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Scanorama 25th Apr 2009 09:18

I am also thinking of applying to become an ATC, AsA website shows that application is closed and will open again in Q4, 2009 for intakes in 2010/2011. I finished year 12 in 2004 and passed English, Maths and Chemistry. At the moment I am at Bible college, studying for Advanced Diploma of Ministry, got my Diploma of Theology last year. I am getting trained to become a children's minister.

I am looking at applying at the end of this year but I have a question. I was born in Hong Kong and moved to Australia when I was 14 (turning 24 this year). I can speak English fluently and can communicate in English without any problem. However I still have an Asian accent - would that affect my chances of getting in?

I am into aviation and ATC in particular. I always listen to my radio scanner - particularly Brisbane Centre 123.4, Sydney TCU - 128.3, 129.7, Melbourne Centre 133.5. I certainly know the basis of how ATC works and some of the terminology.


Knackers 26th Apr 2009 01:14


There's heaps of foreign-born controllers in AsA, from all over the planet. Because you were born in Honkers - which from memory, isn't considered an English-speaking country - you will have to be checked against the ICAO standard. Curiously, this isn't done until after you've been selected! At the Academy, this is done by staff from RMIT. Trainees from English-speaking countries are assessed by specifically rated instructors.

Salinger 26th Apr 2009 03:37

Hi all!

I applied for an ATC position late last year and I had my interview in Brisbane in early March. I found out last week that I'm on the Order of Merit List, so now I'm waiting again to hear if they have an opening for me in October or some other time. Only problem is, my application only last 12 months, so if they don't have an opening for me within 12 months I have to apply again!

Does anyone here have any inside info on what the chances are of getting an October position? And if not October, when are the other intakes?

I'm from Queensland, so moving to Melbourne and taking a pay cut for 12 months of training is an incredibly daunting proposition! However, I know it will be worth it in the long run... but the things you read online about Civil Air and AsA and staff shortages, forced overtime, salary negotiations, etc, etc make me quite worried about this being a clever career move! Do any Aussie controllers out there have some words of wisdom for me?

I'm massively excited about this opportunity, but I'm just a bit scared (to be honest!) about the sacrifices I may have to make and whether or not I'm making the right decision! I would love the chance to have a chat and get some opinions from other ATCs in Australia.

Thanks! :ok:

undervaluedATC 26th Apr 2009 08:20

Salinger, PM me in a week (once the result of the EBA vote is known) and I will try to answer your questions.

Funk 26th Apr 2009 09:39

Salinger being unfamiliar with your current job prospects I can't give you advice as to weather you should take the plunge.
Yes salaries are ok, eventually six figures is still a pretty good packet in Oz, basic rostered hours I believe are still 72 per fortnight and leave ranges from 5 to 6 weeks. Great friendships and commaraderie.

Devil's advocate time now.
Training is so hit and miss, I have seen guys and gals that should have made it get cut and you get to work with others who should never have held a license (fortunately for the traveling public these clowns are often fast tracked for promotion away from the console). A couple of mates who got cut in the field are pretty gutted by the experience and it takes them years to come to terms with it (talking financially and emotionally). Generally there are no second prizes for failure.
Once you check out it is mostly boring processing traffic except for when weather arrives in summer months, bad management the likes you would have never imagined in your darkest days, life denuding rosters, one weekend a month off if you're lucky, punitive approach to safety management, if you end up in Area/Enroute you will probably die there not much room for progression or career development (many hands trying to get up the greasy pole).
You'll be off during the day in the middle of the week and you'll get to chat to your electrician, plumber or other tradesman who will tell you he is making as much if not more than you and was able to go water skiing/ kids concert/ fishing with mates/ family picnic last week end (most likely he/she has woken you from your night shift sleep).
From my mates at home; yer the new EBA has given a decent payrise but there has been no improvement in rostering, training or career development. But thats for another thread.
Hope this helps.:8

Baileys 26th Apr 2009 12:29

?? Now I'm really confused.....

Salinger 26th Apr 2009 13:12

I think Funk was talking about ATC in Australia, not wherever he currently works.

Funk, you mention financial issues for people who are cut during training... Could you elaborate? I have heard about training bonds and such but know nothing of the details as AsA have not mentioned anything thus far.

My preference was for Brisbane tower, and seeing what you say about En route I think this was a good choice. Any advice on the best pathways to the most opportunities to advance careerwise and financially? ATC is a whole new world!

