In control at Heathrow – Midhurst man tells all

THE DAILY life of a Midhurst resident has been the topic of a BBC series this week, which airs its last episode tonight (June 20).

Dave Marshall, 47, trains the NATS air traffic controllers at Heathrow Airport.

He joined NATS in 2000 after spending 15 years on various RAF postings.

“It was a bit like starting again,” said Dave. “I was exempt a few of the exams because of the transferrable skills I had, but I had to do the rest.”

After a stint as a watch manager at Gatwick tower he switched to Heathrow air traffic control tower in 2007 where he is now the head of air traffic control training.

“I am really glad I did my time in the RAF because it gave me a good grounding in self discipline and all the other good things the military teaches you,” he said. “The training job is fantastic. I take a real professional pride in it - taking someone straight from the college with no experience and bringing them to one of the world’s busiest airports and eventually sitting them down with a head-set on with all the responsibilities that go with that.

“You see young people grow into this position of amazing responsibility but with a fantastic level of ability and training that enables them to do a complex job so well.”

Airport Live is on BBC2 tonight in the last of the series that started on Monday (June 17).