Dunedin air traffic controller awarded aviation safety scholarship

Airways New Zealand air traffic controller Hadley Cave has been awarded the 2015 Jilly Murphy Scholarship for Aviation Safety.

The $5000 scholarship is jointly offered by Airways and Christchurch International Airport Ltd in memory of air traffic controller Jilly Murphy, who died in central Christchurch during the earthquake of 22 February 2011. Applications are required to demonstrate a tangible benefit to aviation safety.

This year's scholar has applied his experience in air traffic control to envisage a new electronic tool to help reduce the workload on controllers at peak times.

"Controllers often rely on charts when they are separating different types of aircraft, but
that can get quite complex because some of our busier towers might need to call on up to 50 different charts. I'm planning to develop a tablet version that will  let controllers make a couple of simple selections to allow the appropriate procedures to be displayed," Hadley says. "My aim is to have the tablet ready for operational testing at Dunedin within 12 months."

Airways Chief Executive Ed Sims said he and his fellow judges - John Murphy (the late
Jilly Murphy's father) and Christchurch Airport Chief Operating Officer Andy Lester - agreed Hadley's application had a clearly defined and tangible outcome.

"All three judges could easily see how it could reduce complexity for controllers and therefore have potential to increase safety in towers. We believe removing unnecessary paperwork and simplifying safe approaches would have been very close to Jilly Murphy's heart and principles, which makes Hadley a very deserving winner."

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