CTO Certificates for Contractors

rangerfan1024

Rookie
Apr 22, 2013
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Just curious,

When you become a contract controller with no prior ATC experience, do you eventually obtain CTO certification? Or is it not required in contract towers? Thanks.
 

CX64

Newcomer
Jan 5, 2013
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It's very unlikely that you will get a job in a contract tower without a CTO or any prior ATC experience.
 

DontCallMeShirley

Senior Analyst
Mar 31, 2012
838
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Pushing Tin SUCKS
I went to school for ATC. I was certified in a non-federal contract tower. Basically a controller from a nearby FAA facility came and watched over my shoulder for a while and I was signed off. This happened after 6 months of training by local controllers.

I'd say that the vast majority, if not all contract controllers already held CTOs prior to being hired by a contract company. The only exception that I know of to obtain a CTO without being military or in the FAA is to attend a school like I did.

As for the school CTO, it's more or less secondary to the degree. A working CTO, i.e. at least 52 weeks post-certification experience, is generally required to apply for contract positions.
 

GulfCharlie

Epic Member
Sep 1, 2011
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I know the big wigs are meeting this week to iron some issues out including the final wording in the announcement, though there seems to be a blurred line between CTO with 52 weeks and those without. So it might be included or it might not. We just have to wait and see Monday.
 

DontCallMeShirley

Senior Analyst
Mar 31, 2012
838
22
18
Pushing Tin SUCKS
I know the big wigs are meeting this week to iron some issues out including the final wording in the announcement, though there seems to be a blurred line between CTO with 52 weeks and those without. So it might be included or it might not. We just have to wait and see Monday.
I do recall on the previous OTS announcement, having a CTO certificate was an automatic qualifier for those not meeting the other basic requirements. The wording in that announcement had no mention of post-certification experience.

Back to the original topic, I forgot to stress that the tower I certified at was county-run, and not exactly the same as say a Serco or Midwest operation. The requirements to work at these facilities may differ greatly depending on who's in charge, but the basics to get a CTO are exactly the same. For example, I'm fairly certain every CTO holder must first take a CTO written exam (unless there's some sort of military equivalency). In my case, this was administered to my class by the local FAA tower manager.
 

GulfCharlie

Epic Member
Sep 1, 2011
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Indeed. Hopefully for some people I know it will work out.

What Shirley said, also you Beaver CTO grad or something?
 

DontCallMeShirley

Senior Analyst
Mar 31, 2012
838
22
18
Pushing Tin SUCKS
Indeed. Hopefully for some people I know it will work out.

What Shirley said, also you Beaver CTO grad or something?
I went to SCCC and loved it. I'm not sure if CCBC still offers CTO certification, but I've only heard good things about them as well (and of course being a CTI school is a plus, but who knows if that means anything anymore).
 

DontCallMeShirley

Senior Analyst
Mar 31, 2012
838
22
18
Pushing Tin SUCKS
Schenectady County Community College in upstate New York. I think the Air Traffic Control A.A.S. program has been around for maybe 5 years now? I think the hope was that the program would one day join with the CTI program, but I don't know if that's possible now with CTI in limbo. Either way, for an aviation associates degree, it has a great amount of transferable credits, and I got my pilot's license out of it.