Consolidation After Validation

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Consolidation After Validation

17TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Copenhagen, Denmark, 24-28 April 1978

WP No. 45

Consolidation After Validation


Frequently it has been observed that a student having just completed a check-out at one control position is almost immediately commencing training on another position or perhaps, even worse, has to coach another student at the position on which he has just checked-out. After any phase of training a student requires a period of consolidation to gain experience and develop understanding.


Although a checkout may establish a student’s proficiency to work at a control position it only satisfies the basic requirements. The student has made a large psychological “jump” from having worked under the guidance of another controller to going “solo” and being held entirely responsible for his own actions. The student needs time to gain experience and to build up his confidence. Not until after a period of consolidation in his working position should training be proposed for another control position. Some students regard the training phase as a race and the first one to validate on all sectors is the “best” student. Although a competent student should not be unnecessarily held back it should be ascertained that a student is indeed fully prepared to progress to further training.


No student should be put into a position where he has to coach a fellow student. Before being permitted to coach a student-controller a controller should be validated on all relevant sectors and have at least two years’ experience on those sectors. Not only is experience lacking but also lack of appreciation of the responsibility involved and very likely a lack of motivation as the “coach” is marking time until his next training position is available.


The best training available be given to all students so that the high standards required in Air Traffic Control are maintained. It is a false economy to neglect training and count “heads” and not quality.


It is recommended that a period of consolidation follows a checkout. The period will take into account the previous experience of the student plus his ability to work the new sector as part of a team.

It is recommended that, apart from being validated on the sector concerned, a controller should not be engaged in training student-controllers unless he has at least two years’ operational experience.

Last Update: September 19, 2020  

November 23, 2019   216   Jean-Francois Lepage    1978    

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