31 August 2016
Airways NZ innovation to address US air traffic controller hiring surge
Air traffic controllers (ATCs) in the United States will be recruited using pre-screening assessments designed in New Zealand as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) steps up a major recruitment drive, in a deal with Airways NZ.
“Airways New Zealand has a long standing relationship with the FAA based on innovation and collaboration,” says Airways CEO Ed Sims. “This deal with the FAA cements Airways’ reputation as a global leader in the air traffic control industry.”
SureSelect is an ATC-specific aptitude testing system created by Airways International, a global ATC training provider and subsidiary of Airways New Zealand. The system was developed from Airways’ recruitment process used domestically for a number of years.
ATCs are a unique group – it is estimated that only 3% of the general population has the right combination of personality traits and abilities to do the job. SureSelect is used early in the screening process to find applicants with these raw abilities.
This year the FAA participated in validation study for SureSelect which tested 2,000 candidates. The results of the study showed that that there is a close connection between job performance and the skills being tested for, which include spatial reasoning, general reasoning and checking ability.
SureSelect has the potential to save the
air traffic control industry millions in training costs by
finding the right people from the outset, Mr Sims says.
Around US$480 million is spent globally on ATC training
every year and about 30% of this, or US$143 million, is
spent on candidates who fail to qualify.
SureSelect will be used by the FAA for at least the next five years.