Focus on training

Print edition : April 23, 2010

The Guwahati international airport. The training at the NIAMAR covers all disciplines of airport management.-RITU RAJ KONWAR

The Airports Authority of India (AAI), a public sector undertaking under the administrative control of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, has two premier institutes - the National Institute of Aviation Management and Research (NIAMAR), in New Delhi, and the Civil Aviation Training College (CATC), Allahabad, for training staff to manage its complex, nation-wide network of airports.

The NIAMAR, established in 1986, organises more than 70 training programmes on its campus and more than 1,500 personnel take them every year. The training covers all disciplines of airport management, that is, airport operations and airport engineering - construction, maintenance and project management, airport finance, human resource management, airport commercial and land management, aviation law, cargo management and dangerous goods regulations. The institute assists in organising training programmes at regional/airport training centres.

It is accredited by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to conduct courses on dangerous goods regulations. IATA has also approved NIAMAR as an IATA/FIATA (International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations) authorised training centre for the IATA/FIATA basic cargo introductory course. Besides, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) in India has approved it as a training centre for aviation safety and security.

The institute has set up a course development unit under the International Civil Aviation Organisation's TRAINAIR programme to develop standardised training packages (STPs) in aviation. It has already developed two STPs - on Bird Hazard Control Management and Airport Pavements Maintenance. Four more STPs - on Airport Passenger Terminal Management, Contracting for Airport Construction, Contracting for Procurement of Equipment and Contracting for Airport Services - are under preparation.

Over the years, the NIAMAR has received generous support from international agencies in the field of civil aviation, including the ICAO, IATA, the European Union & Aeroports de Paris, and the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States. With their assistance, the institute has organised a large number of training programmes, seminars, conferences and workshops for aviation executives from around the world. The institute has also signed partnership agreements with the Aeroports de Paris Training Centre in France and the Civil Aviation Training Centre in Thailand for promoting the exchange of technical know-how in conducting aviation-related training programmes and to promote the exchange of training staff.

The Air Traffic Control tower at the Bangalore International Airport in Devanahalli.-K. MURALIKUMAR

In 2009, the institute conducted 85 training programmes in which 2,174 executives from airports of the AAI, aviation agencies such as the Directorate- General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the BCAS, and national/ international airlines/institutes participated.

The NIAMAR is moving in the direction of gaining autonomy and the establishment of a "Joint Training Academy" of Civil Aviation, where the DGCA and the BCAS will also conduct their training programmes. Once the academy is established, NIAMAR will move to acquire the status of "deemed university" and organise accredited programmes in civil aviation.

CATC

The CATC, Allahabad, is dedicated to the training of air traffic controllers (ATCs) and personnel involved in communication/navigation/surveillance (CNS) activities, including operation and maintenance of equipment.

Allahabad takes pride in the fact that the first airmail service in the world was operated from the city, on February 18, 1911. A Frenchman, Henri Pequet, flew to Naini, 8 kilometres away, at 40 mph (64 kmph) at an altitude of 130 feet (40 metres) with the airmail.

The journey lasted 27 minutes. One of the recipients of the first airmail was King George V of England. His secretary wrote to Commander Sir Walter George Windham, who accompanied the cargo, big cases containing dismantled plane parts, "The King desires me to send you his thanks for the letter he received from India, bearing the inscription `First Aerial Post', which will be an interesting addition to His Majesty's stamp collection."

The CATC was established in 1948 to provide training facilities for pilots. It functioned under the Union Ministry of Communication until a Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism was created in the 1950s.

The ATC room at the Coimbatore airport. Air traffic controllers need to know the positions of various aircraft within their jurisdiction, and the CATC trains them in this.-S. SIVA SARAVANAN

The college was originally called the Civil Aviation Training Centre and imparted training in various technical aspects of aircraft operations - flying, aircraft maintenance, ATC, navigational and communication equipment, operational procedures, and so on. The Allahabad airport was under the CATC's control until 1965, when the Indian Air Force took it over to establish the Central Air Command. Thereafter, with the advent of flying schools promoted by the Central and State governments, training in flying and aircraft maintenance shifted to these flying schools at various airports and airfields. By the mid-1970s, the CATC's training activity was confined to ATC and CNS. In 1989, the establishment was renamed the Civil Aviation Training College.

ATC SCHOOL

The aim of the ATC service is to facilitate safe, orderly and efficient movement of aircraft. In the performance of his duties, the air traffic controller should have

A thorough knowledge of aircraft separation standards as specified by the ICAO;

Knowledge about the performance characteristics of various types of aircraft;

Comprehension of how rough weather conditions and obstructive terrain conditions affect flight safety;

Information regarding availability of CNS facilities en route and, more importantly, the skill to use these facilities;

Skill to analyse quickly potential risk situations for flights and organise precautionary rescue steps; and

Air traffic controllers maintain surveillance over the movements of aircraft to control their flow for safe and quick passage. Hence, they need to know the positions of various aircraft within their jurisdiction. In the procedural control technique, controllers obtain aircraft position reports from pilots through radio at specified intervals and plot manually on paper, using interpolation/extrapolation techniques. When radar is used, position updating can be done more frequently than in the procedural control system. This permits the application of closer separation standards, leading to a more efficient flow of traffic. Controllers are required to acquire the skill to use the radar equipment and the confidence to reduce the separation, with safety, for expediting flow of traffic.

CATC trains air traffic controllers in all the above aspects at its sprawling campus of about 100 acres at Bamrauli in Allahabad. It has drawn up the syllabus in accordance with the standards specified by the ICAO.

Until the mid-1990s, barracks of the Second World War era accommodated the classrooms, laboratories, offices, stores, hostels, a hospital and the guest house.

Modernisation of the training facilities at the CATC began in the late 1980s when a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) grant became available. This helped it procure the latest communication and navigation equipment, and foreign experts came on deputation for instructional work.

The UNDP, through the ICAO, helped establish at the CATC a training support unit, which created an inhouse publishing/production unit, undertook systematic preparation of training manuals, and procurement and maintenance of modern training tools and accessories.

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