4th Mar 2012, 22:52
A couple of quick questions for any NZ ATCO's out there from a nearly-middle-aged ex-Aussie with an out-of-date Australian CPL now living in the UK and working as an Air Traffic Control Assistant at a well-known but soon to be decommissioned airfield in England......
I'm aiming for a move to New Zealand in the next 12 months with a view to training and working as an ATCO.
1) Is Airways the only operator of Air Traffic Services and control towers in New Zealand? In the UK some are run by NATS but many privately owned by corporations or local councils. How does it work in NZ. I want to know who to approach for training and work.
2) How do Airways channel their recruits? I want to work in a tower at an aerodrome. I don't function well in the long run when I am stuck in window-less rooms staring at computer screens or radar screens all day. The impression I have so far is that Airways channel all successful trainees into Aerodrome control first, with progression to Rad/App & Area Control coming later if desired. If that's the case then I'm on to a good thing as I WANT to work in a tower.
3) Do you know if Airways give their trainees any say in which aerodrome they go to once they have completed their training? I would really like to end up somewhere warmer than I currently live.
5th Mar 2012, 04:06
Airways is the only provider of ATC in NZ. In the past there have been privately run towers. Airways even provide ATC at the military / air force (if u can call it that) airfields.
Generally speaking ab-initio controllers are drafted into the regional towers, a small amount do get direct entry into Area RADAR.
You do get to choose where you are posted, but ultimately it's a combination of the companies needs, your strengths (aerodrome or aerodrome/non-radar approach) and lastly your preference. However if you want to live somewhere warmer than where you are in the UK, that shouldn't be a problem ;-)
5th Mar 2012, 21:37
In the past there have been privately run towers
Really!!!!! Please enlighten me where?? I am not aware of any privately run towers present or past in the 29 years I was with MOT/Airways that provided an air traffic control service. (Unicom is not an air traffic control service if that's the road you are going down)
Airways even provide ATC at the military / air force (if u can call it that) airfields.
re your questions
1. Yes they are so approach them
2. New students are generally farmed out to Towers, VERY few have gone straight to radar, those that have are folks with existing knowledge of the system having worked in it eg. Flight Service, Blip Drivers. People seeking employment as an existing ATCO will get radar unless Airways do a SPECIFIC recruitment drive for towers.
3. You get choices but at the end of the day they will send you where the need is. In a lot of cases they will send you to a Unit just to get your Rating and then move you. This may have changed over the past year since I left but was certainly the case when I worked for them.
6th Mar 2012, 01:23
You're right. The example I'm thinking of was Palmerston North ADC when the airport company built their own tower cab and threatened to contract the work elsewhere. Don't think it ever got off the ground. Now there's just an unused cab on top of the terminal.
6th Mar 2012, 22:06
Thanks for the info 1Charlie.
That is encouraging.
Do you work for Airways? If so, what are they like to work for?.
And is there much scope for moving to a new aerodrome later if I want to relocate?
As for it being definitely warmer in NZ.... I'm not so sure. My wife has been doing some research and it seems there are plenty of places in NZ with lower average temps than here! They just have more sunshine to go with it.
6th Mar 2012, 22:10
Also good intel.
It's all sounding like the road I want to head down.
What option is there to relocate if I wish to move to a new location/aerodrome once I've been employed? I guess it depends where and when the vacancies come up. But are Airways agreeable to staff relocating?
6th Mar 2012, 23:21
Correct...it never did get off the ground.
Hate to split your side but if your not a kiwi, OR you don't have residence and NZ citizenship you are VERY unlikely to be accepted for an ATCO training job.
The only way would be if you are a current ATCO and Airways are recruiting from overseas. NZ Govt, like a number of other countries, want there own people to be employed for training into jobs. It is only when there is a shortage that they will allow companies to look off shore.
22nd Mar 2012, 20:19
I think Airways decide on your first posting, and the next one after that.
Do you like earthquakes?
27th Mar 2012, 02:35
I think Airways is a great company to work for.
Usually your first posting is as described above. Then, provided you're offered a permanent posting you can make a bid for any position. That's roughly how it works. If u get a consolidation contract because the tower u trained in is already fully staffed, they'll bounce you to somewhere you're needed. I could go on about how successfully I think Airways operate this system, but I can't be farked. if ur not an Aussie or a Kiwi youll have issues getting on the course as mentioned