[Barbados] Air traffic controllers unsung heroes

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[Barbados] Air traffic controllers unsung heroes

Unread post by bimjim » Wed Oct 29, 2014

http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsite ... wsID=39610

[Barbados] Air traffic controllers unsung heroes

“There is presently a shortage of air traffic controllers due to attrition caused by retirements, the situation is being addressed as a matter of urgency” so says Dianne Skeete, Chief Air Traffic Officer, Civil Aviation Department.

However she indicated last week at the Rotary Club of Barbados Pride of Workmanship Awards Dinner last week at the Hilton, that “despite these challenges the air traffic controllers continue to play their part in ensuring the safety of the travelling public.”

Skeete stressed, “Barbados has a very good air safety traffic track record, and Barbados is expected to keep abreast of worldwide trends and new technology even with limited resources. Next year 2015, the equipment in the air traffic services will be replaced and upgraded to meet the future requirements for the region... Safety must ever be compromised and some delays are inevitable but the controller must endeavour to keep delays to a minimum, most delays cause more fuel to be burnt resulting increased cost to the airlines which is inevitably passed on to the consumer.

“Long before a visitor sets foot on these shores or comes in to contact with customs offices, taxi driver, hotel receptionist etc, air traffic controllers have coordinated and directed that aircraft and assisted in landing safely, this is done routinely without accident and is taken for granted .”

She believes, “The Air Traffic Controller profession is rarely highlighted accept when there is a serious incident or accident, this is unfortunate since the number of serious incidents or accidents in which controller error is found to be a major contributing factor pales in comparison to the service provided.

Air traffic controller is not for the faint hearted , it is a somewhat thankless profession but with great reward not in terms of money... but rather in the great satisfaction of knowing you have assisted in transporting millions of dollars of equipment and countless lives which are priceless to and from Barbados safely.

We are happy four air traffic controllers have been rewarded for their outstanding contribution and dedication to the profession but they are others that go beyond the call of duty to ensure that our aviation product remains safe and secure which impacts positively on Barbados Tourism industry .”

Skeete thanked the Rotary Club for recognising their efforts and by extension recognising the contribution of all air traffic controllers who can be certainly called the “unsung heroes” of the tourism industry.

“Air traffic controllers are a group of dedicated professionals...Potential Air Traffic Controllers must undergo a rigorous training attaining a pass mark of 70 percent in theory and practical assessment , the margin for error must be minimum after all we are dealing with people lives , it takes 2.5 years to become a fully trained controller.

Coordination, team work and the ability to remain composed even under extreme pressures are of paramount importance. Aviation is very dynamic and air traffic controllers must be at the top of the game” she added .

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