Two Entry Point North’s Swedish students – Joachim Koitsalu, ATCO in the Tower at Dublin International Airport
, and Andreas Svensson, ATCO in the Tower at Stornoway Airport
in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, have kindly agreed to share their interesting stories of moving and working abroad after the initial training at the academy.
“When offered to work in the Tower at Dublin International Airport, I just had to say yes and I trusted that my determination and my education at Entry Point North would be enough to take me through the months of intensive unit training ahead of me,”
- says Joachim Koitsalu.
Whilst the knowledge and experience gained through training are important for a successful On-The-Job Training, the two key words Joachim thinks are essential are modesty and flexibility. “Of course you must be able to recite in your sleep all the procedures by heart, but being an Air Traffic Controller is much more than that. You must learn to fit in a team, work with other controllers, adapt to the work culture and realise that not everyone works the same. As a junior controller especially, you must be humble. You will often wonder why certain procedures are the way they are and why some seem inefficient or weird but you are only one tiny cog in a big machinery so take it slow, make sure you do your best all the time, follow procedures and learn to work with your coworkers rather than against them and you’ll do just fine,”
– tells Joachim.
“Dublin Airport is today busier than Arlanda in Stockholm despite its single runway and it is every day incredibly gratifying to work there. The tough and sometimes verging on harsh training at Entry Point North gave me great foundations to build on, and the talented, experienced and international staff could complete that theoretical knowledge with advices on how to behave socially in ways that increased my chances of making it all the way anywhere in the world. I am today a licensed Tower ATCO, and I love it,”
– summarises Joachim.
The other student, Andreas Svensson, today is a validated and active ATCO at Stornoway airport in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. He has also been trained on initial training at Entry Point North and moved to Scotland in May 2015 as the very first step in the career as an ATCO.
“Scotland is a magnificent country and as a part of the United Kingdom it presents a huge difference in wildlife, nature, and people than back home, but also in the world of air traffic controlling. The airports here in the Scottish Highlands and Islands are in class G airspace and without radar, which produces an unusual environment for IFR-traffic with regular pop-up traffic and a good mix of transatlantic and domestic traffic,”
– explains Andreas.
“I am very grateful for the training at Entry Point North that provided me with a solid and open-minded attitude about new airspaces and structures: the training I received was done with a basic ICAO regulation and generic airspace in mind, and the conversion course to British licenses needed only three weeks. Once the Unit Training commenced it lasted for about eight months, and even though the domestic aircraft are used to receiving clearances in uncontrolled airspace there is a large traffic amount that is used to the type of airspace normally focused at Entry Point North – the controlled airspace. Having the Entry Point North’s training solidly in my background, it was easier for me to foresee and anticipate when arriving traffic could be caught out or where they were likely to misunderstand instructions and clearances,”
– says Andreas.
Entry Point North is especially happy to share these great success stories and wishes you both the very best in your ATCO careers!
Dublin International Airport (1) - photo credit Joachim Koitsalu
Stornoway airport (2, 3) - photo credit Andreas Svensson