Frequently Asked Questions
If I was employed as an ATC, how much would I initially earn?
The starting salary for new controllers will be approximately $64,000. However the total package (including salary, allowances, company superannuation contributions and other payments) is typically in excess of $84,000 in the first year.
What qualifications do I need?
At the end of Airways training for ATC you will be awarded a Level 7 Diploma through NZQA. It’ll be pretty full on training - no written assignments but plenty of information to come to grips with that you will need to know to do air traffic control.
If you have obtained a minimum of Level 2 NCEA pass (12 credits pass in Maths at Level 1 and 8 credits in English at Level 2) and 42 other credits at Level 3 or equivalent you will show us you have the right stuff for training. Alternatively we will accept a New Zealand PPL or CPL.
How long is the training and where is the training based?
Six months of the course is spent at the Training Centre in Christchurch and the following six to nine months is spent 'on the job' training at a Control Tower.
The locations for on the job training vary for each course depending on the availability of staff to provide training and students are advised of the locations during the training course at the college.
If I am accepted to train in Christchurch, will accommodation be provided?
If you are accepted to train in Christchurch you will be expected to find your own accommodation. There may be others also starting the course at the same time who might be looking for a flatmate.
Will I get a job at the end of training?
Yes. Once you have successfully completed your On-the-job training you'll be guaranteed the offer of a job subject to:
- Obtaining an ATC License (see eligibility conditions)
- Recommendation from the Training Centre and your OJTI Instructors that you've demonstrated suitable behaviour to be an Airways employee
- A pre-employment drug test
- A Ministry of Justice criminal records check
I'm Colour Blind - will this effect my chances of obtaining the required medical standard?
Medical Standards and Certification - refer page 36 for Class 3 information.
What sort of tests will I have to sit?
If your application meets our requirements, we will ask you to sit our aptitude tests. These tests are specifically designed to see if you have the ability to be an Air Traffic Controller. We measure your ability to follow written instructions, to visualise three dimensionally, work with complicated patterns and numbers, data checking, and we also measure your numerical ability. If you are successful at this stage you will be considered for a place at the Assessment Centre.
What is the Assessment Centre?
We ask selected candidates to attend an Assessment Centre in Christchurch for one day. Candidates undergo further cognitive testing, psychological assessment and are also assessed in group and individual activities. Candidates are also interviewed by key Airways personnel. Although this is an in-depth process most candidates have given us feedback that they have enjoyed the day and have learnt more about themselves from the process. The final selection is made at the completion of this assessment.
How much does the course cost?
NZ$12,500 - this is a one off fee. There are no extra costs for course books etc.
Can I get any help with payment of my fees?
Students are able to access up to $12,500 as a student loan if they meet Study Link's eligibility requirements - and some students will also be eligible for a student allowance. Students do not have to pay back the student loan until they start earning.
What is the Airways Scholarship?
After students have completed the initial six months training at the Airways Training Centre, they are eligible for the Airways Scholarship of $185.00 per week whilst completing on the job training.
How do I apply for the Training Course?
People can apply or register their interest at any stage during the year. Apply Now
What will I learn on this course?
The induction module covers meteorology, aircraft operations, air navigation, navigation aids, communications, aviation law and publications. The aerodrome and approach modules cover the basics of hands-on air traffic control in the aerodrome tower environment. It teaches trainees how to keep aircraft separated without using radar. After this you will undergo on the job training at an Airways control tower.
What is OJT?
OJT means "on the job" practical training at one of the Airways control towers.
Trainee ATC Quick Links
Tales From the Tower
Alice Palmer is living proof that complaining about your job can change your life! Alice was working at an entry-level government job in Wellington.
Karen Bradley has traded apertures for aircraft with the help of Airways New Zealand.