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1st September 2021
Safety begins from professional training

News
1st September 2021
Safety begins from professional training
Today is the 20th anniversary of the UkSATSE Training and Certification Centre, which provides professional training for air traffic controllers, air traffic management personnel, communication, navigation and surveillance personnel, English language training of aviation personnel in compliance with ICAO and EUROCONTROL requirements, as well as training of aviation security personnel. Interview with Igor OPRYSHKO, Head of the Training and Certification Centre, on how training of UkSATSE and other aviation enterprises, including foreign ones, is conducted under modern conditions about highly professional staff of the Centre and the nearest plans to improve training quality. Straight talk.

"UkSATSE is certified as a professional training organisation for air traffic controllers - one of three such organisations in Ukraine. In other words, we train air traffic controllers for specific jobs at different air traffic service facilities - district or aerodrome control centres and aerodrome control towers. Initial training for air traffic controllers is also provided at the National Aviation University and the Flight Academy of the National Aviation University (Kropivnitsky city) but ...

Only UkSATSE is certified to provide not only basic but also rating training for ATC controllers, also training of instructors for practical training, experts and training for rating recovery. All these and many other types of training in different areas are organised and conducted by our Training and Certification Centre (TCC), which has been operating for 20 years and is a structural unit of UkSATSE.

Safety starts from professional training. Air traffic controllers who practice various complex tasks on simulators to automaticity during training will be prepared for non-standard and emergency situations in reality and be able to make quick decisions and prevent undesirable developments - in time. Although most non-standard situations may never happen in real life.

Only our enterprise, i.e. our centre, provides professional training for air traffic management personnel. Therefore, other aviation organisations that employ this category of aviation personnel order this service from us. These include Antonov state-owned enterprise, Motor Sich JSC and others.

A total of several dozen businesses and companies, public and private, Ukrainian and foreign, such as those from Bulgaria and Kazakhstan, are on the list of clients, with a recent request from an air navigation services provider in Iran. For a more detailed list of our customers, visit the TCC website tcc.uksatse.aero.

We are planning to get EASA certification as a training organisation for air traffic controllers in order to prove our compliance with European standards and expand our international client base among Eastern European countries. Cooperation with our Bulgarian colleagues, whom we trained as ATC controllers, pushed us towards this decision. And we have enough experience - UkSATSE is among the leading European providers in terms of maturity of safety management system.

We are able to assist a wide range of customers in Ukraine in the context of communication, navigation and surveillance training, even though the new aviation regulations prescribe requirements for the competence and training of this category of personnel. And many aviation companies will have to meet these requirements. We are ready to provide such bespoke training and also to help as partners in setting up training processes so that other providers can start it themselves. We have the necessary experience and, most importantly, the enterprise has professionals, experts in communications, navigation and surveillance, whom we can involve in training activities. The training of personnel from other aviation companies is carried out on a commercial basis, so this generates additional income for our enterprise.

We also train communication, navigation and surveillance instructors who, on the job sites, train specialists and give them clearance to work independently in the operation of air navigation equipment.

We train technical staff whose work is related to the operation of information telecommunication systems. UkSATSE uses CISCO equipment from one of the world's leading manufacturers for its backbone networks, in particular those involved in air traffic control. At one time, in order to train IT personnel, we purchased a classroom with equipment from this particular manufacturer.

The Training and Certification Centre has gained credibility as a training unit, which gives a high level of language training. Each of the regional branches has their own instructors at the training centres to help maintain their English level, but employees of the enterprise seek periodic training at our centre, as on-the-job training has undeniable advantages and is highly effective.

