Airservices is Australia's air navigation service provider - we provide air traffic control, aviation rescue and fire fighting and air navigation services.

Applicant assessment – tests and interviews

What are the attributes of a good controller?

A competent air traffic controller is one who has a high level of situational awareness. This means that they can:

  • glean information from many concurrent sources
  • evaluate alternatives
  • establish priorities
  • estimate probable outcomes of alternative courses of action
  • work on whatever has the highest momentary urgency without losing control over routine traffic operations.

Online cognitive ability assessments

Applicants will be asked to complete online cognitive ability assessments. Ability tests are timed assessments looking at very specific job related skills and the potential to learn these skills. The assessments to be completed are verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, numerical calculations and a checking test. A situational questionnaire has been developed by Airservices to ensure consistency and fairness in the recruitment process. This information will be used by Airservices to assess the capability of individual candidates and of their potential suitability and job fit for air traffic control.

Telephone interview

Airservices will contact candidates who complete the online assessments successfully for a brief telephone interview. Those deemed suitable at this stage, will be invited to attend an ATC Assessment Centre.

ATC Assessment Centre

The next stage in the selection process involves a full day of testing at an ATC Assessment Centre.

This involves a comprehensive range of activities designed to measure skills and capabilities in:

  • working with people
  • analysing
  • coping with the demands of a safety critical environment
  • following and applying procedures
  • deciding on and initiating action
  • presenting and communicating information
  • planning and organising
  • adapting and responding to change
  • applying expertise and technology
  • displaying drive and professionalism.


Candidates will be asked to provide the name and contacts details of up to three people as referees. Two of these referees should be professional referees. Any or all referees may be contacted by Airservices.

Can I do any pre-test preparation?

Airservices is unable to provide applicants with any pre-test study and there is no practical pre-test preparation that can be completed.

Candidate progression/rejection

Applicants rated as unsuitable will not be considered further.