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Aviation scholarship enhances exceptional focus on safety

Aviation scholarship enhances exceptional focus on safety
For immediate release
24 September 2014

Aviation scholarship enhances exceptional focus on safety
“Go for it” is the answer you’ll get from the inaugural winner of the Jilly Murphy Scholarship for Aviation Safety, if you ask for her advice for this year’s entrants.

Lucy Mitchell’s career commitment to understanding human factors involved in aviation safety led to her scholarship award earlier this year. Lucy has put the scholarship prize of $5000 towards the Master of Science in Ergonomics and Human Factors she is completing in her spare time, while working at Airways New Zealand.

“My study through the scholarship has a direct relationship to my work as an air traffic controller at Airways. I’m applying my learning every day on the job and introducing international ideas from my peers on the course,” says Lucy.

“The focus of the scholarship is to enhance aviation safety, so I’m transferring my experience to Airways, with a real focus on overall aviation safety,” she says.

Lucy spends half of her time as an air traffic controller and the other half as Airways’ Safety Improvement Coordinator – a new position.

“I love this role. I spend my time looking at the whole system and at ways we can make it even safer than it is already, hunting for ideas, working with customers and other Air Navigation Service Providers). My study is giving me even more determination to deliver this focus on operational safety,” says Lucy.

The 2015 Jilly Murphy Scholarship for Aviation Safety applications have just opened. Lucy says applicants should be enthusiastic and have a passion for whichever area of aviation safety interests them.

“I was a bit hesitant to start with. I wasn’t sure how applicable it would be to me, so I’d suggest that even if you’re not sure, you should apply and include a clear plan for how you would use the funding. There is a huge variety of ways to enhance aviation safety, which is the legacy which Jilly Murphy has left through this scholarship,” she says.

The scholarship, offered jointly by Airways and Christchurch Airport, is provided in memory of Jilly Murphy, an air traffic controller at the Christchurch Airways tower, who died in central Christchurch during the earthquake of 22 February, 2011.

Applications are open until 18 December 2014.

Caption: The inaugural winner of the Jilly Murphy Scholarship for Aviation Safety, Lucy Mitchell., Lucy is sitting on the seat in memory of controller Jilly Murphy at the base of the Christchurch airport control tower.
-- Ends --

About Airways
Airways is a world-leading commercial Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), and operates in New Zealand as a State-Owned Enterprise (SOE).
We look after key aviation infrastructure around New Zealand and manage the more than 1 million traffic movements per year into and around New Zealand’s 30 million sq km of airspace.
Airways provides air traffic control and engineering training, and has delivered air traffic management, Flightyield revenue management solutions, navigation services and consultancy in more than 65 countries.
For more information about Airways visit

About Christchurch Airport
Christchurch Airport welcomed 5.7 million passengers in the past year, ranking as New Zealand’s second largest airport. The airport occupies a unique position economically, as the South Island’s busiest and most strategic air connection to the world’s trade and tourism markets.
81% of international visitors to the South Island are welcomed and farewelled at Christchurch Airport. In addition, the airport plays an important role as the South Island’s major domestic hub servicing all New Zealanders, enabling passengers to connect to a full spectrum of destinations throughout New Zealand.
Christchurch International Airport is a major driver of the regional Canterbury economy, generating airport precinct related jobs for 6000 people.
For more information about Christchurch Airport please visit

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