Going forward, we want to become a recognised organisation for assessing the English language proficiency of air traffic controllers - according to the ICAO scale. There are several recognised organisations in Ukraine that provide the evaluation service on a fee basis, and the enterprise constantly reimburses its employees for the cost of testing from third parties. With the establishment of ICAO assessment in our centre, UkSATSE will become one of the alternative providers of this service, and testing for our employees will be free of charge. Since the trainers at the ТСС will be part of the evaluation commission, the training for the formal assessment that the enterprise employees now undergo at our premises will be transferred to the regional units, to the trainers at the training and certification centres. We will develop and transfer a unified training programme to them, and reassigning these trainers to the training and certification centre will allow us to monitor the training process, adjust it and be assured of quality. We will still have training in other programmes, so all trainers will be involved in the training process, and practice is important.

It is important that many of the centre's teachers and instructors are practitioners. For example, we have five air traffic controllers-instructors from the Kyivcenteraero unit, who have been seconded to the ТСС to conduct rating training - either as part of initial training or to obtain an additional rating for operational air traffic controllers. And the training of personnel in the supervision and management of safety in the air traffic management system and the investigation of safety events is conducted by UkSATSE safety and quality inspection experts certified for this type of activity. It cannot be otherwise, because practitioners should teach this area - they are authorised to take part in investigations, they are involved by the state in working groups and commissions, in particular inter-state ones. This is the benefit of training at UkSATSE for foreign customers, among whom there are regular customers, such as Kazaeronavigatsia, the air navigation services provider of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

We train more than 3,000 trainees each year. The past 2020 was a very difficult one in the context of conducting training through quarantine, but it gave the impetus to develop the e-learning component and to understand how to strengthen this area.

We have tested our ability to provide distance training for communication, navigation and surveillance personnel this year and last year, while the whole language training component is quite strong and has been used for many years. However, it must be recognised that for other types where a full component is possible, the existing base will no longer be sufficient. We don't just provide teaching materials, we use interactivity in teaching and we take the evaluation process very seriously. It cannot be formal, even online. And the proper level of each stage of distance learning requires a strong technical base. Also, the crisis period gave reason to think that the steep decrease in the workload of air traffic controllers and the lack of language practice are reasons to strengthen professional training during this period to maintain the competencies of the core personnel on whom safety in the sky depends.

We are gradually restoring a mobile air traffic control tower at the territory of TCC, which has been decommissioned but can be used in the training process as a real air navigation facility. Specialists from Kyivcenteraero RB and other units have been involved in this project.

There are plans to purchase didactic complexes for aviation safety training and CNS personnel. In particular, software and hardware tools that simulate real equipment cannot physically be accommodated within the classroom. This will enhance the quality of primary training. And during the qualification phase, we use, where possible, real equipment - the same equipment that was purchased and installed at the CNS facilities, such as AMHS messaging system equipment, ССПРУ (air traffic surveillance data collection, storage, analysis and distribution systems) and modern airborne telecommunication equipment, etc. I used to work in CNS facilities myself, and I know what it is like not to be able to practise with exactly the kind of equipment that needs to be repaired if necessary. And for the aviation security, you need a software package with which staff work on the metal detection arche. We need mock-ups of explosive devices and various dangerous items to show how prohibited substances and items can be packaged, concealed. To practice what should be suspicious, so that workers have a trained eye.

Most of our plans for the future can be realised if the aviation industry recovers, in particular an increase in flight activity and provider revenues for the air navigation services rendered.

The staff of the Training and Certification Centre are our greatest asset. I vouch for each and every employee, they are high level specialists and train staff with high quality. They are people with extensive practical experience, some of whom have worked at workplaces for which they are now training worthy replacements. We all hope for better times and a return to opportunities to develop our training facilities, to upgrade the qualifications of teachers and trainers in internationally recognised institutions, to acquire new certificates and to attract more customers for our services.

I wish each TCC staff member, above all, good health, harmony in their families, and creative inspiration, because this is very important in our work. Thank you to your colleagues for your professionalism, for your work and endurance in difficult circumstances. I believe that the industry will recover and we will be able to implement all the plans for the development of the training facilities, and I hope that the TCC will become one of the European training centres for aviation personnel".
Source:  UkSATSE

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