Better learning methods
Airways NZ has kept a low profile in this country for many years, but while it has long been regarded as a world leader in air traffic control, the agency is branching out and has a higher profile in many other countries.
Airways says it is now set to revolutionise the training of air traffic controllers globally with the launch of airBooks, a media rich platform, empowering learning for the “net generation” of aviation professionals.
Designed for tech-savvy students, the airBooks range of Airways interactive resources allows students to work and learn at their own pace, with content that caters to individual learning styles. Airways announced the launch of airBooks at the ATC Global trade and exhibition event in Dubai last month.
The airBooks range covers the entire ICAO syllabus across six downloadable titles: airMET, airNAV, airOPS, airLAW, airGAK and airHPF. All content is aligned to ICAO regulations and guidelines.
Sharon Cooke, Airways head of training, says airBooks have been specifically developed by a team of aviation professionals to meet the expectations of “net generation” learners with content that is “dynamic, responsive and interactive”
“With airBooks, we are empowering this new generation of students by shifting from the traditional paper and manual based learning to a mobile learning platform that supports learning anywhere, anytime and at any pace,” Ms Cooke says.
She says the airBooks are flexible and able to be personalised and customised. The course content can be viewed in multiple formats—text, images, videos, interactive animation or games—and can be instantly updated by smartphone, tablet or personal computer. Students can also share their learning with peers and colleagues and gain technical support as part of the overall training package.
“It’s perfect for students who have grown up in a digital world and expect to access information or course content wherever and whenever it suits them,” Ms Cooke says.
Airways hosted an e-learning lab at ATC Global to promote airBooks and obtain feedback on its range of interactive resources e-learning technologies, helping to provide information for understanding customers’ needs.
“We believe we’ve developed a new and unique ATC training resource that’s a first for the aviation industry, and we’re excited about the potential of airBooks to revolutionise the aviation industry’s traditional paper-based approach to training,” Ms Cooke says.
In a further move, Airways is making a mark in the air traffic control world of North America. Students who successfully complete air traffic control training at Airways NZ’s training hub in Puerto Rico and who pass the FerroNATS selection process will have the opportunity to enter the job pool of one of Europe’s premier air traffic services providers.
In a contract signed between FerroNATs and Airways, FerroNATS will also provide instructors, examiners and consultancy services for Airways’ ATC courses being delivered at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico.
This will allow a more seamless transition between university study and on-the-job-training for Airways students at the university. With this agreement, FerroNATS will provide its expertise to help deliver the air traffic control courses expected to begin by the end of this year.
Sharon Cooke says the agreement with FerroNATS signals a significant shift in the way the SOE and its partners market their ATC training packages.
“We are moving away from a business-to-business approach to a more direct appeal to the consumer, in this case next generation ATC students,” she says.
“Offering these students the opportunity to gain an air traffic control qualification at one of the world’s leading aviation establishments, and the chance to enter FerroNATS’ job pool, will have real appeal.”
Gonzalo Cañete, FerroNATS managing director, says, “It’s a big satisfaction for FerroNATS to have the chance to export our training and consultancy expertise, and to share our know-how with international leading organisations such as Airways and the Inter American University of Puerto Rico.
“In just two years we successfully assumed responsibility for the management of nine control towers in Spain, and we now have over 500,000 flights a year under our belt.
“We are pleased to partner with organisations of the calibre of Airways and the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, and to have the opportunity to work collaboratively to nurture and grow the next generation of air traffic controllers,” he says.
Based in Spain, FerroNATS is jointly owned by Grupo Ferrovial, prominent in the provision of transport infrastructure, and NATS, the internationally recognised provider of air navigation services in the United Kingdom.
The Inter American University of Puerto Rico is one of the largest private universities in the western hemisphere. With a dedicated School of Aeronautics it has partnered with Airways to provide air traffic control training services at its newly established ATC training campus.
- Report by Peter Owens, photograph supplied by Airways NZ.
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