Air Traffic Controller

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Clerical or OrganisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5

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

Air traffic controllers manage the safe and orderly flow of aircraft into, out of and between airports - locally, interstate and overseas - and between those regions adjoining a particular country’s airspace. This is done by remaining in radio communication with pilots to keep aircraft separated in controlled, monitored airspaces, as well as ensuring that aircraft abide by their pre-arranged routes and altitudes.

ANZSCO description: Ensures the safe and efficient movement of aircraft in controlled airspace and aerodromes by directing aircraft movements (registration or licensing is required).

Alternative names: Enroute Controller, Terminal Area Controller, Tower Controller


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 which 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, Brisbane, Cairns, Coolangatta, Melbourne, 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, and in the immediate surrounding airspace. There are 26 towers located at capital cities and busier regional airports around Australia.

Air Traffic Controller


Knowledge, skills and attributes

An air traffic controller needs: Radar

  • to be able to make quick and accurate decisions

  • excellent computer skills & aptitude for working with computers

  • to have a good understanding and clear practical application of the English language

  • to be at least 18 years of age

  • to be able to satisfy aviation medical requirements.

  • able to make quick and accurate decisions

  • confident, highly responsible, self-motivated, and independent, but able to work in a team

  • Australian or New Zealand citizenship, or Australian permanent residency

Duties and Tasks

Air traffic controllers may perform the following tasks: Control Tower

  • maintain radio contact with pilots to keep aircraft separated in 'corridors' of controlled airspace, on air routes and near major airports

  • make sure that aircraft operate only on pre-arranged routes and altitudes

  • use radar to monitor and control aircraft movements

  • provide information and assistance to pilots and emergency services during in-flight emergencies.

Did You Know?


Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia.

The name was originally "QANTAS", an acronym for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services".

Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline is based in Sydney, with its main hub at Sydney Airport.

It is Australia's largest airline, the oldest continuously operated airline in the world and the second oldest in the world overall.
(Source: Wikipedia)

Air Traffic Controller


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