Air & Space Operations Specialist (Flight Operations)

Opportunities across the UK

Advanced Apprenticeship L3 in Aviation Ground Specialist

Start Date: Oct 1, 2021

Closing Date: Oct 1, 2021

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Provide specialist support to aircrew, Air Operations Controllers and Air Operations (Systems) Officers to facilitate the successful planning and execution of flights and missions, both in the UK and on worldwide operations.


  • The coordination of airspace, military and civilian aircraft and airfield operations.
  • An integral member of the Air Traffic Control and Station Operations teams in direct support to Air Operations Controllers, Air & Space Operations Managers and Air Operations (Systems) Officers.
  • Management of mission planning systems and aeronautical data to support aircrew in peacetime and conflict.


Air & Space Operations Specialists (Flight Operations) provide specialist support to aircrew, Operations Managers and air traffic control in a variety of roles. In support of aircrew, you could be employed in a squadron operations room, where you will be responsible for the maintenance of aeronautical information and operating mission support IT, both of which are critical to the safe and expeditious conduct of the mission. Alternatively, you could also be employed in an air traffic control tower, managing IT systems with real-time flight information and operating radio equipment in support of the controllers. There are opportunities for employment in station operations and flight planning, responsible for coordinating military and civilian aircraft operations and utilising your specialist flight planning knowledge to give advice to visiting aircrew on submitting their flight plans. Future roles could see you working within Space Operations. Like many RAF personnel you will be assigned to other RAF Stations as part of your career development. You may also have the opportunity to be go overseas on a detachment as part of your job for a number of months or as a full posting to certain locations. Your duties will be similar to those at your home Station, but will be more demanding with opportunities to work with other trades, services and nations in an operational environment.


Service as an Air & Space Operations Specialist (Flight Operations) will develop your professional and personal skills such as problem solving, teamwork and communication skills. The leadership & management training, accredited to the Chartered Management Institute, and Advanced Apprenticeship are as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF, meaning that whenever you decide to leave the RAF, you will be well placed to find a job in civilian airport operations.


Your career will start with a 10-week Basic Recruit Training Course at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you will also learn about the RAF lifestyle.


The next step is the 12-week Flight Operations Specialist Course at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire. You will be taught the basic theory and regulations of flight operations and air traffic control. The course also covers aircraft and airfield operations, meteorology and navigation. By the end of the course, you will have gained an understanding of Flight Operations duties and will have practised carrying out your role using the air traffic control, flight operations and flight planning simulators. On successful completion of the course you will be promoted to Leading Aircraftman and receive your first assignment.


appropriate to your choice of trade. During your specialist trade training, you will be offered the opportunity to enrol on an Advanced Aviation Ground Specialist Apprenticeship. Within this apprenticeship your training will focus on the professional elements of Flight Operations.


As your career progresses, we will continue to train you in new skills. There are opportunities to undertake the Meteorology Observer course and Airfield Wildlife Control course to further enhance your professional training. Depending upon the role to which you are assigned, there may be opportunities to obtain a full driving licence. Future assignments will allow you to undertake the roles undertaken by Aerospace Systems Specialists.


For your first assignment, you may be employed within air traffic control, station operations, Voyager squadron operations, or within a flight planning environment at a station in the UK. During this assignment, there may be an opportunity to move to one of the other roles for your personal and professional development.


You will join the RAF on an initial engagement of 12 years. After completing your first year of service, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman, providing you pass Basic Trade Training and a Trade Ability Test. Further promotion to Corporal and beyond is by competitive selection. Following your first assignment, you will be assigned to another Station either within the UK or overseas. In addition to air traffic control, station operations and flight planning, you may also be employed in squadron operations, area radar or airspace utilisation duties. Fast Jet, Air Transport, Remotely Piloted Air Systems, ISTAR and Helicopters, all require Flight Operations expertise. Flight Operations is merging with Aerospace Systems to form a single Air & Space Operations Specialist trade. There will be future employment opportunities such as an airspace monitoring role at the Control and Reporting Centre or on the Mobile Radar Unit. Further opportunities may include Missile Warning and Space duties at RAF Fylingdales or attached to 16 Regiment Royal Artillery, assisting in the provision of air situational awareness to the Army. The Air & Space Operations trade is expected to play a large role within Space Command.


A Modern Force: The RAF recognises the value of a person’s ability no matter their ethnicity, social background, religion or belief, gender identity, sexual orientation or marital status/civil partnership.

Age: 16–47* *Must attest before 48th birthday. (If you are under 18 years of age, you will need consent from a parent or guardian before you apply however you may commence your application from 15 years and 9 months).

Qualifications: You must have a minimum of GCSEs at Grade C (Grade 4 to 5 with effect from Aug 17) or equivalent in English Language and Mathematics or SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 (Grade A – C) in English and Mathematics.

Selection: You will be assessed on physical fitness and medical eligibility. Additionally, you will also be required to complete the Airmen’s Selection Test at your local AFCO to a standard appropriate to your choice of trade.

Residency: Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the 5 years immediately preceding your application but candidates with a minimum of 3 years will be considered

Nationality: You must be a UK citizen or have dual UK/other nationality.

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