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Airservices partners with Airways for trans-Tasman ATC training

written by Jake Nelson | November 20, 2023

Inside the air traffic control tower at Christchurch, NZ. (Image: Christchurch Airport)

Australian air traffic control students will travel to Christchurch for training as part of a new partnership with Airways International, the commercial arm of Airways New Zealand.

An initial cohort of six Airservices Australia trainees will be sent to Christchurch following 10 weeks of online training with Airways’ AKO virtual academy. This represents the beginning of a new contract between the two ATC organisations, with further cohorts expected to be sent in future.

The remote learning portion will cover ICAO 051 ATS Licensing Subjects, which students will study in Australia, followed by in-person training covering ICAO 052 Aerodrome Control and ICAO 053 Approach Control Procedural in Christchurch’s real-world TotalControl simulator.

“We’re delighted to be collaborating with Airservices Australia to bring their ATC students to our facilities in New Zealand for training, and to be fostering further connection between our organisations. This partnership is well placed for success over the coming years,” said Sharon Cooke, Airways International CEO.

Airways says its ATC training programme is globally recognised with a competency-based framework. Michele Bennets, chief service delivery officer at Airservices Australia, said Airservices is proud to partner with Airways International.


“Airways will be delivering a Tower course to Airservices’ next cohort of air traffic control trainees commencing in December 2023,” she said.

“This is very exciting as we look at opportunities to evolve how we deliver our training to our people, and allows Airservices to bolster its safe and efficient management of 11 per cent of the world’s airspace.”

The students will travel to New Zealand in March 2024 and are expected to train there for five months. Airservices says 80 new air traffic controllers are due in the 2024 financial year.

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