Having gained your Tower (TWR) rating, it's time to start thinking about taking the next step! The TMA rating allows you to open the 'Terminal Control Area' airspace surrounding major aerodromes. The Approach or Departure positions are associated with this airspace.
TMA can be a very busy and challenging role. You will be dealing with aircraft in flight as opposed to on the ground. At Tower level you could ask an aircraft to ""hold position"" while you cleared a conflict or thought about things; this option is not available to you any more. TMA airspace can also be quite congested, with many aircraft funnelling into a single runway. Accordingly, it is vital that you have spent time properly consolidating your learning at TWR level.
To be eligible for TMA assessment you must:
- do not already hold a TMA rating;
- hold a TWR rating with a minimum of 50 hours in TWR positions across a period of at least 1 month;
- have controlled TWR positions across a variety of (at least 3) different aerodromes; and
- have completed studying all sections of the Study Guide using effective study techniques (see above).
* You should endeavour to log "meaningful" TWR hours i.e. at times and places where there is traffic. Your online activity will be cross checked to ensure that hours have not been accumulated by logging onto remote locations, outside of peak times. Try to gain TWR experience controlling at many different locations. As a TMA Controller you will be required to offer top-down Tower/Ground/Delivery services to a variety of airports.
It is a good idea to practice issuing instructions before assessment, either by saying them out aloud, or by typing them for text practice. It is also beneficial if you have an understanding of SquawkBox/FSINN/vPilot and FMS operations. This will allow you to assist a pilot who is experiencing difficulties .... especially a new member.
Studying for the TMA Rating in Moodle
If you already hold a Tower Controller rating then you will already be familiar with the the moodle training system. Moodle guides you through each step of the TMA study process.
Its modular design means that you can work at your own pace and study small sections at a time to avoid information overload. Along the way you will find diagrams, links to real world documentation and even audio samples so you can familiarise yourself with "ATC speak".
All the information you need is contained in or linked from the ATC Academy. It is a one-stop-shop for training that saves you from wasting valuable time scouring the internet for information!
When your moodle study is complete and you have a good understanding of the learning material, you can undertake the moodle theory assessment. You will need to obtain at least an 90% outcome to achieve a satisfactory result.
A VATPAC instructor will now provide you with a practical assessment check ride. This is conducted on a separate and dedicated training server and allows you to experience a realistic TMA controlling experience, whilst not inconveniencing other users.
For more information contact the ATC Training Department by email.