International Air Traffic Controllers' Day
19 October 2012
Millions of passengers at 35,000 feet are relying on them – and they’re not flying any planes. They’re the guardians of flight safety – we can’t see them, but they’re constantly watching over us when we fly.
From their view above the skyline, Air Traffic Controllers are keeping our skies safe, and Saturday October 20 is the day to celebrate the crucial role they play.
In control towers in airports around New Zealand, air traffic controllers are keeping planes separated and their passengers safe by informing pilots of weather conditions, telling them where other planes are and providing relevant air and ground-based information to enable them to arrive safely at their destination. ATCs control around 1 million aircraft movements every year in and around New Zealand.
Air traffic controllers in New Zealand are employed by SOE Airways and it’s probably not surprising that it’s an international business. Since 2006 Airways has employed controllers from countries including England, Scotland, Sweden, South Africa, Australia, Singapore, Philippines, China and Denmark.
Training to become an ATC generally takes around a year. It is split into two components - the first being six months at the Airways training centre in Christchurch, followed by 4-9 months on the job training at one of NZ’s regional airports. Successful trainees are guaranteed a job on completion of the NZQA-recognised course and there are abundant opportunities for career progression, both in NZ and overseas.
Around 30% of the trainees are females.
Airways NZ manages all domestic and international air traffic operating within NZ’s 37 million square kilometres of airspace.
For further information:
Head of Communications and Corporate Relations
Mobile: + 64 21 438 243
Ph: + 64 4 471 4706
- Airways is a world leading commercial Air Navigation Service Provider, based in New Zealand.
- Airways delivers air traffic control and engineering training; provides ATM/CNS and AIM/AIS design; project management and procurement consultancy in over
- For more information about Airways please visit www.airways.co.nz
What is Air Traffic Control?
Air Traffic Control comprises the various aircraft navigation and communication systems that use computers, radar, radios, and other instruments and devices to provide guidance to flying aircraft.
Trained personnel working as air traffic controllers at stations on the ground constantly monitor these systems and track the locations and speeds of individual aircraft. Controllers can warn aircraft should they come too close to each other. Air traffic control is also used for the safe coordination of landings and takeoffs at airports.
Aviation plays a crucial role in New Zealand’s economic wellbeing.
Projected long-term growth of the aviation sector globally means it is essential to maintain the vitality of aviation through safe, effi cient, cost effective and environmentally sustainable air navigation services. To ensure this, future Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems must provide for optimum use of enhanced technology capabilities; both airborne and ground based.