The Business Magazine - B2B Business News - Site Logo
The Business Magazine - B2B Business News - Site Logo
The Business Magazine July 2024
Read now

Hampshire’s NATS launches recruitment drive for air traffic controllers

The Business Magazine article image for: Hampshire’s NATS launches recruitment drive for air traffic controllers
19 June 2024

Hampshire-based air traffic service provider NATS has kicked off a nationwide recruitment campaign to identify and train the next generation of air traffic controllers.

No specific qualifications are required beyond five GCSEs at Grade 4 or Scottish National 5’s Grade A-C, including English and Maths.

NATS says becoming a successful air traffic controller is much more about teamwork, good situational awareness and adaptability.

Claire Burton, head of operational excellence and transformation at NATS, said: “We’re thrilled to be reopening applications for our trainee air traffic controller programme again this year.

“Air traffic controllers are the foundation of the aviation industry, and with travel booming again, there’s never been a better time to join our teams across the country for what is a hugely fulfilling and rewarding career.”

Successful candidates will go through around 12 months of initial simulator and theory-based training, before being posted to an airport tower or a NATS control centre at either Swanwick, Hampshire or Prestwick, Ayrshire.

Once there, students receive on-the-job training towards becoming fully fledged controllers, working as part of a team to keep the skies safe.

Trainee controllers start on a salary of £21,330, while fully valid controllers working in the busiest operations could eventually earn more than £100,000.

Air traffic control training is now also an accredited apprenticeship scheme, with some trainees able to work towards an L5 recognised apprenticeship qualification.

And for the first time, NATS is offering a bursary fund to support applicants from lower income backgrounds or with carer responsibilities, with money available to go towards travel and medical costs. 

These changes are all in aid of encouraging applications from a more diverse range of people, especially women and those from ethnic minority communities.

“Great controllers come from all walks of life and all backgrounds and while we have many outstanding women controllers, they constitute only about 30 per cent of the workforce”, added Claire.

“We want to attract talent from the broadest possible pool, and I’d really encourage anyone who’s keen to go for it. It really is a fantastic career.”

NATS currently has around 1,600 controllers whose job it is to safely manage the flow of aircraft through the UK’s busy and complex airspace, as well as at 15 of the country’s busiest airports.

For more information and to apply, visit


Born and raised in Berkshire, Dan fell into journalism after completing his bachelor’s degree in English at UCL.

Writing for The Business Magazine and local Biz News sites has given him the opportunity to chat with all manner of small business owners and share their success stories with a wider audience.

Outside of work, Dan enjoys live music, board games and quiz shows, and is making a slow but persistent effort to learn Spanish.

Latest deal ticket

All deals


All events

Related news

Group Titles

Dorset BIZ NewsHampshire BIZ News