• Views Views: 10,062
  • Last updated Last updated:


  • What are the eligibility requirements for All Source (OTS) Bid?​

    • US Citizenship is required.
    • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
    • Applicants may be required to pass a Biographical Assessment (BA).
    • All applicants must pass the Air Traffic Skills Assessment (AT-SA) Exam.
    • Applicants must qualify based on one or several methods (experience, work history, education - check the specific bid for qualifiers.)


    All source bids are separated into two pools of applicants:
    • Pool 1: CTI graduates and military Veterans
      1. A graduate from an institution participating in the Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI) program and who has received from the institution an appropriate recommendation.
      2. A veteran eligible for a Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA) pursuant to section 4214 of Title 38 and can provide a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty within 120 days from the announcement closing.
      3. An eligible veteran maintaining aviation experience obtained in the course of your military experience and/or entitled to veterans' preference (must meet eligibility requirements in section 2108 of Title 5, Unites States Code).
    • Pool 2: All others
    Those who qualify for pool 1 may elect to apply under pool 2. The requirement to keep the ratio of applicants hired from each pool within 10% of each other was removed in S. 1790: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 and amended to "...further preferential consideration, within each qualification category based upon pre-employment testing results (including application of veterans' preference as required under section 40122(g)(2)(B)), to pool 1 applicants... before pool 2 applicants."

    Those who qualify for prior experience bids may also apply to an all sources bid. In the event a TOL is offered on both bids, the applicant will be forced to decline one. Any potential benefits gained from one bid will not be available under the other bid.

    What are the prior experience requirements?​

    52 weeks of post-certification experience in a DoD, FAA, or FCT facility. Active duty military must be within 120 days of separation. For an explanation of this requirement, see this thread.

    View the most recent announcement(s) to see bid requirements. Additional information can be found in the following attachments.

    An important caveat for FAA controllers who have left and are reapplying: it has not been listed in any of the hiring bids, but is ATO policy that they will not rehire someone who voluntarily left the FAA within one year. If the person has veteran's preference, the time is reduced to six months, but the only facility the person resigned from will be offered.

    These are the FAA Definitions for various previous experience related terms to determine what qualifies.

    CPC Reinstatements​

    If you were previously a CPC (developmental does not qualify) in an FAA facility, you can apply for reinstatement under a different process than the normal USAJobs bids. Applicants send their application package directly to HR.

    Refer to the CPC reinstatement thread to see the policy memo, OI, and for more information. Instructions on how to submit the package are in the OI.

    As of 6/2022, reinstatements are placed by the FAA, in a facility at or below the highest level of CPC attained.

    Retired Military Controller (RMC) Program​

    If you retire from the military as a controller, you may be eligible to apply as an RMC. Available Facilities for placement are "terminals with facility Pay level (FPL) of 7 and below that have had a large number of turnover due to hardships, declination of placement or other circumstances where the facility is unable to stay above their targeted CPC staffing."

    Initial appointment is limited to 5 years, with 2 2-year extensions and a 1-year extension allowed at the FAA's request.

    RMC bids are published on USAJobs.gov

    What is the age requirement?​

    Without prior experience: The hiring bid must close before your 31st birthday.

    With prior military ATC or FAA contract tower experience you must receive your original appointment before your 36th birthday.

    How many people is the FAA hiring?​

    Yearly forecasts are in the controller workforce plan.

    What is the OTS hiring process like?​

    Please visit this page for more information.

    When is the next bid?​

    There is no schedule, so no one knows. The past several years have had one OTS and one EXP bid per year. When there’s knowledge of an upcoming bid, it’s guaranteed there will be a thread about it. New threads with nothing more than “when is the next xxx bid” will be deleted.

    What is the prior experience hiring process like?​

    The process is similar to OTS. The main requirement for prior experience bids is that you hold a CTO or approach rating for 52 weeks. You apply via USAJobs, and attach all required documentation (CTO, approach ticket, DD-214, SF-50, etc). Read all the requirements in the job posting and do exactly what is requested. After selection, you will receive a TOL, which among other things, contains a link to a survey where you will input your prior experience. This will be used to determine what facilities you will be eligible to be offered. For details on this process, view the previous experience placement SOP. After completing all clearances (Medical, MMPI, Security, Drug Screen), you will be given a list of facilities (the 2016 bid states up to 5, most receive many more) to rank by preference. Shortly after, HR should notify you of facility assignment, and will coordinate a start date (usually given options 2-8 weeks away, but you may be able to negotiate based on your circumstances). Eventually, you will be sent an FOL (no standard time frame). For terminal, you show up to the facility on the start date. For en route, you may or may not be required to attend the Academy prior to starting at the facility.

    Clearances may transfer, depending on the recency and investigation level. If possible, have copies of your medical records and any other relevant paperwork. Private pilot Class II medical does not transfer.

    What is the Biographical Assessment (BA) (aka Biographical Questionnaire (BQ))?​

    A horrible idea, terribly implemented. Thankfully, the BA is no longer a part of the hiring process.

