20 October – International Day of the Air Traffic Controller
Today is the International Day of the Air Traffic Controller.
I would like to acknowledge the contribution of the profession of Air Traffic Controllers to the safety of our aviation industry.
Throughout my career I have trained, developed and worked along side this band of professionals who make pilots like me and my friends look good.
(Mackay Tower – Courtesy of Air Services)
(Australian Olympians returning home – Courtesy of Air Services)
Air Traffic controllers don’t just work in the control towers at airports – they
- control civilian and military (air intercept controllers) aircraft.
- build air routes, approach and departure paths
- sequence aircraft operations (departure, en-route and arrival slots) to reduce congestion
- separate aircraft (see videos for world wide , north America)
- control ground traffic at airports
- control lower and upper air spaces
- plan new technologies such as SESAR
(Brisbane Centre – Courtesy of Air Services)
(Radar at Paraburdoo – – Courtesy of Air Services)
The safety of our skies relies upon the skill and expertise of our Air Traffic Controllers to sequence our operations, optimise our performance and keep us separated. Pilots and controllers work together as a finely tuned team – the teamwork is exceptional.
So on behalf of the 2.8 billion civilians that flew in 38 million flights last year (or about one million civilians in the air at any one time), congratulations and thank you to Air Services (Australia), EuroControl (Europe) and all other ATC agencies that have made our profession the envy of the world’s safety professionals.