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Inside ASISTIM : An Interview with Iryna, Crew Controller at ASISTIM

How did you first come to Germany?

In May 2022, I made the tough decision to leave Ukraine because of the outbreak of the war. Since I am fluent in English, my initial plan was to head over to the UK. However, due to the fact that I was bringing my cat along with me, I had to make a stopover in Europe before continuing my journey to the UK. It was then that I got in touch with Svensen's family, who graciously opened up their home to me during my stay. Eventually, I made my way to the UK and settled in a quaint little town. Unfortunately, I encountered a roadblock when I realized that my education was not recognized there, as Ukraine was not part of the EU. This made it challenging for me to find a suitable job.



How did you first get to know about Crew Control and Crew Planning?

Just as I was struggling to find a job in the UK, Svensen, the CEO of ASISTIM, contacted me with an incredible opportunity. He offered to train me in Crew Control and Crew Planning at the ASISTIM Academy, with the potential to hire me as a member of their team. Needless to say, I was excited and deeply grateful for this incredible opportunity.



What made you decide to choose to become a Crew Control and Crew Planner?

Aviation has always been a passion of mine. Ever since I was a little kid, I dreamed of becoming a flight attendant. Sadly, my height prevented me from pursuing that career path. But, I was happy to find an alternative that still allowed me to work in the field that I loved - as a Crew Control and Crew Planner.



How was the course organized?

The Crew Control and Crew Planning training program lasted for a total of two weeks in September 2022, and it was held at the ASISTIM Academy in Hannover, Germany. However, since I had to pack up my things in the UK, I attended the first week virtually from there. It wasn't until the second week that I was able to make it to Hannover in person to attend the rest of the classes.



How was it to take the course without any aviation background?

To be honest, the first week of virtual classes was quite challenging for me. As someone who had no prior experience in aviation, I found it hard to keep up. However, things got a lot better when I finally made it to Germany for the second week of the course. Being able to attend classes in person made a huge difference for me. I loved being able to interact with the other students in the classroom, and hearing about their experiences in aviation was incredibly helpful. Thanks to their input, I was able to grasp the concepts much more easily, and I thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience.



Any interesting Experience during the training?

The whole experience was interesting - from getting to know a new field to exploring Hannover, Germany. But what made it even more memorable was our amazing trainer, Sarah. She had so many fascinating stories to share with us during the Crew Control and Crew Planning Class, based on her past experiences in the industry. Listening to her was always a treat, and it made learning about Crew Control and Crew Planning all the more interesting. Plus, our trainer had a wonderful sense of humor, which made the classes a lot of fun. I couldn't have asked for a better teacher!



How did you get the job after your course?

I had to pass a test in the end of the 2 weeks and received the ASISTIM certificate and shortly after, I received a job offer from ASISTIM.

At the end of the two-week training, I had to take a test to assess my knowledge and skills. Fortunately, I was able to pass the test with good grades and received an ASISTIM certificate. Not long after that, I was thrilled to receive a job offer from ASISTIM. It was such a great feeling to know that my hard work and dedication had paid off.



Any other thing that helped becoming a Crew Control and Crew Planner?

Once the two-week training program had wrapped up, I was able to begin my on-the-job training at ASISTIM. During this period, I was able to get familiar with the AIMS software and gain a solid understanding of the workflow. Though it took me some time to get comfortable with everything, I slowly but surely gained more confidence.



Is there a particular talent that makes one successful in this field?

In my opinion, effective communication is one of the most important qualities for anyone working in aviation. Since you are constantly in contact with crew members and other professionals in the field, it's essential to be able to communicate clearly and professionally.

Another important quality is responsibility. In my role as a Crew Control and Crew Planner, I was responsible for calculating flight duty periods and rest times, which requires a high level of attention to detail. Even the smallest mistake could have serious consequences, so it's important to be able to focus on the task at hand and take responsibility for your actions.



What was your duty as crew Controller?

My job involved monitoring flights, and if a crew member called in sick, I needed to find substitutes by activating those on standby. It was crucial to ensure that all legal requirements were met, such as making sure that the crews had adequate pre and post flight rest periods. This meant that I was in constant communication with the crew regarding any changes in the roster.

In addition to managing the crew, we also had to take care of their travel requirements, such as finding a taxi for them if necessary. We checked reports every day to stay on top of things like standby violations and open notifications. If we noticed any issues, we would notify the responsible person right away. It was a challenging job, but also extremely rewarding to know that we were helping to ensure the safety and efficiency of every flight.



What aspect of the job was challenging?

One of the challenges of my job was communication, especially with crew members who couldn't speak English. Patience was key in those situations, and it was important to stay calm and not get too stressed out. Another important quality for this job was the ability to react quickly to fast-changing circumstances. There were times when things would happen unexpectedly, and we needed to be able to respond with agility and efficiency.

Finally, it was important to be detail-oriented. There were a lot of small but important details to keep track of, and any mistakes could have serious consequences. By paying close attention to every aspect of the job, we were able to ensure that every flight was executed with precision and care.



What is the best part of the job?

One of the things I enjoyed about my job was the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. Most of the crew members I worked with were friendly and pleasant to work with, which made the job even more enjoyable. Getting to know new people and learning about their experiences was one of the most rewarding aspects of working in aviation.



Any last words?

I feel incredibly grateful to Svensen for giving me the opportunity to train and work at ASISTIM. Working in this field was so fascinating, and I had the chance to meet people from all over the world who shared a passion for aviation.

I learned so much during my time at ASISTIM, and it was truly an enriching experience. Not only did I gain valuable skills and knowledge, but I also got to work alongside some amazing professionals who were passionate about what they do. I will always be grateful for this opportunity and the experiences that came with it.