Flight information service officer
Heathrow Control Tower
|Competencies||Excellent short-term memory and situational awareness, good communications skills and an excellent grasp of English|
|Certification by Civil Aviation Authority|
|Air Traffic Control Officer|
Flight information service officers or FISO, provide a flight information service (FIS) to any air traffic that requests it, or requires it. A FISO is a licensed operator, who most usually works at an aerodrome, although there are some FISOs working in area control centers. FISOs must been validated for each aerodrome, or other air traffic control unit they work for. Air traffic controllers are also permitted to provide flight information services to pilots.
Features of the job (UK)
The average salary for a FISO in the United Kingdom in 2009 was approximately £20,000.
Core skills of a FISO
Communication is a vital part of the job: officers are trained to precisely focus on the exact words pilots and other controllers or FISOs use. As with controllers, FISOs communicate with the pilots of aircraft using a push-to-talk radiotelephony system, which has many attendant issues such as the fact only one transmission can be made on a frequency at a time, or transmissions will either merge or block each other and become unreadable.
Although local languages are sometimes used in ATC communications, the default language of aviation worldwide has been English since 5 March 2008, and in the United Kingdom, this is universal. As a result, flight information service officers require an excellent and fluent grasp of English. FISOs must be able to communicate without speech impediment or other disability which would cause inefficiency or inaccuracy of communication.
FISOs working at an area control centre (ACC) will work from a dedicated position, providing FIS on a 'discreet frequency', as with their Aerodrome counterparts. I.E. a frequency other than the main air traffic control frequency.
Aerodrome or tower
FISOs most usually work in an aerodrome control tower, providing a flight information service to aircraft in the local area, and on the ground, and therefore require similar equipment and commanding views of an air traffic control tower at a quiet controlled aerodrome.
FISOs have the same powers as a controller to aircraft taxiing or stationary within the airport, when they are notified as being 'on watch', but may never provide commands to pilots in the air or on the runway(s). See flight information service for full details on the service provided.
Education and license
As a licensed occupation, flight information service officers are required to undertake testing to achieve their lifelong FISO license, issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Potential FISOs will be required to undertake the following exams for their license to be issued and following these the license must be validated and maintained to be used:
Complete first page of application form SRG1414 Pass, law & procedures exam Pass, navigation & meteorogy exam for a FISO licence – subject to passing the exam Note: applicants also have to have an Aeronautical Radio Station Operator Certificate of Competence
Validation uses page 2 of the application form SRG1414, to apply for a validation examination by a CAA ATS inspector at a specific aerodrome, provided that a certified log of 40 hours ‘hands-on’ experience under supervision of a qualified operator, with a maximum of 4 hours in a day (see CAP427 Chap 2 Para 5.2), where no ‘on the job’ training prior to the issue of the FISO licence at will count towards the validity exam requirements. Upon passing the validity exam, a FISO will apply to the CAA for their FISO licence to be validated, against which the CAA can issue an Endorsement of the licence. This validation process is applicable to one airfield only. Upon moving to another unit, the validation process must be repeated.
In the event that a FISO fails a competence check, they will be immediately informed not to provide a flight information service, and steps will be taken by management, to provide re-training as necessary.
Only once a person has passed all these training stages, will they be able to provide a flight information service.
All flight information service officers must be over the age of 18. Provided that they are medically and operationally sound, there is no upper age limit for a FISO.
Finland uses flight information service officers to run aerodrome flight information service aerodromes, similar to those in the United Kingdom, operated by FISOs.
Ireland also uses flight information service officers, whose license expires every 2 years, similar to the license issued by the Civil Aviation Authority in United Kingdom.
Poland uses flight information service officers to provide radar information service for polish uncontrolled airspace (class G).
- Air safety
- Air traffic controllers' strike of 1981 (U.S.A.)
- Flight planning
- Air traffic controller
- Flight information service
- "Flight Information Service Officer (FISO) Licensing – CAA". Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- "CAP410 Part B" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- "MySalary – FISO". Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- "ICAO FAQs English Requirements". Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- "GOLF HOTEL WHISKEY – How to become a FISO". Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- "ICAO Circular 211" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-01-12.
- "CAP427" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- "IAA application guidance for AFISO". Retrieved 2011-01-05.
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