Military to FAA Without a CTO

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  1. #1
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    Military to FAA Without a CTO

    I’m currently deployed on an amphibious assault ship, so I have a lot of time to think about life and how im going to go about getting into the FAA. I apologize for this long winded thread but if you make it to the end or contribute any advice it will be appreciated.

    I’m 23 now and I joined the navy January of 2016 with a 5 year contract. When you’re stationed on a ship like I am none of your qualifications really help or hurt your career. No matter if you get qualified supervisor or you don’t get final, it won’t translate to shore duty and you obviously can’t get a CTO here.
    Im currently deciding on what heading I want to take from here (insertdad laugh and a knee slap)…

    Option 1) Getting out of the navy as soon as possible.

    Plan A) If I want to get out of the navy as soon as possible I will have to extend my EAOS to my PRD on the ship (staying on the boat until my contract is up and giving up my orders) and try to obtain an OTS bid. I will be 25 when I get out and hopefully it will work out to where the bid will drop between my 120 days out (September 6th2020) and the end of my contract (January 4th 2021).

    Plan B) If I don’t get picked up with the OTS bid coming out of the military in “pool 1” I plan to use my GI bill and go to Embry Riddle and keep applying for the OTS bid in “pool 2” every time it comes around. I’ll be hoping to get picked up before I would graduate or soon after graduating being 28 years old back in “pool 1”.

    -Is everyone in pool one given a job before pool two, or are they just considered first, so that most of the people in pool 1 get a job and some ofthe people in pool 2 get a job off of each bid?
    - Is using my GI bill to get a degree from a CTI school worth it to be in pool one vs pool 2 for an off the street bid?
    -Is the best applicant with the most experience chosen for the OTS bid in each pool or is it just who ever applies first?

    Plan C) Try to get a job with Midwest ATC, Serco, RVA, DynCorp, or KBR if I don’t get picked up for the FAA. Spend a couple years there and then try to get a job with the FAA again at around 29-30ish. From what I can tell right now Midwest ATC is the only company not requiring a CTO to get a job state side while KBR (Kuwait) and DynCorp (Iraqi, Afghanistan) Midwest ATC (Afghanistan,Guam + pacific island, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico) are offering non CTO holding positions overseas. Serco, RVA and IAP require a CTO but you do not need to have the 52 week restriction like the FAA so you could possibly go to AATC and take that CTO once you get it and get hired. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Option 2) Re-enlist for 5 years (actually adding 4 Years to my contract) and get a CTO at my next duty station, the master jet base with radar and tower… I’ll have an opportunity to get two CTO’s and then apply for prior CTO holder when im 29. Can you apply for an off the street bid if you have a CTO?

    Option 3) is to go to a contract tower but I haven’t researched this avenue yet. Im not even sure what is required, what they are looking for or how to go about it.

    Option 4) is to live in a van down by the river.


    Any advice you can offer will help me make an informed decision, thank you for your time and any help!
    Very Respectfully,
    Matthew King




  2. #2
    NovemberEcho's Avatar
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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Midwest definitely requires a CTO for stateside, and most want a couple years experience as well (more flexible on that though), and the only overseas positions that don’t require a CTO require radar experience

  3. #3
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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Take it from someone who paid out-of-pocket for Embry-Riddle...the FAA has pretty much diluted any advantages CTI schools once held to satisfy imagined diversity quotas that havent materialized. Your best bet is to use your CTI degree for something useful (like a flight degree, safety, or engineering, if you want to stay in aviation) and then try to get picked up in one of the FAAs periodic "off the street" bids if you really want to be an ATC. Seriously, dont waste your time on an ATC degree. The FAA does not value these any more.

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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Quote Originally Posted by NovemberEcho View Post
    Midwest definitely requires a CTO for stateside, and most want a couple years experience as well (more flexible on that though), and the only overseas positions that don’t require a CTO require radar experience
    So would it be practical to try and geta CTO through AATC and apply for a job with Midwest? It seems like it would beunwise to pass up an opportunity to get CTO for 2-4 more years in the navy.