    I have not graduated college, can I apply based on college experience?​

    The current bid requires a 4 year course of study leading to a Bachelor's degree. You will need to combine any sort of college education with full-time employment history. You first convert your education to a percent of the requirements, and then do the same with your work experience. These two percentages combined must equal or exceed 100%. For example, if you have completed 90 out of the 120 credits required for a bachelor's degree, you would get 75% for your education percentage (90/120). Then you would have to look at your full-time work history. For this example, while attending college, you worked full-time for three summers (each summer being 3 months). You would have 9 months work experience. The requirements state you need 36 months, so divide 9 by 36 and you get 25%. Add your two percentage together, and you get 100%. Of course, there are many other ways to qualify as well, so check the bid!

    I only work part-time, can I use that to apply based on work experience?​

    In the past, they have allowed part time, but it had to equal the same amount of work experience. For example, if the bid requires 3 years of 40 hours per week, but you only worked 20 hours per week, then you must have worked for 6 years to equal the same amount of time. However, the 2016 bid makes no mention to this concept (except when mixing college education and work experience). You should still apply, and let HR make the decision on whether you qualify.

    What are the advantages of getting a Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI) degree?​

    Having a CTI degree allows you to qualify for pool 1 of All Source bids, which allows skipping the Biographical Assessment (BA). Additionally, you may elect to skip attending the Basics course at the academy.

    Can I apply with a drug/alcohol background?​

    You can apply. It is up to the regional flight surgeon on whether they sign off on your history or not. Typically, a one time or minor occurrence will not be disqualifying. However, you may have to conduct a Tier 2, and it will add months to the clearance processing time. If there is a pattern of abuse, you will likely be disqualified.

    What do I need to include on my resume while applying?​

    First and foremost, read the job posting to get all the information required. It is highly recommended that you use the USAJobs resume builder instead of attaching your own resume. In previous bids, people have been disqualified for failing to put all the required information on their resume. Using the USAJobs resume builder will prevent this from happening as long as you fill in everything completely. One of the requirements is if you apply based on work experience, you need to show that you worked 3 years of a full-time, progressive job (40hrs/week).

    What is the process for the security background check?​

    You will be given information to login to e-Qip, which is an online application you have to fill out to get your security clearance. It will likely take a couple hours to complete, and you will need all your previous addresses, and contact information for your references. If there are no "flags", you will be given a conditional security clearance. If not, you may have to wait for the background investigation to be completed, which can be lengthy.

    For details on the background investigation and adjudication, visit the following links:
    For more information, visit the Security Clearance Information thread, and this post explaining some details and terminology.

    You are responsible for any fee incurred for fingerprints.

    What is a conditional security clearance?​

    A temporary clearance that allows you to begin working before the full security "clearance" (suitability and fitness adjudication) is granted. You are able to attend the academy with a conditional clearance. While there, or at your first facility, you may have to interview with an investigator before getting your full clearance. If something comes up after you start which prohibits you from receiving a positive adjudication, you could be fired.

    What is the process for the medical clearance?​

    In the CIL, you will be given contact information for Aerospace Medicine, who will schedule your medical appointments (Examination, MMPI, drug test). It's normal for it to take several weeks to receive a response. You will schedule all of the actual appointments. After the FAA gets the results, your medical representative will gather everything required (they might ask you for more paperwork or information) and then forward it to the regional flight surgeon, who will then sign off on it, or request a Tier 2. It can take several months for your medical to clear. Your HR rep will only know when it has changed status (cleared, denied, etc).

    The MMPI2 must be administered at an FAA facility; it may not be the nearest facility. The contact info should be listed in CIL. After taking the test, it normally takes at least 30 days to process. Scoring and reporting of the MMPI2 is done by a third party; the results are sent to the FAA.

    For prior military, it is important that you have copies (sealed, if possible) of you military medical records. Once leaving the military, the Department of Veteran's Affairs becomes the custodian of your records, and it can be very difficult to get them sent to the FAA in a timely manner. The flight surgeon will not grant your clearance until after reviewing your military records.

    The FAA pays for all medical appointments, you should not be paying out of pocket for anything.

    How long does the hiring process take?​

    After applying, OTS bids typically take from 1 to 2 years. The FAA requires that you be able to start within 15 months of the bid closing, but that is no guarantee you will start within that time frame. Prior experience bids typically have been hired from 6 - 12 months.

    There are an allocated amount of people the FAA can hire in a given year based on budget. Placement for previous experience hires tends to stop towards the end of the fiscal year, and resume in October.

    A tier II or a full security investigation will significantly lengthen the process.

    How long is the ATSA/clearances/etc. good for?​

    If you previously completed a portion of the hiring process, it may still be valid.
    • ATSA: 3 years
    • MMPI2: 2 years
    • Drug test: 6 months
    • Security clearance: 2 years*
    If you have an equal or higher clearance, that has been adjudicated within the last 2 years.

    What happens if I have a TOL and apply to a new bid?​

    Nothing. If selected a second time, HR will ask which bid you want to be considered under. It will not change your place in the hiring process. It will not allow you to skip, retake, etc. anything.

    What can I do if I can't get an answer from HR regarding my clearances?​

    Sometimes the clearance process takes a long time. However, if it has been significant amount of time from the norm, or you can't get an adequate answer as to why from HR, you can ask to speak to an HR supervisor. Additionally, you can contact your congressional representatives to have them find out.
Top Bottom