This might clear up some things, its what i aimed for.

auxxiliary

Senior Member
Sep 2, 2009
171
0
16
Anchorage, Alaska
As I scroll down the forum topics i seem to see a never ending list of threads that are just for "PANIC" factor in my opinion.
I know I havent been waiting for a year or years like some of you have, and I am a CTI student that has heard things that might not pertain to OTS.
But nevertheless I have talked to 3 of my professors which were all ATC (I know times have changed since they were first hired but its the best info i can get) ranging from 10 to 24 years controlling.

From what they tell me there are some major points for you to consider:

1. COLA is supposedly going away (it will soon in Alaska), and since Locality pay is taxable, many controllers are staying in longer to get a larger retirement since paying into the system more gets you more when you leave. (COLA is non taxable).

2. Hiring Freezes - So the FAA tells you they are in a "hiring freeze", 2 of the 3 professors I was talking to said they were indeed "Hired" during that so called "Freeze". It doesnt supprise them to hear when they are in a freeze, since its the FAA (the government) it probably means they just ran out of money till March. =/

3. The Government takes a long time to do anything.

4. If its logical or makes sense then you can count on the FAA to do the opposite.

5. Dont despair, ATC is a very specific field where a majority of the Controllers are about to the end of their careers. If you are impatient then i suggest going to a CTI program, I know this is not for everyone and that not everyone has the money for it (get a loan?) but when i graduate next year i wont only have a very good chance at being a controler but i also have a degree from a University in a country that has employers looking for any kind of certificate that shows you have completed something.
Even if its underwater basketweaving.

Hope this helps and not hinders.

P.S. A piece of info they all heard not to long ago was that the FAA is thinking about getting rid of OKC academy for CTI grads, we wont have to wait as long and actually skip OKC. Not entirely sure about this but its what they told me.
 

jsATC

Rookie
Mar 6, 2009
50
0
6
I pretty much agree. I have been waiting for about 11 months now and who knows how many more. Overall though this job is worth it and if you have another offer somewhere else that pays as well, has good benefits, and is just an enjoyable job that you can brag about than by all means take it. If not, I would say waiting for this job is not as bad as many people that are on here every day complaining. Plus for the OTS people that have no experience or education for this job got a pretty good gig going for them. Trust me I know it suck?s at times, I am living with my wife?s parents and renting my house in another state to a group of people that can?t even legally purchase alcohol but when all said and done it will be worth it.
 

ny_nj_88

Newcomer
Apr 30, 2009
24
0
1
i agree 100% percent as I have heard some of the very same things from current controllers! great stuff....
 

CLEATCT2010

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2009
164
0
16
Ohio
atcontrol101.blogspot.com
While getting rid of the Academy for CTI and/or VRA people, don't expect the FAA to do it... at least any time soon. It would require a large change in direction for those applicants and how the FAA handles new hires. It would also mean that training time at the person's facility would be longer for those individuals than those coming from the Academy who are a bit more versed in proper phraseology, etc. Since it takes the FAA (or any branch of government) so long to hire people, sending people direct to a facility would probably only be slightly quicker (if anything, the time spent at the Academy would be saved, everything else before that is varied for each person).

It's certainly not a bad idea; it would actually save the FAA money but they would need to find a way to make the process work to where those applicants are waiting a year plus to get into a facility while they lose some of their knowledge. The quicker they could get those people in the less they would probably spend in training.
 

ATCtower

Epic Member
Oct 26, 2008
1,257
26
48
They should get rid of the academy for VRA for sure, I know that much.
You know, I would have agreed two months ago, but since that time, I know of two VRA guys that FAILED miserably out of the academy.

Sure, its not a cure-all or a teach-all, but its there for a reason and if they cant pass a test with fake lives, I sure as hell dont want to be a real life they are controlling.
 

CLEATCT2010

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2009
164
0
16
Ohio
atcontrol101.blogspot.com
You know, I would have agreed two months ago, but since that time, I know of two VRA guys that FAILED miserably out of the academy.

Sure, its not a cure-all or a teach-all, but its there for a reason and if they cant pass a test with fake lives, I sure as hell dont want to be a real life they are controlling.
The same can also be said for some CTI students too. Just because you went to school for it, graduated, and got recommended to the FAA doesn't make you an all-star. Same with VRA; just because you controlled airplanes in the military doesn't mean that the FAA is a breeze; there are a lot of different rules and regs in the FAA that don't apply in the military.
 

ATCtower

Epic Member
Oct 26, 2008
1,257
26
48
The same can also be said for some CTI students too. Just because you went to school for it, graduated, and got recommended to the FAA doesn't make you an all-star. Same with VRA; just because you controlled airplanes in the military doesn't mean that the FAA is a breeze; there are a lot of different rules and regs in the FAA that don't apply in the military.
But Im not the one advocating doing away with the academy. Sure, I have three degrees in aviation, hundreds of hours of flight time and went CTI. I would not be ready to be "thrown" into ZDV today. Sure, I might be able to hang, but who knows. Give me OKC first.
 

