ATC students from the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in Saudi Arabia have been training with Airways since 2010. Around 170 GACA students have completed Airways’ two-year training programme.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) is the national institution of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in charge of aviation and related matters. It is the operator of four international and 23 domestic airports within the country. In the past nine years, six groups of GACA students have come to Airways in New Zealand for air traffic control (ATC) training.
With air traffic growing at an unprecedented rate in Saudi Arabia, air navigation training providers are coming under increasing pressure to train enough air traffic controllers to meet demand. Additional challenges include limited access to simulation technologies, suitably qualified instructors and the requirement for trainees to achieve English language competency to ICAO Level 4, before gaining final certification.
Our team of instructors supported us throughout, and it was great to see how quickly we improved and our confidence increased.Faisal Fallatah
GACA ATC trainee
Looking back it’s unbelievable that I achieved so much in only two years. I was deeply moved when Airways presented me the certificate.Mohammed Al Shehri
GACA ATC trainee
Students from GACA were chosen to complete a two-year training programme. The students spend one year in either Auckland or Nelson studying Aviation English, and one year at the Airways training academy in Palmerston North for ATC training.
The initial phase of their training focuses on enhancing the students’ aviation English skills prior to progressing onto their ATC training. The students continue to their ATC Induction, Aerodrome Control, Approach Procedural and Surveillance Control courses, all achieving ICAO Level 4 (or higher) in Aviation English.
Airways’ ATC training programme comprises both theoretical and applied training using Airways TotalControl simulator suite.
The benefits of the training agreement between GACA and Airways are evident. Not only did the students grow their knowledge in the field of air traffic control, but they made incredible progress in their English language and were at the same time able to experience living in a different culture.
The supportive learning environment at Airways was extremely beneficial to students, due to the low instructor to student ratio, the 4D TotalControl aerodrome simulator and the opportunity to experience a live operational environment at both regional and international airports to gain a better understanding of taught theories.
Training success rate
Students enrolled since 2010
Students passed Aviation English