South Africa’s Air Traffic and Navigation Services launches virtual training

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

The onset of COVID-19 has changed the traditional way of doing things and the “new normal” is henceforth taking shape and 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 and 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 and the subsequent lockdown restrictions resulted in the suspension of training activities at the ATA and 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 where 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.

However, practical training, including simulator and related-equipment exercises, will take place at the ATNS ATA after successful completion of the 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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