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  1. ITV Report

Call for more students in aviation careers

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

As the UK's airports gear up for what could be their busiest summer on record, NATS, the UK's main air traffic service provider, is calling on students receiving their exam results to consider a career in the aviation industry.

With up to 8,800 flights flying over the UK every day this summer, air traffic controllers have to manage the flow of aircrafts travelling over the UK's airspace.

Air traffic controller candidates are only required to have five GCSEs but NATS said it is a career very few students consider, despite the possibility of qualified controllers earning up to a six-figure salary.

The industry is looking to recruit more than 200 trainees. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The day can be really varied, the tower environment is basically a visual environment, so people use their eyes to look out and control the aircraft and the vehicles that may be moving close into the vicinity of the airport, and on radar they use a surveillance picture, to look a lot further out to control the traffic.

I think that in careers interviews, young people today are four times more likely to talk about professions like retail, or healthcare - so this is about opening up people's eyes to what is possible in the aviation industry.

– Daryl Rowlands, Air Traffic Control Manager
Only 6%
of 16-25s have received advice on careers in aviation, according to NATS.

The recruitment process is said to be challenging but it focuses on aptitude, decision-making and problem-solving, rather than just exam results, in the hope of attracting people from all walks of life.