Air Traffic Controller

Summary

Air traffic controllers manage the safe and orderly flow of aircraft into, out of and between airports in Australia. They also work with overseas regions adjoining Australian airspace.

Duties & Tasks

Air traffic controllers may perform the following tasks:

  • maintain radio contact with pilots to keep aircraft separated in 'corridors' of controlled airspace, on air routes and near major airports
  • use radar to monitor and control aircraft movements
  • ensure aircraft operate only on pre-arranged routes and at approved altitudes
  • provide information and assistance to pilots and emergency services during in-flight emergencies.

Specialisations

Enroute Controller

An enroute controller is responsible for the safe management of air traffic over most of the Australian mainland and on oceanic routes. The use of satellite and digital data communications is increasing in this type of control. Enroute controllers are employed in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Terminal Area Controller

A terminal area controller uses radar to manage and arrange the flow of aircraft that arrive at and depart from major city airports. They are responsible for the controlled airspace surrounding an airport out to a distance of approximately 30 nautical miles. Terminal area controllers are employed in Adelaide, Cairns, Perth and Sydney.

Tower Controller

A tower controller works from control towers at aerodromes and is responsible for all aircraft and vehicle movements on the taxiways and runways, as well as in the immediate surrounding airspace. There are 28 towers located at capital cities and busier regional airports around Australia.

Working Conditions

Air traffic controllers operate in shifts, often out of normal office hours, and are required to work on any day of the year.

Personal Requirements

  • able to make quick and accurate decisions
  • aptitude for working with computers
  • confident, highly responsible, self-motivated and independent, but able to work in a team
  • good understanding and clear practical application of the English language
  • Australian or New Zealand citizenship, or Australian permanent residency
  • at least 18 years of age
  • able to satisfy aviation medical requirements.

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