Airservices welcomes 65 new guardians of the Australian sky

Kristian Palich is almost at the end of his journey to becoming an air traffic controller.

Airservices Australia is boosting its air traffic controller numbers, with 65 new recruits set to join the team of highly skilled controllers across Australia.

It’s a fast-paced, dynamic and rewarding career for the future, with Airservices employing more than 915 controllers around the country, operating at 28 control towers across Australia’s busiest international and regional airports, including two major centres in Melbourne and Brisbane.

Our team are among the best air traffic controllers in the world, managing 11 per cent of the world’s airspace. We connect people with their world safely – linking family and friends, generating economic activity, creating jobs and facilitating trade and tourism.

We’re always on the lookout for new talent, recruiting up to 140 trainees per year, to manage the safe and orderly flow of aircraft into, out of, and between airports throughout Australia.

Our eyes are on the sky at all phases of flight – with controllers specialising in either Tower, Approach or Enroute Control to ensure the safe passage of aircraft into and through Australian skies.

Trainee controller, Sydney’s Kristian Palich, 33, is celebrating a momentous triple milestone this week: conducting the last phase of his gruelling theory and practical training, which culminates in his finals tests in our state-of-the art technology simulators, his first shift in operations and the first birthday of his son, Matthias.

“Becoming an air traffic controller is my dream job,” Kristian said, “I’ve loved aviation since the age of three, when my dad used to take me to see the small planes and gliders at the local airstrip.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be nearly at the end of my training! I’m excited. I will have a small family celebration at the end.

“It’s been challenging, but to celebrate this milestone at the same time of Matthias’ first birthday is very special.”

Kristian’s had to overcome COVID-19 training delays – along with the added stress of raising a young family – to reach the stage of transitioning from field training into the busy and complex operational environment at Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport.

He and his wife Blanka moved to Australia from their native Czech Republic nine years ago to pursue his long-held dream to become a controller, after he obtained his Masters in Aeronautical Engineering. Blessed with an older son, Jeremy, three, the couple has stayed steadfastly committed to the goal and their dream of settling in Sydney.

He says passion, determination and the ability to conquer self-doubt are vital attributes on the rewarding journey to becoming an air traffic controller.

“Everyone in my training group was improving so much, week-by-week – for me, this was the major driver that kept pushing me forward amid all the hard work.” 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Air Traffic Controller Trainee Program, register your interest here.

Posted on: May 26, 2022

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