Airspace System Inspection
|Airspace System Inspection Career
Federal Government- Pilot Airspace System Inspection
These pilots conduct in-flight inspection of ground-based air navigational facilities to determine if they are operating correctly. They fly multi-engine, high-performance jet aircraft with specially installed, ultra-sophisticated, computerized, and automated electronic equipment. They record and analyze facility performance and report potential hazards to air navigation for correction. They assist in accident investigations by making special flight tests of any FAA navigational aids involved.
The airspace system inspection pilots conduct in-flight inspections of ground-based air navigational facilities to determine if they are operating correctly. They pilot multi-engine high performance jet aircraft with specially installed ultra sophisticated, computerized, and automated electronic equipment to serve as a flying electronic laboratory on day and night flights, under both visual and instrument flight rules, recording and analyzing facility performance, and reporting potential hazards to air navigation for correction. The pilot assists in accident investigations by making special flight tests of any FAA navigational aids involved. He or she maintains liaison with aviation interests regarding the installation, operation and use of their navigation facilities, but is mostly involved with the FAA people who maintain the navaids.
A major source of aviation careers lies in jobs with federal, state and local government agencies.
Civil aviation careers in the Federal Government for men and women are found within the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration; the Civil Aeronautics Board; and a growing number of other Federal departments and agencies. All of these aviation jobs come under the Federal Civil Service, and wage scales are determined by Congress, which, from time to time, adjusts the pay levels to bring them in line with comparable jobs in private business and industry. Salaries for Federal Civil Service employees are established into two chief categories: General Schedule (for those employees who perform administrative, managerial, technical, clerical and professional jobs and who are paid on an annual basis) and the Federal Wage System (for those employees who perform jobs associated with the trades and crafts and who are paid wages on an hourly basis).
Most Federal Civil Service employees in the aviation field are covered by the General Schedule and their salaries vary according to their grade level (GS-1 through GS-18). Within each of the grades provided in the General Schedule, provision is made for periodic pay increases based on an acceptable level of performance. With an acceptable level of competence, the waiting period of advancement to steps two, three and four is one year, steps five, six and seven is two years, steps eight, nine and ten is three years.
Forty hours constitutes a normal work-week. Additional payment (called premium pay) is made for shift work involving duty between 6 o'clock p.m. and 6 o'clock a.m. and for work during Sundays and holidays. Merit promotions are awarded under provisions of a Civil Service approved merit promotion plan.
Most federal employees under Civil Service participate in a liberal retirement plan. Employees earn from 13 to 26 days of paid annual vacation, depending upon the length of service, and 13 days of paid sick leave each year. Health insurance, low-cost group life insurance, credit union service, and compensation and medical care for injury on the job are other benefits offered.
The largest number of aviation jobs found within the Federal Government (outside the Department of Defense) is with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the Department of Transportation. The FAA, with a total of approximately 47,000 employees, is charged with the administration and enforcement of all federal air regulations to insure the safety of air transportation. The FAA also promotes, guides and assists the development of a national system of civil airports. The FAA provides pilots with flight information and air traffic control services from flight planning to landing.
The job requires considerable travel, as flights cover navigation aids supporting federal airways and civil and military airports which are located geographically throughout the entire United States. The basic work-week consists of forty hours.
Typical Requirements and/or Experience
Experience as a pilot in general, air carrier or military aviation is required. Experience requirements are specified in terms of flying time, certificates and ratings, rather than in number of years of experience. As a minimum, she or he must hold a valid commercial pilot certificate with multi-engine rating and instrument ratings.
Flying time in any category may be as pilot or copilot, except for the pilot-in-command hours specifically required. The instrument / night requirement must include at least 40 hours of actual instrument weather time. Experience as an air traffic controller, chief test pilot, chief pilot of an FAA Certificated flight school or designated pilot examiner may be substituted for not more than 50 hours of the flying time required for the last 12 months. The pilot must have a valid first class FAA medical certificate and must requalify periodically in physical examinations to maintain employment in this job.
