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ATNS launches virtual training

Posted 21 September 2020 · Add Comment

Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) SOC is piloting virtual training through its award-winning and globally acclaimed Aviation Training Academy.

"ATNS will introduce its virtual and online aviation training roadmap to its continental stakeholders and clients," said ATNS acting CEO, Dumisani Sangweni. Image: Air Traffic and Navigation Services 

The onset of COVID-19 has changed the traditional way of doing things and the “new normal” is henceforth taking shape. Offering virtual training as an innovation-inspired service, especially within the aviation environment, is no exception.


ATNS Aviation Training Academy (ATA) offers aviation training to several countries in the African continent. This has been the case since the academy’s certification as a training institution in 1996. It is common knowledge that COVID-19 brought an abrupt end to international travel. Subsequent lockdown restrictions resulted in the suspension of training activities at the ATA. This not only affected international students but local students as well.


The overall negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic imposed on ATNS management to assess, analyse and review existing aviation training contracts between the entity and several continental Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs).  As a result, virtual training was initiated. In 2018, ATNS and Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) signed a training contract for the delivery of an Air Navigation Service (ANS) Bursar training programmes. As part of the agreement and due to challenges posed by the pandemic, ATNS and NCAA agreed to continue with the remainder of the programme by means of this ground-breaking training platform.


Consequently, both entities established virtual training platforms through the installation of audio and video capable equipment to allow for the smooth delivery of the training curriculum. Training is conducted through a stable online training platform, all users can login via dedicated user accounts and have access to pertinent course packages applicable to the courses. This training is seamlessly achieved with students centralised in Windhoek, Namibia and ATNS Training Instructors stationed at the ATA in Johannesburg, South Africa.


The first course presented on a virtual platform was the Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel (ATSEP) Basic training which started in early August, scheduled to end in early October 2020. The other, the Air Traffic Services (ATS) course, commenced in September and is expected to be completed by mid-November 2020. Twenty-five (25) students are registered for both courses.


Practical training, including simulator and related-equipment exercises, will take place at the ATNS ATA after successful completion of the afore-mentioned training courses.


“Based on the NCAA training trial - where we are hoping for overarching success - ATNS will introduce its virtual and online aviation training roadmap to its continental stakeholders and clients. This will save costs and in the long term, contribute towards the realization of African Union’s Agenda 2063 aims and objectives, that of safer African skies through proper and adequate training, among others” said ATNS acting CEO, Dumisani Sangweni.

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