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Air traffic controllers oriented in standardised language

By Julius Luwemba

Added 20th October 2018 11:42 AM

Air traffic controllers-Pilot communications are the pivot on which air transport survives

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Participants and staff of CAA posing following the workshop. Photo by Julius Luwemba

Air traffic controllers-Pilot communications are the pivot on which air transport survives

Over 25 air traffic controllers (ATCs) from Africa and the Middle East, have completed a one-week 'train the trainer' course aimed at bringing together professionals in area of air traffic control, to gain more insight and knowledge in helping each other to achieve the required levels of English language proficiency, which is a major requirement for licensing of controllers. 

The training which began on Monday at Central Inn Hotel in Entebbe Municipality, was attended by eight representatives from Uganda, five Kenyans, one from Rwanda, five Burundians, two Sudanese and a lady from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Others were two Algerians and two citizens of Yemen, all who were tasked to train colleagues upon return to their respective countries. 

While closing the one-week training on Friday, Fred Bamwesigye the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) deputy managing director, acknowledged the role of ATCs in ensuring safety and efficiency to flights, both in air and on ground.

"The advice and instructions you issue to pilots enable them to avoid collision and ensures expeditious and orderly flow of aircraft in the airspace," noted Bamwesigye. 

He justified the training in English proficiency as extremely appropriate in light of the fact that ATC-Pilot communications are the pivot on which air transport survives.

"Thus there should be clear communication without ambiguity," added Bamwesigye.

Arthur Muhumuza, the president of Uganda Air Traffic Controllers Association, explained that standardised English language is used by air controllers and pilots across the globe and therefore, it was prudent to organise training sessions aimed at harmonising a language that can be understood by both the pilots and ATCs. 

Bamwesigye pointed out a three-year on-going project that commenced in 2016, relating to air traffic control.

"This will specifically provide an improved Air Traffic Services message handling system and flight procedure efficiency among others," he said. 

The one-week training which cost $25,000, was sponsored by the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Association (IFATCA) with member associations.

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