markthetape

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2008
259
0
16
I worked for faa and dod and contract and navy and i can tell you that all of them are basically the same as long as you go into the same field you have been used to, when you pt a vra with tower only experience into a tracon and expect more because he is called a vra then you are setting him up for failure. just like navy guys with shipboard experience dont expect anything more than a ots candidate
 

luna75

I am THE Pocket Ninja
Jun 18, 2008
1,510
4
38
40
farmingdale ny
im one of the few OTS applicants that tell everyone on here to chill out with the rumors and panic, of course i would loooove to get in already but it is what it is, you just have to wait and see, sitting on here :p:p:p:p:ping and complaining and starting a million threads about if i have a shot or not or asking the same questions over and over again doesnt change the fact that NO ONE has control over what or how the FAA is doing everything,

i myself also advocate going to the cti route if possible, it will help you out if you do get picked up under a cti bid and even if you dont, then you still have a 2/4 ye degree that DOES matter out in the real world for a job in general. I would say get the degree in something that you would consider actually doing if you dont get picked up as an air traffic controller, airport management, aircraft maintenance etc, you can then avoid the whole "i spent thousands of dollars on a cti degree i dont use" complaint that is familiar....
 

mbalunda

Epic Member
Jan 31, 2009
2,867
15
38
You know, I would have agreed two months ago, but since that time, I know of two VRA guys that FAILED miserably out of the academy.

Sure, its not a cure-all or a teach-all, but its there for a reason and if they cant pass a test with fake lives, I sure as hell dont want to be a real life they are controlling.
Def. Just a couple weeks ago there was a girl who was a controller in the Air Force for years, miserably failed her PV the first go around, and BARLEY passed on the retake. VRA is no gurantee the applicant will make it.

CTI students fail as often as OTS students as well.
 

Ramstar13

Trusted Member
Dec 2, 2008
373
5
18
Mexico City
military controllers will usually only fail cause of bad habits...i.e. salty phraselolgy vs. talking like a robot to fake airplaines.
 

markthetape

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2008
259
0
16
or throwing a cocky front when they arrive at their facility, and trying to tell stories and experience to a old dude!
 

ATC_MacGyver

MacGyver
Dec 19, 2008
609
6
18
with the bears.
The same can also be said for some CTI students too. Just because you went to school for it, graduated, and got recommended to the FAA doesn't make you an all-star. Same with VRA; just because you controlled airplanes in the military doesn't mean that the FAA is a breeze; there are a lot of different rules and regs in the FAA that don't apply in the military.
lol cti=\=vra.

cti=talk to computers

vra=talked to airplanes.

i agree there are some vra who should not be controllers.
 

CLEATCT2010

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2009
164
0
16
Ohio
atcontrol101.blogspot.com
Except the CTI school I graduated from I talked to real airplanes, not fake ones. They may have been Cessna's and Piper's mainly, but I had my share of Citations and King Airs too... even a C123.

I don't think that CTIs or VRAs should get a free pass on Academy myself. Would it save the FAA time and money on training? Yes, but that's a bad place to save money as you risk compromising safety and there would likely be an increase in attrition.

Also, while most of the military does do things like the .65, phraseology is the biggest difference (some things apply to some branches of the military that don't apply to civil aircraft). Mainly with the VRAs, it's the fact that they did control planes and walk into the Academy like they know everything. Some do and some struggle. I have several VRAs in my class now and they are quite knowledgeable. They have gone into this with an open mind and they should do just fine. Same can also be applied to CTI students. Just because you went to XX school doesn't mean you're going to slide through Academy just like you slid through school.
 

DanielEtvs

Trusted Member
Jun 16, 2008
402
0
16
hank krakowskis
lol @ calling them professors . which i guess is literally true.... but they do not have an inside track or info on the hiring process (i would say being an active member on THIS website is the best info you will get, since so many of you guys have been querying HR and asking questions and spreading the answers) they HOPE it lasts as long as possible, thus so to does their job. just like how everyone hoping to get hired wants to spin it the most favorable way and slap lipstick on the giant inefficient pig called the FAA. Its never as bad as it seems, but it certainly isnt GOOD either... as far as the state of prospective employment with the FAA. It is not good, there is fierce competition and ever growing number of CTI schools for a small amount of jobs in an already bad economy. If you completely alter your life on the premise that you will get picked up and succeed, then you probably arent being realistic. You should not put all your eggs in the FAA basket. the FAA is very very fragile. Hell if Mccain would have won we might even be talking about privatizing and taking paycuts and layoffs. The academy for ARTCC will never be done away with, and probably not for the other specialties either. If anything they will go back to the old days and really clamp down on the standards and PVs and start eliminating about 50% of the candidates like they used to. I like Rose colored glassed as well though. Back in the USAF we used to ask our supervisors all the time... how do we get into the FAA? will they hire me at a center? how much do they make? how do you get hired where do you apply? etc etc etc. they would give us the same parroited answers everyone had for years, but in truth they didnt know shit. CTI instructors are no different, and arguably less reliable in that this hiring boom is keeping them employed and gas in their yachts. one mans opinion. gooday mates
 

ATC_MacGyver

MacGyver
Dec 19, 2008
609
6
18
with the bears.
we used to ask our supervisors all the time... how do we get into the FAA? will they hire me at a center? how much do they make? how do you get hired where do you apply? etc etc etc. they would give us the same parroited answers everyone had for years, but in truth they didnt know shit.
this is so true. when i was getting out i heard it all: hiring freeze, not hiring navy controllers, getting rid of vra recruitment incentive, you will get herpes, they can fire you, etc etc.

it's really sad how SOME of these military lifers (who ALL had faa dreams of their own but had to reenlist because of their situation) would give bad information to keep a guy from getting out of the navy.

i dunno if that's what you were getting at daniel, but i hold personal grudges against every single person who gave me bad faa information while i was in the navy for the simple reason to try to get me to reenlist.