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FAA Medical required for Ramp Tower Controller?

ktsai91

Well-Known Member
#21
Hey everyone. Just wondering, but which ramp control towers at which airport are owned by the airport authority? Are there jobs where one is doing airport operations, either airside or terminal/landside operations along with ramp tower controller duties? Is it something you get promoted into from airport operations or is it something where you are doing airport ops one day then rotate to ramp tower controller duties the following day?
 

Cptnchia

Dissatisfied Customer
#22
Hey everyone. Just wondering, but which ramp control towers at which airport are owned by the airport authority? Are there jobs where one is doing airport operations, either airside or terminal/landside operations along with ramp tower controller duties? Is it something you get promoted into from airport operations or is it something where you are doing airport ops one day then rotate to ramp tower controller duties the following day?
@ChasenSFO ?
 
#23
Hey everyone. Just wondering, but which ramp control towers at which airport are owned by the airport authority? Are there jobs where one is doing airport operations, either airside or terminal/landside operations along with ramp tower controller duties? Is it something you get promoted into from airport operations or is it something where you are doing airport ops one day then rotate to ramp tower controller duties the following day?
Hey, that is the way the SFO tower, Vegas ramp tower, and a few others operate. But at most airports, FIDS(the gates/signs/managing and controlling common use assets) is one job and ramp control is another. I love doing both, really helps since you're really running the show and can make your own decisions. It seems to stress most of the controllers out to do both jobs at once, though, and there is talk of splitting duties which will kinda suck. In towers that do both, you're expected to be trained on both jobs. FIDS training is much longer than ramp training because it encompasses so much that even a nerd like me didn't know existed behind the scenes until I was doing it, and there are a bajillion memory items/restrictions that you need to be aware of at all times or you could cause incidents and screw a lot of people's travel plans. Obviously, the ramp traffic comes first, and computers/phones second. We usually staff 2-3 people in the tower during the busy periods, but people are often alone for 3-5 hours, sometimes when it is a little busy.

We have shifts that usually lead to one person doing one job and one person doing the other when they come in, but we usually divide it among controllers. I opt to do ramp side most of the time, but I make the newer people do busy banks sometimes and then I switch to the FIDS. Some people do FIDS most days, and never do any ramp and it is a perishable skill, especially since it gets busy quick. Myself and the more senior controllers actually prefer to work alone when it isn't too crazy, so sometimes we just send people on breaks so we can have all the fun, and inexperienced people can sometimes get in the way either with busy traffic banks or having to make quick decisions on the FIDS, so controlling both allows you to keep things running, kind of like being a CFI putting inputs here and there but letting them run the show.

Towers that do both job sets are USUALLY city/government operated, or at least pay much better. There are some blaring exceptions...and those are the towers operated by random companies that have no business running a ramp tower. Ideally, you want to either work for the airport/city, an airline, or a reputable company like Robinson Aviation. Airline operated towers usually come with a lot of operational side jobs and paperwork, so you have less downtime, but you get flight benefits. Pay at airlines is usually lower than Robinson and city jobs, sometimes substantially.

FIDS is an office job at many airports. Most airports do not have a ramp tower, but they do have someone operating the FIDS. At smaller airports where airlines don't share gates and ops doesn't have much to do, like SDF, airlines may control the screens themselves. But any common use airport has FIDS guys behind the scenes. FIDS usually pays better than a ramp tower that works traffic, and is more likely to be a city job.
 

ktsai91

Well-Known Member
#24
Hey, that is the way the SFO tower, Vegas ramp tower, and a few others operate. But at most airports, FIDS(the gates/signs/managing and controlling common use assets) is one job and ramp control is another. I love doing both, really helps since you're really running the show and can make your own decisions. It seems to stress most of the controllers out to do both jobs at once, though, and there is talk of splitting duties which will kinda suck. In towers that do both, you're expected to be trained on both jobs. FIDS training is much longer than ramp training because it encompasses so much that even a nerd like me didn't know existed behind the scenes until I was doing it, and there are a bajillion memory items/restrictions that you need to be aware of at all times or you could cause incidents and screw a lot of people's travel plans. Obviously, the ramp traffic comes first, and computers/phones second. We usually staff 2-3 people in the tower during the busy periods, but people are often alone for 3-5 hours, sometimes when it is a little busy.

We have shifts that usually lead to one person doing one job and one person doing the other when they come in, but we usually divide it among controllers. I opt to do ramp side most of the time, but I make the newer people do busy banks sometimes and then I switch to the FIDS. Some people do FIDS most days, and never do any ramp and it is a perishable skill, especially since it gets busy quick. Myself and the more senior controllers actually prefer to work alone when it isn't too crazy, so sometimes we just send people on breaks so we can have all the fun, and inexperienced people can sometimes get in the way either with busy traffic banks or having to make quick decisions on the FIDS, so controlling both allows you to keep things running, kind of like being a CFI putting inputs here and there but letting them run the show.

Towers that do both job sets are USUALLY city/government operated, or at least pay much better. There are some blaring exceptions...and those are the towers operated by random companies that have no business running a ramp tower. Ideally, you want to either work for the airport/city, an airline, or a reputable company like Robinson Aviation. Airline operated towers usually come with a lot of operational side jobs and paperwork, so you have less downtime, but you get flight benefits. Pay at airlines is usually lower than Robinson and city jobs, sometimes substantially.

FIDS is an office job at many airports. Most airports do not have a ramp tower, but they do have someone operating the FIDS. At smaller airports where airlines don't share gates and ops doesn't have much to do, like SDF, airlines may control the screens themselves. But any common use airport has FIDS guys behind the scenes. FIDS usually pays better than a ramp tower that works traffic, and is more likely to be a city job.
Thanks for the explanation @ChasenSFO! So you're saying if you are doing ramp controller duties you are more likely to be doing terminal/landside airport ops like managing the FIDS. But I thought there are certain positions where you do ramp controller duties combined with airside ops as well? I thought Denver Intl has that kind of position, if I remember correctly based on the job ad.
 
#25
Thanks for the explanation @ChasenSFO! So you're saying if you are doing ramp controller duties you are more likely to be doing terminal/landside airport ops like managing the FIDS. But I thought there are certain positions where you do ramp controller duties combined with airside ops as well? I thought Denver Intl has that kind of position, if I remember correctly based on the job ad.
Outside of some FBOs, I don't think so.