32 trainee air traffic controllers reach key career milestone

19 Aug 2013

The latest group of trainee air traffic controllers has celebrated reaching a crucial career milestone with the national air navigation services provider Airservices.

Friday marked the achievement of 32 trainee controllers who attained their Diploma of Aviation (Air Traffic Control), a nationally recognised qualification, issued by Airservices Learning Academy in Melbourne. A number of the graduates attended the ceremony, accompanied by family and friends.

Graduate Tim Pethick, was announced as the recipient of the Don Charlwood Award, by Airservices General Manager Learning Academy, Linda Spurr. “This award is presented to the most outstanding graduate, demonstrating technical and professional excellence,” said Ms Spurr.

The graduating controllers have also obtained their initial Air Traffic Control licence rating and endorsement over the past six months. Licence endorsements are regulatory authorisations which permit controllers to work in particular air traffic control roles under Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.

The graduating controllers will be working throughout Australia, including the Bankstown and Karratha towers and in Airservices Brisbane and Melbourne air traffic control centres. Over the past year, Airservices has issued qualifications and initial endorsements to 72 air traffic controllers.

Airservices acting Executive General Manger Air Traffic Control, Greg Hood, said the graduates would play a crucial role in managing the safe and efficient flow of aircraft into, out of, and across Australian airspace.

“This latest group of controllers will play a key role in managing the rapid growth of air traffic predicted to occur in Australian skies to 2020 and beyond,” Mr Hood said.

“They will now continue to develop their careers with Airservices national workforce of around 1000 controllers stationed at 29 air traffic control towers, two en route centres and four terminal control units around the country.”

The Airservices Learning Academy in Melbourne includes state-of-the-art equipment including a 360 degree full immersion tower simulator and world-leading technology.

Airservices controls 11 per cent of the world’s total airspace and manages air traffic operations for around 100 million passengers on more than four million flights each year.