By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall's playing host to a collection of Middle Eastern students who hope to be air traffic controllers one day.
Cornwall's Nav Centre is training 30 Saudi Arabian students to qualify for positions as controllers at air traffic control (ATC) facilities in their home country, over the next two academic years.
"It’s a great opportunity for other countries that train in our facility, to see what we have," said Nav Canada vice-president, customer and commercial services Andy Campbell. "They receive some of the best training available."
The students will be training to qualify for positions as controllers at air traffic control (ATC) facilities in their home country, over the next two academic years.
“We very much appreciate the opportunity to work with the Saudi Arabia civil aviation authority on this exciting educational opportunity, and we are determined to give this enthusiastic group of students an exceptional learning experience,” said Campbell.
The students started their classes in August. Lessons are currently focused on strengthening their English language skills, to teach students ICAO-standard proficiency in Aviation English, and in ATC phraseology.
Next on the lesson plan, is a wide-ranging study of VFR and IFR air traffic control. The training will accurately replicate Saudi Arabian airspace, and will be conducted on Nav Centre’s advanced simulators.
“We are pleased to be working with our Saudi Arabian counterparts. They value our ability to custom-build courses, which sets us apart from a lot of ATC training schools," said Nav Canada director, international training Duane Clefstad, in a statement. "While we tailor our courses to meet the requirements of Saudi Arabia or any other jurisdiction, we do so in ways that meet ICAO standards. And our courses can start at any time during the year, on a timetable that suits the customer.”
Classes will involve everything from air traffic management, non-radar and radar approach control, aerodrome control, to a comprehensive study of Air Navigation System (ANS) communications, navigation and surveillance. The students will also receive two, five-day familiarization tours of Nav Canada facilities, showcasing the ins and outs of their day-to-day operations.