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Air Traffic Control

I know this is really random, but it’s baffled me so I have to ask! I’ve just been looking at an advert online recruiting for air traffic controllers. I live fairly close to an airport I thought that could be a really interesting job so I was just curious really about the requirements.

There’s a long list of medical exclusions most of which I do understand such as mental illness is an immediate no no, heart & neurological conditions etc. However under the heading Gastro Intestinal Tract it stated ‘This should be free of any significant disease’ so presumably Crohn’s is out of the question?

Does anyone know the reason for this? I can only think because we are more likely to need frequent/longer toilet breaks but we all know that doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone!

I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on this as I find it a bit odd to be honest!

Thanks in advance
 
I know this is really random, but it’s baffled me so I have to ask! I’ve just been looking at an advert online recruiting for air traffic controllers. I live fairly close to an airport I thought that could be a really interesting job so I was just curious really about the requirements.

There’s a long list of medical exclusions most of which I do understand such as mental illness is an immediate no no, heart & neurological conditions etc. However under the heading Gastro Intestinal Tract it stated ‘This should be free of any significant disease’ so presumably Crohn’s is out of the question?

Does anyone know the reason for this? I can only think because we are more likely to need frequent/longer toilet breaks but we all know that doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone!

I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on this as I find it a bit odd to be honest!

Thanks in advance
I would think this would be under the Americans with Disabilities act but I am not sure of that.
 
I would think this would be under the Americans with Disabilities act but I am not sure of that.


Ah this is in the UK, although I’m assuming that the requirements and exclusions are fairly standardised and similar worldwide? Possibly not, I honestly don’t know!
 
I'm thinking it's because you just can't get up and go. Air traffic controllers direct aircraft in and out of the airport, you can't just get up and leave. It's considered a very stressful job.
 
I'm thinking it's because you just can't get up and go. Air traffic controllers direct aircraft in and out of the airport, you can't just get up and leave. It's considered a very stressful job.


That was my thought too! I can imagine it being very high pressure. It’s a lot of responsibility isn’t it, all the thousands of people you’re directing and keeping safe
 

Bufford

Well-known member
I've heard that in some countries a Crohn's diagnosis will restrict or cancel a pilot license. It could be the brain fog that affects many with IBD and the meds that lead to disqualification.
 
I've heard that in some countries a Crohn's diagnosis will restrict or cancel a pilot license. It could be the brain fog that affects many with IBD and the meds that lead to disqualification.


I hadn’t considered that angle but it makes total sense. It’s interesting that so many employers seem to think brain fog doesn’t exist and yet it’s taken so seriously in roles like this (and rightly so).
 

cmack

Moderator
Staff member
That really does sound like a pretty cool job, Soph! I bet it is stressful though, definitely more than I could handle. I sure hope you can find some way to work at an exciting place like that. :) Maybe just working in the airport alongside the controllers would be interesting too. I know that I would enjoy watching all the action from up there, even if I was just the maintenance man!
 

Bufford

Well-known member
I have a neighbor with a form of leukemia who works at the airport as a security screener. He has gone through a lot of treatments and cannot always work, but he loves his job and has good people skills.
 
That really does sound like a pretty cool job, Soph! I bet it is stressful though, definitely more than I could handle. I sure hope you can find some way to work at an exciting place like that. :) Maybe just working in the airport alongside the controllers would be interesting too. I know that I would enjoy watching all the action from up there, even if I was just the maintenance man!


Thanks Cmack, I don’t think I would have been brave enough to apply even if it were possible! It’s very different to everything else I’ve done and as others have mentioned highly stressful. Plus it’s probably shift work which really doesn’t agree with me lol, I’m definitely someone who needs routine. But it was fun to think about and talk to everyone here about! [emoji4]
 
D

Deleted member 431298

Guest
Just to add my 50 cents: according to this debate you need at least a Class II medical, which is unobtainable if you have CD that is not well managed and/or you are on steroids. A colostomy will also be cause for disqualification.
Having said that, you can obtain a class II medical if the FAA medical examined considers you condition stable and well managed (I have CD and I hold a class II medical).

from the British Aviation Autohorities:

Class 2
(d) Inflammatory bowel disease Applicants with an established diagnosis or history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease may be assessed as fit provided that the disease is stable and not likely to interfere with the safe exercise of the privileges of the applicable licence(s).
 