Funk 26th Apr 2009 20:06

I was referring to AsA, not my current location where there is a decent salary; roster and training is taken serously.:ok:

Financially I was referring to potential lost income and career progression in their respective former vocations.
Tower is good for variety of locations and the salary is/was the same as Enroute.

mrtwister 26th Apr 2009 22:40

I'm pretty sure ASA are only training enroute controllers in Sept/Oct. Bris or Melb

cbradio 28th Apr 2009 10:29

My preference was for Brisbane tower
join the queue of rated Air Traffic Controllers!!

Salinger 28th Apr 2009 23:19

What does this mean?
Despite the nationwide shortage of staff, there's a list of people wanting to work in Brisbane tower?

Should I change my preference to one where there are more staff needed and therefore (perhaps) increase my chances of getting off the order of merit list and into a classroom?


jrbridge 29th Apr 2009 08:44

I'm starting in the college in 6 weeks and they are only training for Enroute. Once working in Enroute then you can apply for other positions after 3 years.

Baileys 29th Apr 2009 10:14

Once working in Enroute then you can apply for other positions after 3 years.
Good luck with that. You will certainly be able to apply.

Funk 29th Apr 2009 10:24

I'm starting in the college in 6 weeks and they are only training for Enroute. Once working in Enroute then you can apply for other positions after 3 years.
A couple of mates of mine waited nearly 15 years to get their transfers out of procedural Enroute, they finally got out, one's in Luxembourg and the other is in Germany. Like the guy said good luck with that :}

Toboto 5th May 2009 04:21

Sup People
Anybody got any news about anything ?? I saw on civil air that the draft EBA got voted in, 4.7% pay rise each year over next 3 years seems pretty good, although college phase salary is still below 40K

5miles 5th May 2009 07:50

I saw on civil air that the draft EBA got voted in, 4.7% pay rise each year
The average payrise is 4.7% per annum. Those at the top got less whilst some of the lower increments got more.

howsweetitis 6th May 2009 12:24

I had my interview this morning in Melbourne. It wasn't that bad.
Then spent 3 hours at the airport waiting for my plane to come home thinking of all the things I could have said differently. Oh hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Only 4 to 5 weeks to wait. Apparently..
They said the course is in October and maybe March and only Enroute. Not sure of numbers.
Good luck for all that have interviews to go.

Toboto 7th May 2009 03:49

Does anyone know that exact salary for the trainee ATC college year?

Albizia 7th May 2009 10:46

From 1 September, at college $37509, field training $56264, licensed $76582

Toboto 8th May 2009 07:40

Hallo according to a brochure on their website ASA will provide limited assistance to interstate applicants while in Melb attending the academy based training. Assistance generally will be limited to a max of 7 days short term accomodation assistance (room only) and airfare to Melb, Further assis may be considered by ASA but are limited to removal of personal items that are considered essential for day to day living in Melb ASA will not meet the cost of relocating furnishings or vehicles to Melb. Cheap burbs to rent would be tullamarine, very close to airport, when i say cheap its cheap for melb. hope this helps

No Further Requirements 8th May 2009 15:42

ratc2009 - have a good look back thorugh this thread and your questions will be answered.



Toboto 15th May 2009 04:27

To anyone who has had an interview, exactly how long after ATC interview were referee's contacted? Mine was on the 4th May.

Scanorama 16th May 2009 05:28

@Knackers, thanks for the information!

And for those who are interested, the intake for Air Traffic Controllers in 2010 has been opened


The en-route positions will based at Brisbane/Melbourne Centres.

I am seriously considering to apply. Would someone able to tell me what are some ups and downs of working in Brisbane/Melbourne Centres? My preference is Melbourne Centre out of the 2.

howsweetitis 17th May 2009 06:30

It took me less than 2o minutes to get off my plane and over to the tower by Taxi. It cost $20. Tell the driver first it is a short trip so then he can come straight back without having to line up.
I dont know about public transport but, hopefully, I will be in the same situation. At $40 a day for Taxi's plus bus fair to Airport it's going to be dearer than a car.

ferris 17th May 2009 09:52

The tower and the centre and the 'academy' are co-located, off the airport on the other side to the terminals. There is no public transport. If visiting for the day, then you will need to cab it to the entrance to the compound, and you can walk to any of those three locations from there (100m).
Melb is a tough gig without a car. If you get the job, I couldnt really see you getting by without one. It may be possible to cycle to the asa compound every day, but you would have to live nearby (say, Tullamarine) and be really committed. There are buses to the airport, but it's still a fair distance around the airport to the compound.

