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July 7, 2017 6:14 am

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Civil Aviation Training School Certified

Guyana now has a fully certified aviation training school. The Civil Aviation Training School (CATS) received its accreditation at a simple ceremony held at the Air Traffic Control Tower, Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri, on July 6, 2017.

Formerly known as the Guyana Air Traffic Services Training School and more recently as the Air Navigation Services Training School, the CAATS was originally established in 1979 and certified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). It provided training for almost four decades. Certification is evidence based, and the school lost its certification over time. Notwithstanding the setback, the school continued to provided training to ICAO standards, producing persons who were able to secure jobs as Air Traffic Controllers in other jurisdictions, and have been commended for their skills, knowledge and aptitude.

In delivering the feature address, Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Honourable Annette Ferguson, noted that the certification of the school means that the institution will be able to offer courses approved and recognised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. The Honourable Minister also commended the staff of Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) for their hard work and dedication in getting the school recertified to ICAO standards by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority’s regulatory arm. Certification by a government is critical to being an Approved Training Organisation and is essential for the training of persons to acquire an air traffic control license. It is also critical to becoming an ICAO TrainAIR Plus Centre which is in its mandate.

Director General of GCAA, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Egbert Field, in his address noted that the recertification of the training institution came as a result of an audit done by ICAO in 2007 and

2017, which highlighted several deficiencies including the need for continuous training of Air Traffic Control Officers. In 2017, the GCAA, with the support of the government, embarked on a planned programme focused on training of its personnel and correcting the other deficiencies highlighted by the ICAO. The sum of $113 million was budgeted for capacity building initiatives for personnel of GCAA. Mr. Field noted that training is not only beneficial for the individual, but also the Authority and the country. He encouraged the staff of GCAA to take full advantage of the training opportunities being provided by the Authority so that they can meet the numerous challenges ahead and make the GCAA better equipped to discharge its function.

The Civil Aviation Training School will continue to provide training for Aeronautical Information Services Officers and Air Traffic Controllers at every level; Aerodrome, Approach and Area Control (non-radar). The school will also provide training in other areas such as Dangerous Goods, Safety Management Systems and other courses in aviation.

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