I have a neighbor with a form of leukemia who works at the airport as a security screener. He has gone through a lot of treatments and cannot always work, but he loves his job and has good people skills.


Aw I’m glad to hear he loves it! That’s a rare thing altogether never mind with something as debilitating as Leukemia bless him. That’s made me smile [emoji4]
 
Just to add my 50 cents: according to this debate you need at least a Class II medical, which is unobtainable if you have CD that is not well managed and/or you are on steroids. A colostomy will also be cause for disqualification.

Having said that, you can obtain a class II medical if the FAA medical examined considers you condition stable and well managed (I have CD and I hold a class II medical).



from the British Aviation Autohorities:



Class 2

(d) Inflammatory bowel disease Applicants with an established diagnosis or history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease may be assessed as fit provided that the disease is stable and not likely to interfere with the safe exercise of the privileges of the applicable licence(s).


Thank you so much, that’s very informative. I’m surprised with IBD being something that flares up and down you can still obtain certification to be honest. Just with the likelihood of needing to go back onto steroids or relapsing in future even if the disease is stable/well managed at the time of the medical. I suppose it’s something that would have to be very closely monitored in a role like this.

Thanks again!
 
My rule of thumb is never let the disease stop one from obtaining their dreams or goals. Life is a one shot deal...Go for it!


Well that is very good advice and something I need to work on. I don’t worry about the disease holding me back right now, but I worry about what may happen in the future for sure. “Worry doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace” as they say. Need to get that tattooed on my forehead! [emoji6]
 

Lynda Lynda

Member
Location
Arizona
Define "mental illness."

Who decides if you are "mentally ill".....the Human Resources Department for the airline.

Whether it's an IBD or "mental illness", sounds like discrimination to me.
 
Define "mental illness."



Who decides if you are "mentally ill".....the Human Resources Department for the airline.



Whether it's an IBD or "mental illness", sounds like discrimination to me.


I certainly see your point, but in jobs such as this there must be some form of safeguarding as it’s very high stakes. Remember that German co-pilot who locked the captain out of the cockpit and flew the plane into a mountainside?

So many questions were raised about his stability etc and if it could have been prevented. Air traffic control would be an ideal job to cause absolute carnage if you wanted to, but I firmly believe the vast majority of people with mental illness would never dream of doing so. I can only assume it’s judged on a case by case basis. Mild OCD may be one thing but a history of full blown psychosis just wouldn’t be safe :-(
 

cmack

Moderator
Staff member
I don't think anyone here meant to sound harsh, I do understand what you are saying though. Mental illness is a very serious thing. Mental illness is also a very touchy subject, there is a slippery slope to be had if we aren't very careful. I can assure you that this is a place of support.
 

Cross-stitch gal

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Vancouver,
Mental illness is a hard one. But, the biggest thing is to admit that you have one and to get help for it. And, this may not be for you however the choice is yours.

We have a girl at my work that we believe may have a mental illness, but isn't getting any help for it. She's already been suspended once and put on LOA another time. We're pretty worried about her and hope that eventually she'll be taken care of. But, she's an adult and nobody can force her.

I hope this might help some. We're here for you.
 

Lynda Lynda

Member
Location
Arizona
I have turned a light-hearted thread in a totally different direction. That was not my intention. I apologize. Everyone here on the forum is so nice. Sometimes I am very sensitive about the subject of mental illness. This thread is about Crohn's Disease.

I DO hope that everyone who has an IBD or an IBD related disease can achieve their goals and dreams and live a full life. This is something we all want for ourselves and others.

Lynda 🐝
 
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