Working in air traffic control – a family tradition

As Airservices Australia is currently recruiting for experienced air traffic controllers, this inspiring story by air traffic controller Henk tells a tale of two generations in the same line of work.

Whilst in Abu Dhabi as a tower and approach controller in 2006, Airservices advertised for international controllers.  My application was successful and on 2 November  2007, I commenced employment with first endorsement in Aisle 1 at the Brisbane Centre on Outback and subsequently ‘promoted’ to Tops.

Our family, wife Andrelien and two sons, Ruan and Ryno emigrated from South Africa in that year, and became citizens in 2013.

The boys have both married Australian girls; each couple proud parents of a baby girl; Alora Rose (Ruan and Tiffany’s daughter) and Meela Reign (Ryno and Jamie’s daughter).  A proud oupa and ouma (Afrikaans for grandad/grandma), I have included an obligatory baby picture attached! Left is Meela Reign and right is Alora Rose.

Our youngest son Ryno, chose the previous family occupation and is a member of the Australian Army now in his sixth year of service (I served almost a decade in the South African military).

Ruan however decided that he wanted to be an air traffic controller as well and received his ATC Licence on 25 September 2013 on Tops West in Aisle 1 at Brisbane Centre alongside dad (on Tops Central). Since then we have enjoyed working together in Aisle 1 and shared Christmas Day 2018 proudly controlling the northern Australian airspace.

Pictured right: Henk and Ruan on Christmas Day 2018 | Obligatory baby picture of Alora and Meela

Writer bio: Henk is an air traffic controller in Brisbane Centre currently endorsed on Tops Central and East. He started his career with Airservices as an international recruit in 2007 having had almost 13 years’ experience as an approach and tower controller in South Africa and United Arab Emirates. He loves spending time with family and enjoys outdoor activities such as Jet Ski fishing, camping and four-wheel-driving.

Careers

We are currently seeking applications from previously trained and rated Air Traffic Controllers who hold Australian or New Zealand citizenship or hold Australian Permanent Residency status. This is a great opportunity for a passionate and delivery focused professional to build a career in one of Australia’s most exciting and forward-thinking organisations. 

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