HE plays an integral role in keeping Jandakot Airport and nearby air space a safe environment, yet Josh Minchenko admits not many people know what he does.
The Success resident is one of Jandakot Airport’s newest air traffic controllers, taking up a seat at the top of Jandakot Tower in a role crucial to the safe and efficient flow of aircraft in and out of the precinct.
‘I was learning to fly at Parafield (Airport in South Australia) and I guess I was always interested in air traffic control, the idea of it, the unique challenges. It seemed pretty exciting,’ he said.
That interest put the 25-year-old on course for 18 months of simulations, theory and on-the job training with Airservices Australia.
‘Intense is a good word because they’re training you up to be able to handle any situation,’ he said.
‘But at the same time it’s not like they’re throwing you in the deep end.
‘It’s a structured course, so it’s hard but it’s all good fun.’
The result? A gig at one of the busiest airports in Australia.
Jandakot Airport Holdings says that with 255,000 movements each year, it is the busiest general aviation airport in the country.
That could double to 460,000 fixed wing and 66,000 helicopter movements in 20 years.
‘I knew it would be a challenge coming here and it certainly is,’ Mr Minchenko said.
‘It’s exciting too because there’s such variety.
‘We’ve got fire bombers, helitacs, the police air wing, rescue choppers and lots of different training schools.
‘Every day you see something new, so it’s really exciting.’
While there is strong competition for jobs, he said not many people knew about air traffic controllers or what they do.
Not that he is complaining, considering the 360-degree view of a developing city he enjoys every day.
‘To be honest I haven’t had any second thoughts,’ he said.
‘It seemed like the dream job for me and as soon as I was rated and I was actually doing the job it was pretty much ‘yep, this is the job I want’.’