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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Quote Originally Posted by phillyman2633 View Post
    Take it from someone who paid out-of-pocket for Embry-Riddle...the FAA has pretty much diluted any advantages CTI schools once held to satisfy imagined diversity quotas that havent materialized. Your best bet is to use your CTI degree for something useful (like a flight degree, safety, or engineering, if you want to stay in aviation) and then try to get picked up in one of the FAAs periodic "off the street" bids if you really want to be an ATC. Seriously, dont waste your time on an ATC degree. The FAA does not value these any more.
    So would you have wanted to get a degreein aeronautics, or aviation business, if not for ATC then for possibly a non-controllingposition when it comes time to quit working traffic or retire?

  6. #6
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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Reenlist and get the CTO(s). You'll get much better experience than you would at AATC and be eligible for hire with any contract company and the FAA age limit goes up to 35 for you at that point.

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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Please only re-enlist if you can guarantee that you'll get your CTO...

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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Reenlist and do what you have to do to get a CTO or radar approach certification of some kind. Unlike a CTI, it costs you nothing but time, time which you can put towards your total years of federal service for your retirement annuity if you buy it back.

    See what the Navy is willing to guarantee in writing for your follow-on assignment. If you don't like what you hear, then see what your Air Force recruiter might do for you. If you end up in ATC in the Air Force, you will get your shot at a facility rating the FAA wants.

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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Quote Originally Posted by JayTango View Post
    Please only re-enlist if you can guarantee that you'll get your CTO...
    No one can guarantee you'll get your CTO. You should know your next duty station before you have to extend for it. If you go to an approach control it may be harder to ensure you get a shot at a CTO. If you go to a tower/GCA you increase your chances for a shot at a CTO and a radar qual.
    kp

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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Quote Originally Posted by planetalkerkp View Post
    If you go to a tower/GCA you increase your chances for a shot at a CTO and a radar qual.
    GCA finals don't count for radar qualifications.
    There's some weirdly named facilities out there (like Marshall AAF GCA) where they still call themselves "marshall gca" even while doing approach/departure duties. Even just working GCA final there wouldn't gain a controller an approach rating until they're certified on approach.

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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Quote Originally Posted by planetalkerkp View Post
    No one can guarantee you'll get your CTO. You should know your next duty station before you have to extend for it. If you go to an approach control it may be harder to ensure you get a shot at a CTO. If you go to a tower/GCA you increase your chances for a shot at a CTO and a radar qual.
    Follow up question for you… I have orders to a Class IVApproach Control Facility. From what I hear they are changing the training fromBottom 5 (Bottom 5 is just the basic qualifications for radar and tower) to oneside then another. So I would potently be able to get a CTO in 2 year andanother within 4 years if I am really motivated and focused(<does that soundright to you?). There is no guaranteebut E5’s are expected at a minimum to get one supervisory position before theyget to one year from transferring on a 5 year orders.


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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Would it be wrong to re-enlist for just enough time to whereI can get a CTO and get out? That would require that I say that I amre-enlisting again (basically lying to their face) until I get close to 5-6months out so I can continue to be trained. Then again that is a 3 year vs 5-6 yearcommitment.


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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Quote Originally Posted by matthewking View Post
    Would it be wrong to re-enlist for just enough time to whereI can get a CTO and get out? That would require that I say that I amre-enlisting again (basically lying to their face) until I get close to 5-6months out so I can continue to be trained. Then again that is a 3 year vs 5-6 yearcommitment.
    No it is NOT wrong. You do what you need to do for yourself, the military gets some more time out of you and you get the training you need. It’s a trade off, you signed for X amount of years and have served honorably give them more time and get what you joined the military for.

    I always hated when “leadership” would be like, “oh, so you’re going to just use the Air Force and leave after what all we’ve given you??”

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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Quote Originally Posted by matthewking View Post
    Would it be wrong to re-enlist for just enough time to whereI can get a CTO and get out? That would require that I say that I amre-enlisting again (basically lying to their face) until I get close to 5-6months out so I can continue to be trained. Then again that is a 3 year vs 5-6 year commitment.
    One, this is nobody's first rodeo. They'll know what a short reenlistment means. If you can get the CTO and the FAA's hiring, you're gone. If you can get the CTO but the FAA's not hiring, you stay in the Navy and control airplanes for them.

    Two, the only thing over which you have any control is when you get out. If they want you to stay, they'll make it worth your while, and if they don't care enough to do that, it's not on you.

