A day in the life of an "ATMA"

I'm in my second year of training to become an air traffic management assistant. I decided to train as an air traffic management assistant after my A levels because besides having a general fascination for the airport, it's everything I expected a training programme to be: above all, varied and customer- and service-oriented. I also wanted to further develop the foreign-language skills (English and French) I acquired at school.

Following the recruitment test and subsequent interview, I started my training on 1 August 2006. After two weeks of induction, in which I took part in various seminars, I started my three months of training in Accounting: during this time, I was able to gain an insight into the daily management and processing of all financial operations, such as airport billing. I was then sent on a course on "Bookings & Sales" in preparation for my external placement in a travel agents. After completing my training with the travel agents, I returned to the airport to train in Aviation Management. This placement involved managing various projects, supporting Passenger Information and the Airport Control Centre (ACC). The ACC ensures optimum traffic flow and airport operations.

In the second year of my training I completed my placement in Aviation Management and attended a course on "Passenger Handling" (Check-in & Boarding). This enabled me to handle airberlin and Lufthansa flights.

I'm currently working in the HR department, which involves payroll accounting and supporting all employees of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH. I'll soon be learning more about air cargo and aircraft handling, too.

Besides on-the-job training, there's also theoretical vocational training every week at the OSZ in Königs Wusterhausen. The theoretical part covers accounting (+data processing), business studies (general business studies, aviation studies), economics and sociology, traffic geography, German, English, French and sport. There are also numerous external events, such as the ITB (the world's leading travel trade show), the ILA (International Aviation Exhibition) and various careers fairs and new year receptions, in which us trainees are involved.