The benefits of a career in air traffic control have “flown under the radar” for some time, according to the man who heads up the unit in Aberdeen.
General manager at the Aberdeen Air Traffic Services Unit, Daryl Heaselgrave, said some of the role’s benefits include “having a job for life” and one which could take you “anywhere in the world”.
Daryl, who qualified as an air traffic controller in 1986, said: “Once you are in control of the yellow book, your licence, you have a licence to offer your services as an air traffic controller anywhere in the world. In terms of the day-to-day, it is exceptionally well paid.
“The work-life balance is fantastic. If you consider at Aberdeen we work a six days on, four days off work pattern, and take into account the leave you’re allocated, that actually means you spend 181 days at work.
“There aren’t many occupations that will pay you, once you get to the top of the scale at Aberdeen and get to be a watchman, £80,000 a year to work for six months.
“In terms of your day-to-day no two days are the same so it’s really stimulating.
“You can look out the window and you can look at the radar screen and you can see what you have done.
“There’s a real immediacy to what you’re doing and you see the tangible results of your decision.”
Staff at the unit come from a “broad church”, with current employees having joined from previous jobs including a pizza delivery boy and another who used to change tyres in an HGV bay.