These questions & answers are based on the questions we are most regularly asked.
If you have questions not covered here, then please contact your local Squadron or Wing who will be happy to help. And please remember, each Squadron is run independently and so you need to confirm all details with your local Squadron. Information given here is for guidance only.
Please use our Air Cadets Squadron Finder
to find and contact your local Squadron or Wing.
How old must my son or daughter be to join the ATC?
Is there a maximum age for ATC cadets?
Does the ATC accept both boys and girls?
How much does joining the ATC cost?
Do I have to pay for the ATC/Air Cadets uniform?
How many ATC uniforms are there?
How much do the Squadron activities cost?
On which nights does the Squadron meet?
So if you've read all the details, hopefully had your questions answered by our FAQ and are now interested in joining, what should you do next?
First, you should realise that each Squadron is run independently by the local staff and committee, therefore some details will vary by Squadron.
1. Decide which Squadron you'd like to join
Decide which Squadron is near and convenient for you. Different Squadrons parade (meet) on different nights of the week and so 'convenient' may be a combination of location & distance as well as parade nights.
To find a local Squadron use our Air Cadets Squadron Finder
. This offers you the option of searching for Squadrons in ascending distance from a postcode you provide...probably of where you live. At the moment we do not list individual Squadron's parade nights; you'll need to ask the Squadron.
2. Contact your selected Squadron
Then for each Squadron we try and provide an address, phone number, Email, website and location map. However, we don't have full details for every Squadron and so some Squadrons may prove easier to contact than others - not all Squadrons may have an Email contact for instance.
You should realise that often phone numbers go to the Squadron buildings which may only be occupied during parade evenings and so you may have to leave a message or if there's no answer phone, try calling in evenings (Tue, Wed & Thu are popular evenings, 7:30pm onwards). ATC staff are all volunteers with 'real jobs' and so even Email may take a few days for people to read and reply to.
3. If you can't contact the Squadron directly
If you have problems contacting the Squadron or there simply aren't sufficient contact details listed, then against each Squadron we list the parent Wing (under the 'u:' for 'unit entry). ATC Wings are permanently manned and each has both Email and phone contact details. The Wing should ber able to assist you and put you in contact with the appropriate Squadron.
4. Are there waiting lists & entry dates?
Some Squadrons are very popular and may have waiting lists and specific joining dates. Other Squadrons will have space and can welcome new recruits at any time. It all depends upon the local area and size of the Squadron facilities and numbers of staff.
5. What happens next?
Usually you'll be invited to visit the Squadron on a day agreed with the local staff. This might be the next parade evening or it might be on the next induction day; it all depends upon the local Squadron.
Both you and your son or daughter will then be given some background information about the Corps, its aims and the opportunities it provides cadets and can then decide whether they wish to stay for the evening. Often a Squadron will offer a new recruit a number of weeks trial where they can decide whether they enjoy attendance and so wish to formally enrol.
New cadets do then pass through a formal enrolment ceremony, gain their '3822' booklet in which they record their attendance and activities completed and are provided a set of uniforms. Your local Squadron will be able to provide you full details of their own enrolment process.