A group of air traffic control students from Saudi Arabia are rating in their home country, some just four months after completing ab-initio training at the globally recognised Airways Training Centre in New Zealand.
It’s a milestone both the students and Airways are celebrating. The students, from Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) completed their Airways training in July last year and began on-the-job training in September.
The average time for a trainee air traffic controller at GACA to complete their on-the-job training and gain an aerodrome rating is a minimum of three months, maximum of six months.
“This is an excellent achievement for the students, and strong evidence that Airways is providing world-class ATC training and high calibre, high performing graduates,” says Sharon Cooke, Head of Training at Airways.
As this group completes their on-the-job training, another group of 32 Saudi Arabian students has started ab-initio training with Airways as part of a multi-year contract secured with GACA. The second group will graduate in November 2013.
The contract included the use of Airways ATC recruitment and selection tool Sure Select to identify, screen and assess candidates for ATC training, and extensive access to Airway’s Total Control simulator suite. GACA believes that Sure Select was one of the reasons for the very high success rates achieved by the first group of students.
The GACA students are training in Airways purpose-built training facility on the Massey University campus in Palmerston North, which has now been extended to cater for double the number of students. The facility now boasts three aerodrome air traffic control simulators and six radar simulators. Airways operates a second such facility in Christchurch and also conducts regular training internationally.
“Our Palmerston North training centre has been custom built for our overseas students, and now with a much larger capacity, we’re in a strong position to support growing demand for ATC training using Airways competency framework. Interest from the Gulf States and Asia is particularly high at the moment,” says Ms Cooke.
“We’re providing total immersion training for these students. They get to train in our state-of-the-art simulators, in an environment as close to the real thing as possible, and we customise their training to incorporate their home environment and culture wherever we can,” she adds.
Students completing Airways’ ab-initio ATC training can receive a Diploma in Air Traffic Services issued by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority on achievement of their Air Traffic License and initial rating, and can also receive credit towards the Aviation Management degree majoring in Air Traffic Management at Massey University, regarded as one of the most respected aviation degree programmes in the world.
“Our customers have confidence that their students are receiving the best ATC training in the world – with our recent ICAO TRAINAIR PLUS certification we know we’re providing Air Traffic Services training at the very highest levels on a global scale,” Ms Cooke concludes.