Independent review finds Airservices still ‘on track’ with staffing

22 May 2013

An independent review of air traffic controller (ATC) numbers at Airservices by internationally recognised air navigation services provider, NAV CANADA, has validated that the organisation has the appropriate number of operational air traffic controllers to meet its requirements.

The review was commissioned in early 2013 to address the issue of perceived staff shortages.

Airservices Executive General Manager Air Traffic Control, Jason Harfield, said that independent reviews were regularly undertaken to not only review the number of controllers, but to look at how future ATC staff requirements were planned

“The review followed a similar review by Ernst and Young in 2009 which found that we were appropriately staffed,” Mr Harfield said.

“Key findings in the NAV CANADA review were that Airservices Australia have the appropriate number of  controllers to meet regulatory requirements as well as being able to meet requirements for staff development, organisational training, and so on.”

The review also found that the way in which Airservices plans future ATC staff requirements is robust.

Airservices currently employs about 1000 air traffic controllers who work from 28 airport control towers, two main en route centres and four terminal control units.

They are responsible for controlling 11 per cent of the world’s airspace and more than four million flights annually.

Airservices air traffic controllers undergo 18 months of practical and simulated training, followed by field training, at the organisation’s dedicated Learning Academy in Melbourne.