A few questions about NavCanada

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stick'n'rudder
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A few questions about NavCanada

Post by stick'n'rudder »

Hello everyone,

I have spent a good deal of time going through the myriad of highly informative posts here, but I still have a few questions about NavCanada. I'm assuming mostly "all stars aligned" conditions here, but if you must, do indeed yell regarding any imperfections in the system :)

1. Entrance. What methods are there to get into it? I know of the site method, but are there others? If so, what are the advantages/disadvantages of each?

2. Facilities. To what extent can you choose which kind to work and where? I've gotten the impression that IFR is mostly based on the region in which you are in, but that otherwise for VFR/FSS/FIC they pretty much throw you anywhere they like. Similarly, how would you go from one type to another at some point - Any constraints?

3. Within facilities. This is a big one. Assuming you are within a facility that you want to be, how do the often called "pools" and "bidding" work? Do you pick which speciality you want or does it depend on where you are needed or what chunk of sky you can handle the best? Similarly, how would you get out of one and go into another - Any constraints?

4. TCU's. The impression that I got is, that there seems to be some level of pseudo-hate for them, due to what sounds like the lack of ability to work them, and thus lower levels of people available...thus more working hours, etc etc etc. Anyone able to clarify what exactly goes on?

5. Pay. Obviously it's difficulty-scale-based. The question is, do all the facilities(From a certain type) follow the same scale, or is there a scale for enroute, a scale for terminal, etc?

6. Time frames. On pure average, how long do the steps take, going from the very first "application" to fully certified.


Anything else that would fall along these lines is appreciated too.

Thanks in advance...
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invertedattitude
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Re: A few questions about NavCanada

Post by invertedattitude »

I'll answer two questions...

Pay, there are only two payscales IFR and VFR

However VFR payscales vary widely within themselves based on traffic volume essentially.

IFR is the same across the country, but there is a facility premium which varies per ACC but the difference isn't much to speak of and basically helps with cost of living in the bigger cities, although this is not officially what it is for.



Timeframe, varies, but from initial application to an IFR license would in a perfect situation be 2 - 2 1/2 years
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lilfssister
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Re: A few questions about NavCanada

Post by lilfssister »

1. Only via the website

2. All hiring/training/placement is done in the region in which you apply/test/interview

3. Varies with requirements AFAIK

4. Don't know

5. See above for ATC. FSS has just gone through a reclassification and pay scales are not yet known, as our contract expired in April and is in arbitration. Basically one can assume the busier, more complex sites are the higher paid.

6. Varies with the discipline (IFR/VFR/FSS) and the site. Under a year to two years I would say.
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aviator2010
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Re: A few questions about NavCanada

Post by aviator2010 »

are all you FSS'ers still getting fired or did they change their mindes and their hiring again?
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Dees
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Re: A few questions about NavCanada

Post by Dees »

3. After 5 years in a specialty, you can "seniority bid" to go to another specialty. This is nationwide, so for example, you can bid to go from any specialty in Edmonton to YYZ West Low. (If there is a training course running in YYZ) This means that there must be a need for people in that specialty in YYZ.

4. There seems to be a misconception about TCUs and the check out rates involved with them. In YYZ, the TCU has no worse of a check out rate than most other specialties. In fact, the last course run for YYZ TCU has produced 4 licenses out of the 6 who trained with another of the 6 still training.

6. Generally it will take between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 years from the time you apply until you get a license. That's assuming the following time frames:

Application: 1 year
Generic IFR Training: 4 months
Specialty Training (classroom and simulator): 6-9 months
On-the-Job Training: 8-14 months

The times can vary quite drastically depending on the specialty. Toronto Terminal has one of the quickest checkout times.
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stick'n'rudder
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Re: A few questions about NavCanada

Post by stick'n'rudder »