As a minimum, she or he must hold a valid commercial pilot certificate with multi-engine rating and instrument ratings.
Married and unmarried men and women, with or without children are eligible. Persons who are widowed or divorced, also are eligible.
It is the policy of most aviation companies to provide equal employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. Most aviation companies are strongly committed to this policy, and believe in the concept and spirit of the United States law.
Most aviation companies are committed to assuring that:
All recruiting, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, and other employment related programs are provided fairly to all persons on an equal opportunity basis without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law;
Employment decisions are based on the principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action;
All personnel actions such as compensation, benefits, transfers, training, and participation in social and recreational programs are administered without regard to race, creed, color, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law, and;
Employees and applicants will not be subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination because they have exercised any right protected by law.
Most aviation companies believe in and practice equal opportunity and affirmative action. All employees are responsible for supporting the concept of equal opportunity and affirmative action and assisting the company in meeting its objectives.
Most aviation companies maintain Affirmative Action Plans for minorities, women, disabled persons and veterans.
EEOC has jurisdiction of the prohibitions against employment discrimination codified in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. These laws prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age and disability.
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) enforce the prohibitions against federal employment discrimination codified in the CSRA. The OSC will defer those bases of discrimination under EEOC's jurisdiction to the respective federal agency and its EEO process. The CSRA also prohibits employment discrimination in the federal government based on marital status, political affiliation and conduct which does not adversely affect the performance of the employee, none of which are within EEOC's jurisdiction. Moreover, the law defines ten other prohibited personnel practices in the federal government, all of which fall under the jurisdiction of the OSC and the MSPB. See Prohibited Personnel Practices at http://www.osc.gov/ppp.htm.
Additional information may also be found on the the EEOC web site located at http://www.eeoc.gov/
Wages and Benefits
Most Federal Civil Service employees in the aviation field are covered by the General Schedule and their salaries vary according to their grade level (GS-1 through GS-18). Within each of the grades provided in the General Schedule, provision is made for periodic pay increases based on an acceptable level of performance. With an acceptable level of competence, the waiting period of advancement to steps two, three and four is one year, steps five, six and seven is two years, steps eight, nine and ten is three years. Trainees are paid while learning their jobs.
The entry level is GS-9.
Salaries and benefits can vary. For an updated look at salaries in the aviation industry, view the Avjobs.com Salary Report.
Where the jobs are and who hires
She or he works out of one of seven Flight Inspection Field Offices within the conterminous 48 United States. Upon reaching the journeyman level of proficiency one could, at his or her option, bid on a job in one of the flight inspection offices in Alaska, Hawaii, Tokyo or Germany.
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Opportunities for Advancement
Outlook for the Future
The aviation industry has gone through periods of tremendous success and innovation, and periods of intense challenges. Today, aviation plays a critical role in our economy and the future of aviation will depend on business and personal travel, aviation fuel costs, and government subsidy and intervention.
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An employee enters as a trainee, then advances to the job of second-pilot on an in-flight inspection or at air navigation facilities. The next step is that of supervisory airplane pilot who supervises the flight inspection crew and evaluates the report findings on navigation systems. The top jobs, located in field offices, are those of supervisors responsible for the overall program accomplishment of the field offices. If assigned to a Flight Inspection Field Office, the employee can advance through second-pilot to airspace and procedures specialist responsible for developing instrument approach, terminal and enroute air traffic procedures or he or she may move up to become senior flight inspector and aircraft commander, supervising flight crews and results of inspection missions. Managers of the field offices are the top jobs.
Flight instruction may be obtained from private or university-operated flight schools or from the military services.
To locate educational facilities with programs related to this position, search Avjobs Aviation School Directory. The Avjobs Aviation School Directory makes researching and finding an aviation college, university, flight school or professional training facility simple.