11 air traffic control jobs to go

ELEVEN jobs are to be axed at air traffic control at Jersey Airport over the next two years.

ELEVEN jobs are to be axed at air traffic control at Jersey Airport over the next two years.

Six posts will disappear ahead of a more automated system being introduced next year when the new control tower is operational, with a further five to follow in 2011.

The new system will make the role of air traffic control assistant redundant. Currently, 11 people hold that position and their jobs will be scrapped over the next two years.

Some of the staff will be redeployed elsewhere within the Airport or in other States posts. The staff members were formally told on Monday following consultation with unions.

Both voluntary redundancy and retirement packages will be offered with an assurance given that compulsory redundancy will be a last resort.

• See Tuesday's JEP for full story.

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Comments for: "11 air traffic control jobs to go"


nice to see the states looking forward at least we know now that there will be even less planes coming in shut more hotels build more flats and turn the air traffic controllers into tradesmen for the building game employ locals

Magnolia Man

When the first air traffic-related accident occurs (and it will) there will be a great wailing and gnashing of teeth.

"Where are all the ATC assistants?", they will moan in the States Assembly.


Well if we ain't got a tourist industry, why do we need an airport, with the highest landing charges !!!


Sorry, spelled one of the words incorrectly. There again, I don't suppose airport management will notice.

keith cockayne

We must move with the times & ,unfortunately, leave the Assistants behind.

A good assistant is worth their weight in gold, but that is always disregarded by a "go ahead management" inspired by such august organisations as NATS (who have, regrettably, seconded one of their "bright sparks" to oversee the development of Jersey ATC).

No matter that the introduction of new equipment etc. will impinge on the provision of the traditional ATC service; THAT will be diluted ,& customer service reduced, to the necessary degree at which it becomes possible to provide the resultant, diminished,service with the new equipment.

Oh well, that's progress!


Does this mean that the training and entry level Air Traffic Controllers locally are now not getting the chance to get into this type of work?

In other words are these Assistants people who would ultimately become trained and licensed ATC's, or do they currently just make the tea and do the correspondence filing?

If they fall into the ATC training category then this is a very short sighted move and arguably a false economy which in time will lead to the Island having to import J category staff to fill vacant licensed ATC positions.In other words a short-term fix with a sting in the tail.


I suppose the airport management are expecting magical things from whoever is left in Air Traffic Control. True, we do not have the level of air traffic that we had when I worked in ATC but this is such a short sighted "fix" that inevitably the wheel will come off at some stage.

The controller will one day be faced with a scenario that he will not be able to cope with alone and whereas at the moment, the assistants are relied upon if there is an incident, to speak with various airport authorities and departments to liaise with them, this function will not be able to take place.

Still, as long as I am not on board the flight which this happens to, why should I care. The States obviously do not.

Howard Hughes

I think time will show the Assistants are actually required. Seeing how the Tower has been built in the wrong place, too far away from the runway, which means on a misty / foggy day the Controllers will not be able to exercise their primary role ie watching every take off or landing. The soon to be defunked Assistants could be position along the runway edge and report to the distant controllers on the aircraft status!


I've got an idea !!!

Let's build an airport at La Rocque. That way, the assistants could be part-time fishermen and any fish that they caught could be offered up to airport management as a sweetener to keep their jobs.


To all moaning above

Can't you really apply at least little tiny common sense ?

First landing in 5.30, last 20:55 (according to official time table) which makes 18.5 hr a day. Lets say 20hr - to give assistants some time to prepare to do the daily job, and some time to close the office and leave.

There are 59 take-offs and landings during that time (according to official time table), which gives on average 13.3 min time spare between each event.

Currently 11 peoples works there. Lets count: 3 shifts, - 3.75 person per 7 hr shift (3*7=21 - which is more than assumed 20 hr work day, giving some small overlap)

So on average 4 men are watching 20 planes during one 7 hr shift.

And you all are amoaning that some jobs has to go when automatic equipment will be introduced!

C'mon! Think ! That does't hurt! What if all the staff were paid from YOUR money (in fact they are as States employes)




#Slawek - you have no idea!

Have you actually ever visited the ATC in Jersey? Its not a one man show!

Each "event" as you put it, is not just a landing/takeoff - there is a lot of "controlling" that also goes on.

As a pilot, PPL, I have personally visited the tower, I talk to the ATC over the radio, they see me on radar.

ATC do not just control landing/departing planes, they control the whole Class A Airspace around all the channel islands, and keep an eye/direct on traffic as far north as the english coast.

I dont mean this as a personal attack, but if you would like to visit the tower (and the control room that everyone forgets one floor below it, that holds (from memory) about 6 radar operators/screens then I know they would welcome you to look around - just as they did me as I trained to fly in Jersey.


They don't understand. Isn't that right Paul !!!!

Might give you a clue as to who this is.

The new assistants never even had to pen the flight strips, it was all automated.

When I think back to the "British Air Ferries" weekend back in 1987 and the chaos that went with it!! How did Jersey Airport survive? With help from the ASSISTANTS of course. "SIMPLES" The controllers and assistants who were on duty that Sunday will, I am sure remember. Flight plans cancelled, or just amended whilst the aircraft was in the air. Nobody knew where the next flight was coming from or going to and that included London Flight Centre also. The script as they say was thrown out of the window.

So, bring it on !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Phil if you hadn't said it to Slawak then I would have done.Some years back, possibly more than I care to remember, I recall visiting the blacked out radar room in the Tower at RAF Bassingbourne (At the time a training center using mainly Canberra Aircraft).We were being given the usual old speel by the officer in charge and the ATC's were all sipping coffee and dealing with the usual daily business, such as sending a trainee pilot doing blacked out Instrument Landing practice back round the circuit because he was lining up to land at right angles to the runway! when suddenly a voice came over the speakers! basically it was the leader of a whole squadron of Hunter Jets out of Lossiemouth in Scotland who had been fogged out from landing and had been flying South in a vain attempt to beat the advancing fog to a landing.The voice basically said that they were 6 minutes away with 4 minutes fuel, and sounded understandably worried!

Apart from the officer suddenly turning the colour of his uniform, I don't think I have ever seen people change from inactive to action so fast, as Hunter aircraft proceeded to fall out of the sky all over Cambridgeshire! 6 made it, of which two ran out of fuel at the end of the runway! Three landed somewhat unexpectedly at a grass strip flying and gliding club nearby, one going through a hedge before stopping! and the rest landed at a disused airbase in the middle of nowhere! Even I, as a totally untrained visitor, found myself talking on the phone with a rather rattled member of the local gliding club who was basically asking what the ---- we were up to and how did we propose to get them back up in the air again from a grass strip?

The answer was that they were recovered at night, by road!

Strangely no mention at the time was made in the Press of any of this happening?

You need ATC Assistants believe me, probably more so in this computer age where claims are made for automated systems that really need to be checked out over time to establish their accuracy!

And Slawek in flying it isn't what usually happens you have to plan for, it's the unexpected.


Just in passing Howard Hughes point about the new control tower is very interesting. With the height of the new tower, the ATC's will actually probably all be above any sea fog looking down on it!i.e totally isolated in what will probably be a sunny day above the fog. What is happening on the ground below them, if anything, will be a mystery unless the new technology is up to it of course?

Maybe someone in the know would like to comment?