All airlines and the RAF have Operations Control Centres which performs all functions required to ensure a safe and punctual schedule is delivered across the network, whilst meeting customers’ expectations regarding reliability and punctuality.
There are also other companies that focus on flight support solutions, both in the commercial and business/private aviation sectors globally. The organisations will specialise in certain operational functions that are listed below. Some of these companies are smaller SME’s and recruit individuals with a passion for the industry at an entry level, so would be ideally suited to early career professionals or those seeking a career change into aviation.
You will often work closely with all other departments and external agents to manage the daily flying programme taking responsibility for monitoring, pre-empting and reacting to live daily operational occurrences.
What you will be doing:
Maintaining a flight watch on all flights during the shift
Liaising with all handling agents keeping them up to date with the daily schedule and any disruptions that may occur
Crew rostering for all relevant flights
Ensuring the company FTL (Flight Time Limited) scheme is adhered to
Monitoring flight plans and slots for all airports on the network
Producing reports for the management team as required
Inputting and updating spreadsheets relevant to flight safety
Monitoring weather and NOTAM reports for all relevant destinations
Working in a fast-paced environment
Managing and maintaining high levels of service
Other key responsibilities:
To assist the Operations/Crewing Controllers with the day-to day running of the Operational Flying Programme
Communicate effectively with Crew, Handling agents and other associated areas of the business
Update in-house computer systems accurately recording crew and aircraft information
Monitor incoming information and cascade to relevant departments
The RAF has 2 areas of employment within Air and Space Operations Specialist. They are Air and Space Operations Specialist (Flight Operations) and Air and Space Operations Specialist (Aerospace Systems).
Air & Space Operations Specialists (Flight Operations) provide direct support to aircrew, air traffic control and Operations Managers in a variety of roles. In support of aircrew, you could be employed in a squadron operations room, where you will be responsible for the maintenance of aeronautical information and operating mission support IT, both of which are critical to the safe and expeditious conduct of the mission. Alternatively, you could also be employed in an air traffic control tower, managing IT systems with real-time flight information and operating radio equipment in support of the controllers. There are opportunities for employment in station operations and flight planning, responsible for coordinating military and civilian aircraft operations and utilising your specialist flight planning knowledge to give advice to visiting aircrew on submitting their flight plans. Future roles could see you working within Space Operations. Like many RAF personnel you will be assigned to other RAF Stations as part of your career development.
As an Air & Space Operations Specialist (Aerospace Systems) you are the eyes and ears of the RAF. You will play a vital part in UK homeland defence, contribute to the security of UK overseas territories and UK Armed Forces serving abroad and be a part of the UK Government’s mission to act as a force for good throughout the world. Throughout your career you will operate from a hardened Command and Control Centre; a deployed Command and Control Radar Unit, working and living in field conditions both in the UK and overseas; a missile warning/space surveillance radar unit; RAF Main Operating Bases and Royal Navy (RN) Air Defence ships. You will assist in the direction of fighter, ground attack, surveillance and refuelling aircraft operating to maintain control of the air. In the Space environment, you will help provide a 24-hour Ballistic Missile Early Warning and Space Surveillance Service to UK and US senior leadership. You may also have the opportunity to work with Data Links and Electronic Warfare units.
Throughout your career you may be required to serve overseas on a detachment as part of your role for a number of months, or as a full-time posting to certain locations working alongside other services and nations. Your duties will be similar to those at your home station but will be more demanding in an operational environment.
Service as an Air & Space Operations Specialist will develop your professional and personal skills such as problem solving, teamwork and communication skills. The leadership & management training, accredited to the Chartered Management Institute, and Advanced Apprenticeship are as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF, meaning that whenever you decide to leave the RAF, you will be well placed to find a job in civilian airport operations.