Flight Service Specialist (Flight Information)
At the country’s eight Flight Information Centres (FIC), Specialists provide flight planning services, deliver in-depth interpretive weather information and en route advisories to aircraft operating in Canadian airspace. They also notify emergency services when an aircraft is missing or overdue and help coordinate search efforts.
Pilots often call on flight service specialists before they take off, to benefit from the specialist’s in-depth knowledge of weather patterns and special advisories along the planned route that can positively impact safety and efficiency. They work out of one of eight Flight Information Centres located in Kamloops, Whitehorse, Edmonton, Winnipeg, London, North Bay, Quebec City and Halifax.
Training to become a flight service specialist at a FIC also starts at the regional training unit located at one of seven area control centres. You’ll complete the same classroom course as your airport FSS counterpart, prior to moving into a specialized pilot briefing course. This is followed by on-the-job training, where you’ll be paired with an experienced flight service specialist who will serve as your on-the-job instructor until you are ready to do the work on your own. Note that most of these positions are filled by experience Flight Service Specialists.
Classroom and pilot briefing course: 7 to 9 months
Phase 1 student allowance: $30,000 per year
On the job training: 4 to 6 months
Phase 2 training salary: $35,000 per year
Total duration of training: 11 to 15 months
Approximate salary for a certified FSS (FIC): $67,000 to $89,000*
*In addition, you can receive premiums and bonuses related to duties as an on-the-job instructor, working at sites that offer air traffic services in both official languages, taking on supervisory duties, location premiums, evening and weekend and holiday shift premiums.