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Trainees – called ab-initios - spend about six months at the Airways Training Centre in Christchurch, then four to nine months on-the-job training, usually at a regional control tower. Once they have successfully completed and passed their training programme they achieve a level 7 Diploma in Air Traffic Control, and a New Zealand Air Traffic Controller Licence. Both are recognised internationally and can be used in many countries overseas.

Although you must be 20 years old to begin training, you can still apply at any age! If you are accepted you can spend the time until you reach 20 doing anything you like– for example, go on an OE or start a Bachelor of Aviation Management (Airways’ Diploma in Air Traffic Control will finish the degree).

Medium_jon_craig Jon Craig
Air Traffic Controller

Study   What did you study? National Diploma in Air Traffic Services Level 7. Why did you choose this course? I have an... read more »

Medium_connor_oloughlin Connor O'Loughlin
Air Traffic Controller

Study   What did you study? Air Traffic Control with Airways New Zealand. I am now an aerodrome and approach controller in... read more »

Medium_dscf0383 David Hansen
Air Traffic Controller

Study   What did you study? To gain a job as an air traffic controller I studied towards a diploma in air traffic control with... read more »