Becoming an aviation consultant

Hi, I’m Takeshi Hartono, learning the ropes as aviation consultant at To70 Australia. Six months ago, aviation was something completely new to me, but every day is a busy day at To70 and time has flown by lightning fast.

Getting up to speed

My background in mechanical engineering meant mechanics, fluids and thermodynamics governed most of my day, so my first few days at To70 were somewhat bewildering. I needed to invest a lot of time building knowledge and understanding the aviation business.

It wasn’t long, though, before I could to dive into some interesting airport projects:

Melbourne ADS-B project
Together with Melbourne’s Airport Planning team, we started a pilot project to use ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) data for planning decisions. The project was to implement an ADS-B system for Melbourne Airport, generating a database of flight positions and velocity and deriving additional data on landing, take-off and taxiing times.

Sydney climate change study
This study provided Sydney Airport with a more detailed understanding of climate change at a local level and an analysis of current and future risk mitigation procedures. My job was to summarise the available literature on effects and risks, then rank the risks from “immediate reaction required” to “non-urgent.”

Melbourne fast time simulation
Simulation data we provide can be used to assess various planning options and strengthen an airport’s “best” business case. For Melbourne Airport, we analysed runway capacity, delays and other indicators from simulations in AirTOp software and provided input for stakeholder information packages.

Gold Coast carbon mapping
Gold Coast Airport needed assistance in obtaining their ACI Carbon Level 1 accreditation, and to lay groundwork for Level 2 and beyond. Our analysis profiled the different emission sources for each building on the airport and calculated them according to national guidelines.


The Gold Coast project was my first opportunity as main support on a major project. The tight deadlines, high expectations and my limited knowledge made it a challenge. Luckily, I could travel to Gold Coast to work closely with the client. Seeing that project completed was a satisfying experience!

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Life as an aviation consultant continues to be intense and challenging, and occasionally like being thrown into the middle of the ocean. Fortunately, I know my seniors are there with the support to keep me afloat and help me develop the strengths every consultant needs to do the job.

The experience has taught me that, although technical aviation knowledge is important, it is working under pressure, learning to communicate with clients and increasing your own capabilities that are necessary to become a successful consultant.

It’s not a walk in the park for me yet, but every day is a new day and that is something I look forward to when I come into the office!

About To70. To70 is one of the world’s leading aviation consultancies, founded in the Netherlands with offices in Europe, Australia, Asia, and Latin America. To70 believes that society’s growing demand for transport and mobility can be met in a safe, efficient, environmentally friendly and economically viable manner. For more information, please refer to

One thought on “Becoming an aviation consultant

  1. Interesting post, Takeshi. Enjoyed reading it.

    May I ask you a favor? I’m a professional writer/editor who is hoping to start writing about airports — particularly in Asia.

    I was wondering if you knew of any airports, airport industry associations, or construction companies that build airports that might need a good English-language wordsmith.

    To give you a better idea of my abilities, take a look at some of my interviews that have been posted on the blog of the International Airport Review (


    Phil Fine
    Jerusalem, Israel

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