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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Quote Originally Posted by matthewking View Post
    Follow up question for you… I have orders to a Class IVApproach Control Facility. From what I hear they are changing the training fromBottom 5 (Bottom 5 is just the basic qualifications for radar and tower) to oneside then another. So I would potently be able to get a CTO in 2 year andanother within 4 years if I am really motivated and focused(<does that soundright to you?). There is no guaranteebut E5’s are expected at a minimum to get one supervisory position before theyget to one year from transferring on a 5 year orders.
    This has always been a facility by facility decision. If you are sharp and aggressively attack training then you will "probably" get your shot at getting qualified in one branch or the other and maybe both. Nothing is guaranteed, but you can hedge your bets with your attitude.
    kp

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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Someone who was Navy, answer this for me please: how is it that you can go through technical training to be an air traffic controller, and then not even get fully utilized by your follow-on duty stations because they don't bother qualifying you in the tower/GCA/approach?

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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Quote Originally Posted by lowapproach View Post
    Someone who was Navy, answer this for me please: how is it that you can go through technical training to be an air traffic controller, and then not even get fully utilized by your follow-on duty stations because they don't bother qualifying you in the tower/GCA/approach?
    When you say "and then not even get fully utilized by your follow-on duty stations", I think you misunderstand what has been said. I think all of the comments above are questions about new controllers that want to get a CTO or approach qual at their first duty station, not their follow on duty stations. Minimum qualification standards at a sailor's second shore facility usually required being qualified at all operating positions or risk revocation of their ATCS. At some Navy facilities it takes longer than 3 years to get fully qualified. A lot of times, the younger controllers get qualified at final, flight data and ground control in their first duty station. The more experienced controllers usually get qualified at those positions quicker and continue on to local and approach. There are still some places that have active duty controllers manning flight planning as well. I know that at NAS Patuxent River there were up to 17 positions to be manned on every watch. That is a lot of qualifications for a brand new controller to get qualified on in a 3 year tour. Obviously not all facilities are that complex, and at the tower only or tower/GCA's some controllers that are right out of A school do get fully qualified. The object of facility management is to run the facility and keep the training pipeline full to ensure proper manning. Sometimes that means that everyone can't get a CTO at their first facility.
    kp

  18. #18
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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Quote Originally Posted by planetalkerkp View Post
    When you say "and then not even get fully utilized by your follow-on duty stations", I think you misunderstand what has been said. I think all of the comments above are questions about new controllers that want to get a CTO or approach qual at their first duty station, not their follow on duty stations. Minimum qualification standards at a sailor's second shore facility usually required being qualified at all operating positions or risk revocation of their ATCS. At some Navy facilities it takes longer than 3 years to get fully qualified. A lot of times, the younger controllers get qualified at final, flight data and ground control in their first duty station. The more experienced controllers usually get qualified at those positions quicker and continue on to local and approach. There are still some places that have active duty controllers manning flight planning as well. I know that at NAS Patuxent River there were up to 17 positions to be manned on every watch. That is a lot of qualifications for a brand new controller to get qualified on in a 3 year tour. Obviously not all facilities are that complex, and at the tower only or tower/GCA's some controllers that are right out of A school do get fully qualified. The object of facility management is to run the facility and keep the training pipeline full to ensure proper manning. Sometimes that means that everyone can't get a CTO at their first facility.
    Air Force has bases with just as many if not more positions. Every ATC is expected to check out on everything or wash out regardless if it’s your first base or 6th.

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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Quote Originally Posted by NovemberEcho View Post
    Air Force has bases with just as many if not more positions. Every ATC is expected to check out on everything or wash out regardless if it’s your first base or 6th.
    That's good. So all of the Air Force E-3's are fully qualified? That's impressive. I'm sure it makes manning the facilities much easier. How long does it take a first tour E-3 to get qualified on Local at a place like Nellis for instance?
    kp

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    Re: Military to FAA Without a CTO

    Quote Originally Posted by NovemberEcho View Post
    Air Force has bases with just as many if not more positions. Every ATC is expected to check out on everything or wash out regardless if it’s your first base or 6th.
    I know at one time (a long time ago) that the Air Force only allowed people to train in one branch (Radar or Tower). They also had a job code for just flight planning. I guess that is not the case any more?
    kp

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