FSS jobs in Alaska

Stinger

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
1,134
FSS ERRs should be treated the same as an enroute facility failure that gets NESTed to a tower. They have to attend the Academy Tower course, as pass/pass status, before beginning training at their new tower. In a lot of cases I'd rather hire someone from FSS to a facility and train them, instead of being sent an enroute failure that about 50-75% of the time shouldn't have been allowed to pass their tower course at the academy.
I'd like to see ERRs be accepted and considered from the FSS people, but only at terminal facilities level 9 and below and all the enroute facilities.
I'm sure there's some FSS controllers now that are certified or close to it, after being sent there through the NEST after a facility failure. They've already passed the required Academy courses if they were to get hired for the same track they failed from, so no need to even send them back to the Academy.
 

Maintainvfr

Forum Sage
Messages
321
FSS ERRs should be treated the same as an enroute facility failure that gets NESTed to a tower. They have to attend the Academy Tower course, as pass/pass status, before beginning training at their new tower. In a lot of cases I'd rather hire someone from FSS to a facility and train them, instead of being sent an enroute failure that about 50-75% of the time shouldn't have been allowed to pass their tower course at the academy.
I'd like to see ERRs be accepted and considered from the FSS people, but only at terminal facilities level 9 and below and all the enroute facilities.
I'm sure there's some FSS controllers now that are certified or close to it, after being sent there through the NEST after a facility failure. They've already passed the required Academy courses if they were to get hired for the same track they failed from, so no need to even send them back to the Academy.
You think FSS should to to the academy as pass/pass? Disagree
 

adub

Trusted Contributor
I ♥ pointSixtyFive
Messages
111
You think FSS should to to the academy as pass/pass? Disagree
We get it. You don't like to consider FSS as the third option of ATC. Just another controller who looks down on some of your union "brothers".
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ara

Maintainvfr

Forum Sage
Messages
321
We get it. You don't like to consider FSS as the third option of ATC. Just another controller who looks down on some of your union "brothers".
You can be angry, that's fine. I'm not looking down at you, you're just upset that most people, correctly, don't think it's the same job. I don't even think saying it's the third option of ATC is quite right. When people apply to the open bid, the TOLs aren't split between Terminal, En Route, and Flight Service. When we get people in the NEST that get to their first level 5 facility and wash out only having flight data, they often only get offered Flight Service. I'm not trying to cause offense but I understand why you're offended. I'm not disparaging your job though, and like I said I think it's a valuable job and plays a part in the NAS. That being said, they're just not the same and obviously I'm not the only one that ranks them differently.

If you want to be upset by that, it's fine, but the reason people go through a pass/pass course is because they've already gone through a job jeopardy course and succeeded. Basics doesn't count. If the FSS training counts, does training in airport ops count? The line has to be somewhere, and I think having controlled air traffic is a pretty reasonable line.
 

adub

Trusted Contributor
I ♥ pointSixtyFive
Messages
111
You can be angry, that's fine. I'm not looking down at you, you're just upset that most people, correctly, don't think it's the same job. I don't even think saying it's the third option of ATC is quite right. When people apply to the open bid, the TOLs aren't split between Terminal, En Route, and Flight Service. When we get people in the NEST that get to their first level 5 facility and wash out only having flight data, they often only get offered Flight Service. I'm not trying to cause offense but I understand why you're offended. I'm not disparaging your job though, and like I said I think it's a valuable job and plays a part in the NAS. That being said, they're just not the same and obviously I'm not the only one that ranks them differently.

If you want to be upset by that, it's fine, but the reason people go through a pass/pass course is because they've already gone through a job jeopardy course and succeeded. Basics doesn't count. If the FSS training counts, does training in airport ops count? The line has to be somewhere, and I think having controlled air traffic is a pretty reasonable line.
I never said it's the same job. It's as different as a Center is to a tower. We have the same mission: safe and efficient operations within the NAS. But we have different missions and responsibilities to aid in getting it done. And with bids, you would be surprised, I know someone first hand who applied to an OTS ATC bid and was offered FSS. It's not common, but it does happen.

And we go through a "job jeopardy course" and succeed, too. Like Tower, RADAR, and EnRoute, we take an additional course after basics that concentrates on our job. Unlike ATS, the .4 actually requires FSS controllers to go through the FSS Academy prior to training whereas the other options have the option. IE, if you transfer from FSS to a tower or center, there is no obligation for them to be sent to OKC for an option course. But if you do the reciprocal, there is the requirement to go through the FSS course. Same if you go tower to center, or vice versa, there is no requirement to return to OKC.