As for the difference between the centres- I would strongly advise you base your decision on where you want to live. Brissie and Melb are vastly different in that regard.

ferris 17th May 2009 14:26

Well, to offer better advice, I'd have to know things like where are you coming from? How old are you, what activities do you like, are you really set on not having a car, are you going to share, are you bringing a partner? etc.

Here are some general principles;
It's not easy to rent anywhere, especially for shorter term leases. Look at contacting other people on your course and look to share (your time at the 'academy' is temporary, one way or the other). Tullamarine, Airport West, are closer, and there is nothing wrong with them per se, but dont expect Kew or Brighton. If you want quiet, maybe look at Sunbury. Slightly more upmarket and closer to town- Niddrie?
My gen is a little out of date, so someone else may have better ideas.

Blockla 17th May 2009 14:45

is it on tower road, which is off operations road.

If you are young and free, you'd be wanting to rent closer to the city, but probably airport side. Kengsington, Moonee Ponds, Brunswick and Ascott Vale would be good starts to look at. Easy access to the City, cheap cabs and good access to public transport for sporting/drinking/social opportunities.

If you are more family orientated options would include Sunbury, Greenvale, Niddrie, Keilor, Essendon, Strathmore... But you are paying more for family type acc the closer you get to the city.

A car or access to a course mates with a car is essential; public transport is a joke to the airport; let alone the other side of the airport.

Toboto 22nd May 2009 02:29

Hallo has anyone heard back from the interview stage or had their referee contacted mine was on the 4th of May???

gemmy 22nd May 2009 02:33

Hey Toboto,

My interview was May 11th & no - nothing yet. They said it'd take 4-6weeks til we hear back.

No referees have been contacted yet either..I think they said that our referees would be contacted after we had been advised if we had passed the Interview.

However I know I certainly didn't do my best in the Interview, So I'm not holding my breath!

Toboto 22nd May 2009 06:02

Thanks Gemmy good to know i'm in the same boat I felt like i could have done better at the interview as we'll, I'll be holding my breath with you hopefully we'll both have good news, good luck!

mrtwister 22nd May 2009 12:19

I'm pretty sure there was a course starting in June (15th I think). The one following that is supposed to be Sep/Oct. jbridge has posted on here a few times and is in that intake. When does the Brisbane accommodation search begin?

jrbridge 22nd May 2009 13:04

Yep, I'm starting in a few weeks. Pretty excited. Got a place in Melbourne near the Airport. All training is done at the College which is at the base of the tower. Any questions, feel free to ask. I'll keep you updated when I start. Cheers

mrtwister 1st Jun 2009 04:01

Emails come through today?

gemmy 1st Jun 2009 06:07

MrTwister.. I haven't heard anything back yet, however my interview was only 3 weeks ago today. Have you got your word back yet? I have heard that some got an email already.

lamancha73 1st Jun 2009 07:06

Received my email last week wednesday. End of the line for me:(.
Not enough "depth" in my replies.
Hopefully you guys get better news.

gemmy 1st Jun 2009 08:02

Sorry to hear that mate. But I'm expecting the same type of email as I know I didn't give strong enough answers.. but we'll see.

I heard all the people who got interview in Melbs have received their emails... but haven't heard of any others.

Toboto 1st Jun 2009 08:39

Had my interview on 4th May in Melbourne havn't heard a peep but i'll guess i might this week?

mrtwister 1st Jun 2009 10:05

Hey All,

I received an email today letting me know that I was successful in the interview phase and that, starting tomorrow, referees will be being contacted some time over the next few weeks. First round offers will be sent out late June/early July.

My interview was 7th May here in Canberra. I'm not sure what their process is for getting back to applicants at this point. It must be an ongoing process.

Salinger 2nd Jun 2009 02:49

mrtwister: I also received an email yesterday... Had my interview in Brisbane in March.
I was informed my referees were to be contacted starting today...

It also mentioned that they would be in touch by the end of "April" (!) to advise the outcome of my application! April! Which year?! I hope that was mistyped!

gemmy 2nd Jun 2009 05:06

Congrats MrTwister...!! Another step closer.

Salinger.. wow, most others who did their interview in Brissy in March found out in April how they went. What a delay for you!!

My waiting game continues... if it's going be alphebatical order, I have a long time to wait!! :-P

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