The eight-month IFATC journey of a Specialist

May, 29, 2021 by

My IFATC journey has been nothing but eventful these past eight months. Here’s how it went.

I applied for IFATC the day of my 14th birthday on August 28, 2020. My great recruiter, Jamal (RoyalJordanian), helped me through the recruitment process. Unfortunately, I failed the first attempt of the written test. Two weeks later, however, I successfully passed. I created an ATC Tracking Thread and trained on my own. All of that training was worth it, as I passed my practical test on my first attempt, on September 26, 2020. I was astounded by the number of welcome messages I received! The IFATC community is truly a welcoming one.

I opened my first airport, St. Gallen (LSZR), on September 29. It was challenging and something new to me, but I liked it. I remained a Specialist for nearly 8 months until May 26, where I started Radar training with my trainer, Panther. As of the time of writing I completed my first training session, which went well.

Some important lessons I learned in the IFATC:

  • Start slow: Do not start big. Open a small airport with minimal traffic at the start, then slowly increase the airport size and traffic levels at your own pace. Once you feel comfortable and confident you can open an international hub.
  • Keeping a cool head: Don’t get mad at the pilots who can’t communicate well with ATC. Don’t be overwhelmed by the traffic levels, you can always close at any time if you feel pressured. Do not lose focus while controlling.
  • Communication: When controlling hubs with a radar service, communication between you and the other controller is vital to maintain efficiency.
  • Enjoy: The IFATC is here for your enjoyment. Do not force yourself to control if you don’t feel like it. The environment should be a fun and enjoyable one for all.

I would like to extend my many thanks to Lawin_S, Omar_Alqinneh, Anthony_Morgan, Andy_R, and Hardlanding_Hussain for supporting me, Jamal for being my recruiter, and David (Panther) for being my current radar trainer.

With IFATC, I have made many new friends, had memorable experiences, and learned many new things I knew I wouldn’t be able to without IFATC. So why not join today! Apply here!

Muhammad A. is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Specialist. He is also the founder of LOT Virtual, and enjoys basic coding in his free time.