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GCAA to intensify training of Air Traffic Controllers

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GCAA to intensify training of Air Traffic Controllers

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Feb 06, 2009

http://www.kaieteurnews.com/2009/02/05/ ... ster-benn/

GCAA to intensify training of Air Traffic Controllers - Minister Benn
February 5, 2009 | By knews

Over the next two years, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport will be working towards ensuring that an adequate number of Air Traffic Control Operators are trained in order to address the problem of employees’ separation at the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Robeson Benn, when he hosted a press conference last Tuesday.

According to the Minister, the GCAA has been plagued over the years with the problem of trained persons leaving for various reasons, thus depleting the level of expertise available at the Air Traffic Control Tower.
He additionally highlighted that the level of training has not kept apace with the rate at which employees are lost.

Minister Benn pointed out that the operation of the Air Traffic Control Tower is facilitated by persons who are specially trained with respect to local conditions, including weather and terrain.

“We simply cannot bring in people to run an Air Traffic Control Tower in our air space…even if I am a top notch Air Traffic Control Operator somewhere else, I cannot come and run Air Traffic Control here without being specifically trained.”

It is for this reason, the Minister said, that the employees who are trained by the GCAA become Air Traffic Controllers after an entire year or even 18 months of training in this regard, following their completion of secondary education.

“They are paid to become specialised operators and are then fostered to develop in what is a highly professional activity where they are expected to rely on their integrity, ethics and confidence,” the Minister noted.

However, he pointed out that employees will not be prohibited from pursuing comparable careers further afield, thus the need for sustaining the local industry through intensified training.

Air Traffic Controllers recently withdrew their services from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in retaliation to unfavourable discussions with regards to increased wages and salaries.

It was, however, disclosed by Permanent Secretary of the Public Works Ministry, Balraj Balram, that the payment of this class of workers range from $155,991 to $310,178, a salary level which Minister Benn thinks is more than adequate at the moment.

The Minister noted that while he cannot speak to the working conditions and salaries of regional Air Traffic Controllers, he has been privy to information of that in the United States, adding that workers will have to equate their working conditions with the US to establish if they are being underpaid.

Currently there is a training cohort of about eight persons underway and, according to the Minister, it was initially anticipated that their training would have been completed by the end of March.

However, with the recent engagement of strike action by the Air Traffic Control Operators the training will most likely be pushed back a few months, Minister Benn opined.

“The young persons in that cohort are involved now in supporting where they can and under direction they are supporting the activities of the senior personnel who are directing flight operations at the moment,” the Minister disclosed.

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