Airservices Australia (AA) is reportedly considering shifting around 65 air traffic controllers from its terminal control unit at Sydney Airport (SYD) to Melbourne.
Given the financial strain faced by the aviation industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the firm believes that this shift is necessary for ‘more cost-efficient solutions’, reported The Sydney Morning Herald, which had seen the internal briefing documents.
According to the documents, the relocation will aid in averting the costs of substantial infrastructure replacement in Sydney.
The building where the air traffic controllers (ATC) are installed in Sydney Airport is coming close to the end of its life and the possibility of the extension of the long-term lease beyond 2034 is not guaranteed.
The shift is expected to directly impact 65 air traffic controllers in Sydney.
According to the firm, a pool of skilled professionals is available at its larger facility in Melbourne.
Sydney Airport’s terminal control unit manages aeroplanes arriving at and departing from Bankstown (BWU), Richmond (RIC) and Camden (CDU) airports, in coordination with control towers at each of these sites.
The decision about the relocation is expected to be finalised by Airservices in June. This process is expected to take nearly two years to complete.
Currently, Airservices is reportedly in the ‘initial stages’ of consulting with the staff in Sydney and there would be ‘no required job losses’.
The terminal control services for Canberra, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Cairns have been consolidated in Brisbane and Melbourne over the last 20 years.