Airport ops is apples and oranges. Not many outside of AK know this, but remote FSS facilities have the ability to take control of airspace to issue SVFR clearances, and assumes responsibility for separation of SVFR from departing IFR aircraft and do not call center or another controlling agency for SVFR clearances. They originate from us. Reference: ZAN and Alaska FSS Special VFR LOA. If I bust separation between a departing IFR aircraft and a SVFR aircraft that bust would fall on me. So equating us to NWS or Airport Ops is a stretch, at best. Do we have the same stress as towers and centers? No. Does tower have the same stresses that center does? No. Is our job one of the easiest options of ATC, while still holding 2152 and title of "Air Traffic Control", most definitely.. if you can pass the FSS Academy course which has some difficult sections dealing with weather. And unlike towers, we are responsible for a lot more airspace than a single airport.

Just because you wash out of a level 5 doesn't even mean you can make it within FSS, especially out in the "bush". If you cannot visualize a traffic pattern, you won't make it out here. Go do a site visit of Ketchikan, Sitka, Nome, Kotzebue, Talkeetna FSS. Those are some of the busiest and easier to reach FSS from the lower 48.

I don't think you know exactly what FSS does. I think you, like many others, think FSS exists only to do take/give weather and relay IFR clearances. There is a lot more to the job, especially in Alaska. So I am angry because you speak like you know our job, when it seems you don't.
 

Maintainvfr

Forum Sage
Messages
321
I never said it's the same job. It's as different as a Center is to a tower. We have the same mission: safe and efficient operations within the NAS. But we have different missions and responsibilities to aid in getting it done. And with bids, you would be surprised, I know someone first hand who applied to an OTS ATC bid and was offered FSS. It's not common, but it does happen.

And we go through a "job jeopardy course" and succeed, too. Like Tower, RADAR, and EnRoute, we take an additional course after basics that concentrates on our job. Unlike ATS, the .4 actually requires FSS controllers to go through the FSS Academy prior to training whereas the other options have the option. IE, if you transfer from FSS to a tower or center, there is no obligation for them to be sent to OKC for an option course. But if you do the reciprocal, there is the requirement to go through the FSS course. Same if you go tower to center, or vice versa, there is no requirement to return to OKC.

Airport ops is apples and oranges. Not many outside of AK know this, but remote FSS facilities have the ability to take control of airspace to issue SVFR clearances, and assumes responsibility for separation of SVFR from departing IFR aircraft and do not call center or another controlling agency for SVFR clearances. They originate from us. Reference: ZAN and Alaska FSS Special VFR LOA. If I bust separation between a departing IFR aircraft and a SVFR aircraft that bust would fall on me. So equating us to NWS or Airport Ops is a stretch, at best. Do we have the same stress as towers and centers? No. Does tower have the same stresses that center does? No. Is our job one of the easiest options of ATC, while still holding 2152 and title of "Air Traffic Control", most definitely.. if you can pass the FSS Academy course which has some difficult sections dealing with weather. And unlike towers, we are responsible for a lot more airspace than a single airport.

Just because you wash out of a level 5 doesn't even mean you can make it within FSS, especially out in the "bush". If you cannot visualize a traffic pattern, you won't make it out here. Go do a site visit of Ketchikan, Sitka, Nome, Kotzebue, Talkeetna FSS. Those are some of the busiest and easier to reach FSS from the lower 48.

I don't think you know exactly what FSS does. I think you, like many others, think FSS exists only to do take/give weather and relay IFR clearances. There is a lot more to the job, especially in Alaska. So I am angry because you speak like you know our job, when it seems you don't.
Ok, maybe you're right
 

Stinger

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
1,134
You think FSS should to to the academy as pass/pass? Disagree
Since enroute failures go back to the tower academy as pass/pass, yes I do think that FSS ERRs should be pass/pass at the academy as well.
But I also don't think that those enroute recycle students should be pass/pass. Or if they have to be pass/pass, have something tied to their performance at the academy....like facility selection.
 

nbk14

Member
Messages
96
Since enroute failures go back to the tower academy as pass/pass, yes I do think that FSS ERRs should be pass/pass at the academy as well.
But I also don't think that those enroute recycle students should be pass/pass. Or if they have to be pass/pass, have something tied to their performance at the academy....like facility selection.
Whoa, if you fail to get certified at your center you get sent back to Oklahoma for terminal classes?!
 

Stinger

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
1,134
Whoa, if you fail to get certified at your center you get sent back to Oklahoma for terminal classes?!
As long as they are recommended to be retained, yes. And the large majority is retained.
 

AM_4478

Member
Messages
21
I washed out of the academy last year for en route on the last day. I applied for the Alaska FSS bid, but I see in the bid that prior academy failures could deem you ineligible. Anyone have any additional insight into this and how it works?
 

RedTail

Lurker
Messages
8
Are prior AT-SA scores able to be rolled over for FSS as well? Had a talk with both PSI HR and FAA HR. Neither were able to confirm with me. Supposedly the FSS hiring is handled by a different group of individuals from the ATC hiring. Anyone able to confirm?
 

nbk14

Member
Messages
96
For this one they sent the atsa invites only 1.5 months later the bid closed. If I started FSS class but got a class date for atc--am i free to leave?
 
Top