a tower that does not have a TRACON near by? How do you Qualify for you CPC?
 

pm577

New Member
I know the FAA is going thru this kick where they are pulling Tracons away from some relatively close geograhically speaking Facilities and combining them into regional Tracons, My question is, what happens if you are in a tower that does not have a TRACON near by? How do you Qualify for you CPC?
You just get checked out on clearance/ground/local and you'll be CPC
 

nathanw

New Member
I know the FAA is going thru this kick where they are pulling Tracons away from some relatively close geograhically speaking Facilities and combining them into regional Tracons, My question is, what happens if you are in a tower that does not have a TRACON near by? How do you Qualify for you CPC?
Towers and TRACONs are separate facilities. You do not work in both. You become a CPC at one or the other. The only exception to this is a combined tower/TRACON. If the FAA were to remove the TRACON portion and combine it with another, you would no longer work radar and be a CPC in the tower only (probably at a lower pay grade too).
 

Freezer41

New Member
Level 9 sounds big to me ...:panic: (San Francisco is a level 9!)

You'll be doing a lot of night shifts there, looking like this ---> :drool:
I thought SFO was a 10... SFO was a 10, OAK and SJC were 9s... SJC got dropped to a 7 and OAK dropped to an 8 probably two years ago. hmm
 

pm577

New Member
I thought SFO was a 10... SFO was a 10, OAK and SJC were 9s... SJC got dropped to a 7 and OAK dropped to an 8 probably two years ago. hmm
Nope, its a 9 now... everything is dropping (FAA must be using a new 'counting' criteria?)
 

HiDef

New Member
Nope, its a 9 now... everything is dropping (FAA must be using a new 'counting' criteria?)
Traffic count is being done automatically now by a program tied into the ARTS (those little tags on the radar screen). We used to add a count to our traffic if we took a point out from another sector even if the aircraft never touched our airspace boundry. Not so anymore. If the aircraft never touches our airspace, the computer won't count it. Possibly one reason you will see some traffic counts go down.


HD
 

GnW

New Member
I don't think traffic is growing at the same rate we saw in the early 00's and mid-90s. This economy/fuel/airline situation is putting a pretty big crunch on the passenger's pocketbook. Not to mention GA is nearly dead. $5/gal avgas doesn't make it easy for Joe Cessna to get out and take the family sight-seeing.
 

pm577

New Member
I don't think traffic is growing at the same rate we saw in the early 00's and mid-90s. This economy/fuel/airline situation is putting a pretty big crunch on the passenger's pocketbook. Not to mention GA is nearly dead. $5/gal avgas doesn't make it easy for Joe Cessna to get out and take the family sight-seeing.
Many of these downgrades happened in the past 3-4 years, whereas oil has really only increased substantially in the past year or two. I can't but help to think the administrator is intentionally doing this (esp. after others here have talked about the FAA wanting to split facilities just to downgrade their rating). Perhaps we should all anticipate FURTHER downgrades as oil really takes a toll on operational counts this year.
 

Stinger

Well-Known Member
Many of these downgrades happened in the past 3-4 years, whereas oil has really only increased substantially in the past year or two. I can't but help to think the administrator is intentionally doing this (esp. after others here have talked about the FAA wanting to split facilities just to downgrade their rating). Perhaps we should all anticipate FURTHER downgrades as oil really takes a toll on operational counts this year.
NorCal TRACON is actually looking to increase their airspace so they can count traffic leaving Reno and then counting it when it enters the current airspace. Also works going the other way too.:)
 
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