Thanks all.
Dees wrote:3. After 5 years in a specialty, you can "seniority bid" to go to another specialty. This is nationwide, so for example, you can bid to go from any specialty in Edmonton to YYZ West Low. (If there is a training course running in YYZ) This means that there must be a need for people in that specialty in YYZ.
Roger. However, what about new people coming into the facility for the first time(ie 100% new to ATC)? Are you thrown where needed or do you also get to pick?
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Dees
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Re: A few questions about NavCanada

Post by Dees »

You are put where you are needed. If they run a generic course and then two specialty courses, eg. airports and terminal, they will ask what your preference is but put you where they need you the most and where they think you will have the best chance to succeed.
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Zatopec
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Re: A few questions about NavCanada

Post by Zatopec »

aviator2010 wrote:are all you FSS'ers still getting fired or did they change their mindes and their hiring again?
FSSs got fired? When?

Many chose to leave about a year ago but nobody got fired.

There's hiring in some regions, not in others.
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Chaosrider
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Re: A few questions about NavCanada

Post by Chaosrider »

I think he was referring to the Level of service that was done not too long ago. They finally decided to abandon the whole thing for now.

As for the questions asked, I will answer as best as I can from my point of view as an FSS .
First the answer will depends on the specialty you choose. FSS VFR and IFR are different from each other.

2. FSS :for the kind of work, you have two possibilities here, FIC or AAS site. I would say you don't really get the choice, it will go according to the need at the time you graduate. Same goes to where you will be posted (training is regional now so it should be in the same region as you trained as in example, in Montreal, you should stay in Quebec)

VFR : Same as FSS as far as I know but I may be wrong

IFR : There is one ACC per region so you should be based in the same place as where you trained. As to wich sector/position you will go, others will be able to answer better than I.

3.FSS/VFR. option does not exist as there is only one type of position per emplacement
IFR : Can't tell either others will be able to inform you

5. Pay scales are different for each specialty FSS/VFR/IFR. FSS is in another union altogether

6.I dont know about the application process these days. I guess it is a lot dependent on the course schedule.
From the start of your basic course : FSS : Basic 4 month, On the job training depends on the site but not too long


Hope it helped.
Michael
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stick'n'rudder
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Re: A few questions about NavCanada

Post by stick'n'rudder »

Thank you.
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Re: A few questions about NavCanada

Post by sigmet77 »

I believe there are 6-8 new FSS training across the entire country...total. Don't look for too many to be hired as I'm sure they are still working on head count.

The questions you had have been answered well, I'd just add that overall NAV is a good company to work for, the pay and benefits are good and your work environment is what you make of it. The process can take forever and it's still hard to make it from applying on the web to working in a centre but it's certainly worth the try.
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stick'n'rudder
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Re: A few questions about NavCanada

Post by stick'n'rudder »

sigmet77 wrote:it's still hard to make it from applying on the web to working in a centre but it's certainly worth the try.
Hi - So are you saying that they try and push people into towers more these days?
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Re: A few questions about NavCanada

Post by cyeg66 »

stick'n'rudder wrote:
sigmet77 wrote:it's still hard to make it from applying on the web to working in a centre but it's certainly worth the try.
Hi - So are you saying that they try and push people into towers more these days?
No, they aren't.
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Re: A few questions about NavCanada

Post by grimey »

stick'n'rudder wrote:
sigmet77 wrote:it's still hard to make it from applying on the web to working in a centre but it's certainly worth the try.
Hi - So are you saying that they try and push people into towers more these days?
No, he's acknowledging the low success rate of applicants. It's hard to check out as an IFR controller, and rightly so. A small fraction of those who write the entrance tests get an interview and are offered a training position. Once you start training, checkout rates vary, but are or have been VERY low in certain centres. I'm not and haven't been an IFR controller, so I can't offer specifics on the current checkout rates across the country.
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stick'n'rudder
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Re: A few questions about NavCanada

Post by stick'n'rudder »

Thanks, thanks clarifies it.
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sigmet77
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Re: A few questions about NavCanada

Post by sigmet77 »

The two responses are correct; anyone can apply but actually getting hired and checking out as an FSS, tower ATC or IFR ATC is difficult, as it should be.
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