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ATC Lifestyle Questions

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:47 pm
by 911slow
Looking for real answers to tough questions. (I'm not on the fence about my commitment, just curiousity questions)

1. How hard does Nav Canada try to accomodate choosing training placements to personal preference or not causing the uprooting of a family?
2. The offer states that NavCanada can move you to different sites as needed during your career. How common is it to be moved? Do you have any options/input?
3. Is there a lot of available OT? (Hoping so)
4. How stressful is it on an average day & do you find it negatively impacts family relations?
5. Is it as exciting and rewarding as imagined?
6. Would you do it all over again.

I'd especially like feedback from anyone who was a bit older when they did the training and had a family.

Re: ATC Lifestyle Questions

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:09 pm
by A346Dude
1. Generally, they don't try even a little. Expect to be posted to the worst location you could imagine. You probably won't be, but you probably won't get the one you want either.
2. For controllers, it's not common. That being said, there is a new program where the intent is for you to qualify at a smaller tower, then move up to a larger tower within 2 years. The company decides if and when that move happens. If you do not qualify at the larger tower, you can be moved to a third location of the company's choosing. In cases other than this, if the company moves you it is probably only because the unit is closing.
3. Depends on the unit, but in many (most?) there is plenty.
4. Varies, but most of the time it's not that stressful.
5. Yes
6. Yes

Re: ATC Lifestyle Questions

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:35 pm
by Lotro
1. They don't. They'll tell you they do though, but they don't. Proceed as described above.

2. Controller's don't get moved around unwillingly. The new two-year program described above hasn't affected anyone yet, so it's too early to tell. I have no idea about FSS.

3. Depends on the unit/specialty. Most units are understaffed, and summer leave season drives O/T in lots of places. I have friends at units where there is little O/T available too though. Don't get addicted to O/T money, it's a slippery slope.

4. That's an individual question and has more to do with where you are and how you manage it than the job overall.

5. Other than the top 10 towers in Canada, VFR towers in winter are BORING.

6. Check your PMs.

Re: ATC Lifestyle Questions

Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:15 pm
by 911slow
Thanks for the feedback so far. In regards to my first question.. is there any discussion or option given or are locations just assigned. This is important to me as I don't want to uproot my kids if u don't have too.

Re: ATC Lifestyle Questions

Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:33 pm
by Lotro
Locations are assigned.

I've also heard a rumour that VFR trainees in other FIRs are being put into the National Pool which means you could finish VFR basic in Moncton and get placed in Boundary Bay.

I don't think they're moving IFR trainees around. So, if you were IFR in a major centre, you probably wouldn't have to move.

FSS is worse I hear. They'll put you where they need you anywhere in the country.

Sometimes, however, you get lucky and get your home/desired airport.

Re: ATC Lifestyle Questions

Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:05 pm
by tower controller
"I've also heard a rumour that VFR trainees in other FIRs are being put into the National Pool which means you could finish VFR basic in Moncton and get placed in Boundary Bay."

This is true, however, trainees are told with the offer that it is a national course and they could be posted anywhere...

Re: ATC Lifestyle Questions

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:26 pm
by 911slow
Told in the training offer? I can't see where mine says anything about region....I was under the assumption you were placed in the FIR you qualified in.

Re: ATC Lifestyle Questions

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:51 am
by YQM Bookworm
I have a question regarding moving expenses.

I am in the Moncton FIR and I have been streamed for VFR. I have already been told that any future VFR courses are going to be National. After finishing the 4 months in-class in Moncton, if I get posted elsewhere like Ontario or further West, does Nav Canada help pay for moving expenses, or is that going to be all on me? Thanks for the help.

Re: ATC Lifestyle Questions

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:04 am
by tower controller
Yeah they are told when they are offered the course that the course is national, if it doesn't say it's a national course in the training offer than it shouldn't be a national course. They will offer some assistance with moving expenses etc, but what that will be I have no idea.

The national training courses for vfr is an attempt to alleviate some of the staffing issues across the country. In an FIR that doesn't have a current need for trainee's for whatever reason they are utilizing the simulators and instructors to produce some trainee's for other parts of the country.

I don't think there is any intention for all vfr courses to be national from this point forward.

Re: ATC Lifestyle Questions

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:18 pm
by Lotro
YQM Bookworm wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:51 am
I am in the Moncton FIR and I have been streamed for VFR. I have already been told that any future VFR courses are going to be National. After finishing the 4 months in-class in Moncton, if I get posted elsewhere like Ontario or further West, does Nav Canada help pay for moving expenses, or is that going to be all on me? Thanks for the help.
In 2016 there was an "Ab Initio Relocation Program" which was much less robust than the relocation program for qualified controllers, but essentially amounted to the company paying for your stuff (including a car) to move to your first posting location, as well as supplying some temporary (hotel) accommodations until you found a place. I believe that program is still available, however, I'm not certain how it would be applied to an inter-provincial move.

Also, I don't believe they'll cover the cost of moving your stuff back to wherever you came from should you not be successful. I know of people who deferred the company funded move until after they qualified. Probably depends how much stuff you have.

Re: ATC Lifestyle Questions

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:20 am
by Mark.oa.hebert
YQM Bookworm wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:51 am
I have a question regarding moving expenses.

I am in the Moncton FIR and I have been streamed for VFR. I have already been told that any future VFR courses are going to be National. After finishing the 4 months in-class in Moncton, if I get posted elsewhere like Ontario or further West, does Nav Canada help pay for moving expenses, or is that going to be all on me? Thanks for the help.
I too am going into the VFR national training program next month (Sept 10th 2018) at the Moncton ACC... I've asked the question to various controllers and one that has just come through the course and said it's like a full relocation package and they pay for it all, even a house/apartment hunting trip... I plan to ask the question to the in house HR person when I get the chance and the moment is right... :)

Re: ATC Lifestyle Questions

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:47 am
by AirFrame
YQM Bookworm wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:51 am
I am in the Moncton FIR and I have been streamed for VFR. I have already been told that any future VFR courses are going to be National. After finishing the 4 months in-class in Moncton, if I get posted elsewhere like Ontario or further West, does Nav Canada help pay for moving expenses, or is that going to be all on me? Thanks for the help.
Keep in mind that if you move farther than X distance (I think it's 50 km but i'd have to check) for work, the expenses are tax-deductible when it comes time to do your annual tax return... I received a $10K return the year after I moved to Victoria.

Of course, if NavCanada helps fund the move, that funding is a taxable benefit, but you can still claim it as a moving expense.

Re: ATC Lifestyle Questions

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:53 am
by W0XOF
Nav Canada pays your move. I have moved twice on Nav Can's dime and the expenses were never treated as a taxable benefit.