Skip to main content

Blair Hampel

Aerospace Control Operator
Canadian Armed Forces
Blair Hampel | Opérateur - contrôle aérospatial
Blair Hampel | Opérateur - contrôle aérospatial

Blair Hampel is an Aerospace Control Operator for the Canadian Armed Forces.

About me

I was born/grew up in: I was born and raised in Ridgeway, Ontario, Canada

I now live in: Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada

I completed my training/education at: All Canadian Armed Forces Air Traffic Control training takes places at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Control Operations (CFSACO) in Cornwall, ON. I completed my entry level training for air traffic control at CFSACO as well as a Ground Control course and Flight Advisory Course.

What I do at work

At the Air Traffic Control Tower at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, AB, I direct aircraft in the air as well as control aircraft and vehicles on the ground at our airport. My goal is to make sure everything moves safely and efficiently. During a shift in the air traffic control tower, we work in a team environment with the people on duty at that time. Teamwork is extremely important with each person performing their specific role and making sure that aircraft can move in a safe and efficient manner. During busy periods, there can be 20-30 airplanes taking off and landing in a very short period. During certain military exercises, that number is even higher. During those periods, an air traffic controller is constantly making decisions as to the best way to control the aircraft in the air and on the ground. These tasks are assisted by various pieces of technology including radar, radios and other specialized equipment.

My career path is

When I was finishing high school, I had an idea I wanted to join the Canadian Armed Forces but I also had a few other options I was considering. I spent two years after high school as a railway conductor. It was an interesting job but it was not quite what I was looking for. I decided to join the Canadian Forces as an Aerospace Control Operator. I am extremely happy with my decision! The Canadian military has given me excellent training in air traffic control with the use of high tech simulators. These simulators let you practice what you are learning before talking to real aircraft. The military has also allowed me to work on a university degree that they pay for to further my professional development and education. My career has taken me to 5 different locations in three provinces in Canada as well as the opportunity to go overseas on a deployment to the Middle East.

I am motivated by

I love going to work every day! In the control tower, each day is different from the last. My job is constantly presenting new challenges and every day I arrive at work I am never sure how it will play out. My career puts me in a position where I make decisions affecting the operations of an entire airport. These decisions control the flow of air traffic, assist aircraft that are having emergencies, and work with military fighter jets that are ready 24/7 for the defense of Canada. 

How I affect peoples’ lives

Air traffic control effects thousands of lives every day. All around the world, air traffic control agencies control the aircraft flying in their airspace and on to the next sectors airspace. Each military air traffic control unit is one piece of the puzzle of controlling aircraft and making sure all people onboard depart and arrive safely at their destination.

Outside of work I

When I am not at work with the military, I enjoy refereeing hockey, playing guitar, travelling to new places in Canada and around the world, volunteering at a historic site and going out with friends to unwind. 

My advice to others

I would say for anyone that is looking for a career that is exciting, challenging and full of opportunities to look at a career as an Aerospace Control Operator in the Canadian Forces. If someone is interested in aviation, problem solving, taking charge and never having two days alike then this career is full of that. Another benefit of a career in the Canadian Armed Forces is the opportunity to represent and serve Canada at home and abroad.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Geography
  • History
  • Physical Education / Health
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought people together
  • Liked helping people
  • Played on a sports team
  • Was motivated by success
  • Wanted to be in charge
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Engaged in volunteer activities
  • Liked reading
  • Was really creative

Related Topics


Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Armed Forces

Let’s Talk Science thanks the men and women of Canadian Armed Forces who have submitted a career profile to share details of their exciting careers. To learn more about the careers available in the Canadian Armed forces, check them out on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

Explore Career Profiles

  • Sarah Eaton headshot

    Sarah Jane Eaton


    I lead a team that is responsible for licensing small modular reactors.
  • Sarah Lockwood headshot taken outside with snow in the background

    Sarah Lockwood (she/her)

    Mine Geologist

    I study the geology of an area to figure out where diamonds are located.
  • Nancy Duquet-Harvey standing next to Agnico Eagle gold mine sign, at Meadowbank, Nunavut.

    Nancy Duquet-Harvey

    Environmental Superintendent

    I make sure that we don't harm the environment with our mining activities.
  • Sara Knox headshot

    Sara Knox (she/her)

    Assistant Professor (biometeorology)

    I study ways to restore and protect ecosystems to help fight climate change.
  • Stephanie Arnold flying drone in potato field.

    Stephanie Arnold (she/they)

    Climate Services Specialist (PEI)

    I help others understand how climate change affects themselves, their communities and their work.
  • Jim Wei tenant un drone

    Jim Wei

    Associate GIS Analyst

    I use online mapping software and programming skills to help solve real-world problems in the environmental and health industries.
  • Marg Rutka sitting on bench

    Marg Rutka

    Geoscience Editor

    I edit geoscience maps, reports and digital data to ensure clarity in writing, consistency and accuracy prior to publication
  • Portrait de Graham Ballachey

    Graham Ballachey

    Vice President, Engineering

    I manage and oversee all the engineering work for a lithium mine development company.
  • Mike Stanzel headshot

    Mike Stanzel

    Technical Sales Manager

    I’m a sales professional who specializes in selling technical or scientific products.
  • Steve Lawrence headshot with trees in the background

    Steve Lawrence

    Sales Manager

    As sales manager for Eos Positioning in Canada, I work with the Sales Reps, Marketing and Production.
  • Hayleigh Conway posant sur une carte des TNO et désignant Inuvik sur la carte. Pris lors de la Journée du SIG 2017.

    Hayleigh Conway (she/her)

    Geomatics Technician

    I make maps that help answer questions about the health of the environment in the Western Arctic.
  • Jessica Rideout

    Jessica Rideout

    Quarry Materials Compliance Officer

    I inspect quarries to ensure that they are operated in compliance with provincial regulations.
  • Dr. Jackie Dawson faisant des recherches sur le terrain sur l'île Beechy, Nunavut.

    Jackie Dawson (she/her/they)

    Professor and Canada Research Chair

    I work with large teams of academics, Inuit knowledge holders, and decision makers to understand the risks and solutions to environmental change.
  • Caroline Richard - Engineer in the mining industry

    Caroline Richard

    Geotechnical Engineer

    I work in the mining industry and manage the waste materials created during ore extraction.
  • Chris Derksen en train de faire ses recherches sur le terrain en Arctique.

    Chris Derksen (he/his)

    Climate Scientist

    I use satellite data and climate models to understand how climate change is impacting snow and ice across Canada.
  • Peter Visscher devant un tableau blanc

    Peter Visscher

    Robotic Vehicle Development, General Manager

    I work with my team to develop extreme robotic vehicles designed to operate off-road and off-planet.
  • Amanda McCallum

    Amanda McCallum

    Geologist, Communication Specialist, Business Owner

    I'm a prospecting geologist, a science communication specialist and business owner.
  • Lesley Hymers à côté d'une pépite de cuivre géante à l'extérieur du musée McBride, à Whitehorse, au Yukon.

    Lesley Hymers

    Manager, Education and Outreach Programs

    I work for an organization that provides Earth science and mineral resources education.
  • Lisa Phiri dans une mine souterraine

    Lisa T. Phiri

    Mining Geologist

    I examine rocks in an underground mine to determine the amount and location of gold.
  • Max Salman aux commandes d'un avion.

    Max Salman

    PH.D. Student / Affiliate Researcher

    I ask questions to things that don’t have answers yet.