First group of students begin Airways ATC training in Puerto Rico

- Madrid, Spain.

An air traffic control (ATC) training programme helping Airways New Zealand students to gain work with one of Europe's premier air traffic services providers has been launched today at World ATM Congress in Madrid.

Airways, the Inter American University of Puerto Rico (UIPR) and FerroNATS have collaborated to offer the programme, and the first group of trainees has now started their initial training at Airways' ATC training hub in Puerto Rico.

Students who successfully complete their ATC training at UIPR in Puerto Rico and pass the FerroNATS selection process will enter the FerroNATS job pool.  FerroNATS will provide instructors, examiners and consultancy services for the programme, meaning a more seamless transition between their ATC study and on-the-job-training for the Airways students.

"Offering these students the opportunity to gain an ATC qualification at one of the world's leading aviation establishments, and the chance to enter FerroNATS' job pool, has had real appeal," says Sharon Cook, Airways Head of Training.

"Through this shared training model, we're moving away from our traditional business-to-business approach to a more direct appeal to next generation ATC students," she says.

The six trainees who have started the programme this month will undertake 24 weeks of training – comprising 12 weeks of basic training certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency, and 12 weeks of aerodrome control visual and instrument training. On successful completion of the programme, the trainees will join the job pool at FerroNATS in Spain.

"It's a big satisfaction for FerroNATS to participate in this training programme," says FerroNATS Managing Director Gonzalo Cañete. "The newcomers are already taking advantage from the three companies' knowhow, and this means that we are closer to finding better qualified ATCOs, ready to perform the future air traffic control."

Based in Spain, FerroNATS is jointly owned by Ferrovial, a global leader in the provision of transport infrastructure, and NATS, the internationally recognised provider of air navigation services in the United Kingdom. 

The Inter American University of Puerto Rico is one of the largest private universities in the western hemisphere, with a dedicated School of Aeronautics, and has partnered with Airways to provide air traffic control training services at its newly established ATC training campus.

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