Operating in an environment in which it can take as much as two years for Air Traffic cadets to be trained, Government’s Civil Aviation Department has embarked on a programme of succession planning.
This is according to Director of Civil Aviation, Anthony Archer, who stressed that “succession training is an absolute necessity in this field.”
“We have had requirements for staff increases for a long while, but we have been unable to meet these requirements due to the nature of this field,” Mr. Archer explained, noting that training could take between 18 months, to two years “depending on an individual’s capacity and how the system can accommodate them.”
Noting that it was pointless for the department to only seek to make provision for staff when the need arose, Mr. Archer said it had embarked on a strategic programme to ensure that its human resource compliment was maintained, by applying for posts in advance and initiating training in anticipation of staff shortfalls.
A total of 16 Barbadians and five cadets from the region are currently in the Abinitio (first) level at the Barbados Air Traffic Training Centre, with an additional five from last year in the process of completing a few remaining courses, bringing the total number of trainees to 26.
The Air Traffic cadets are expected to take several course modules on three levels. These include the Level one Aeronautical Information Services course which focuses on Aerodrome Emergency; Telecommunications; Meteorology; Aircraft Aerodynamics and Navigation, among other areas.
Level two courses include Aerodrome Control Training and Radio Navigation Facilities and Level three encompasses training in Instrument Flight Rules including both procedural and radar. The classroom training is followed by on-the-job training.
“They must pass all modules in order to complete the training and the pass mark is 70 percent,” Mr. Archer underlined.
Air Traffic Services Inspector, David Broomes, said the programme was part of a three-year initiative to address staffing constraints.