No training anymore.
The reality of this is only slowly sinking in, with two days of working on my own behind me.
Last Sunday – almost exactly two years and three weeks after I started my OJT – I finally had my last checkout, at the feeder position.
Was it easy?
Feeder in itself is probably one of the easiest positions to learn, since most of it is a kind of line-work – it’s mostly repetition of the same few tasks, and you repeat those a lot. Make no mistake, you have to use your brains every once in a while (especially to efficiently use the parallel runway system), but due to the sheer volume of traffic, after four months, you really have seen quite a lot of what this position can throw at you.
Also, after two passed checkouts, a certain confidence on one’s own abilities is unavoidable, making the stress of dealing with an exam situation much easier to bear with.
The downside of this position for a checkout – as I said above, there are many airplanes. And they are very close to each other. So not only do you have many opportunities for mistakes, these mistakes are also much more likely to end in a loss of separation (thus, usually a failed checkout).
Luckily, that hasn’t happened to me so far during training, and that trend persisted throughout last Sunday.
The result? I’m on my own now, within the whole air traffic (control) team of course. And I can tell you, it’s a great feeling. My coaches taught me a lot, and I’m thankful but glad to be rid of them.
More than five years ago, I decided I want to become an air traffic controller. Last Sunday, I reached that goal.
I am now an Air Traffic Controller.