The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has continued its efforts to bolster worldwide aviation training capacity during the Fourth ICAO Global Aviation Training and TRAINAIR PLUS Symposium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The event, hosted by Ethiopian Airlines and continuing from 11-13 April, is the first ICAO Global Aviation Training Symposium to take place on the African continent. It presents a unique opportunity for ICAO Member States and training organizations to come together and explore new collaboration and partnership opportunities, and to increase their awareness on key near- and long-term aviation training capacity priorities.
In her opening address, ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu spoke to these concerns, pointing to the positive and robust growth trends in the global air transport network and the imminent doubling of its flight and passenger volumes.
"Over the next twenty years, this projected growth will require many new skilled personnel such as pilots, maintenance engineers and air traffic controllers," she stressed. "These pressing needs for aviation personnel, especially in light of competition for their skills from other high-tech sectors, make clear for us that we must addres our persisting training capacity gaps sooner rather than later, ultimately ensuring a sustainable skilled workforce for the future of civil aviation."
Stressing the value of training cooperation, the Secretary General also emphasized the need for training organizations to "engage in collaborative projects", applauding Africa's initiative in establishing the Association of African Aviation Training Organizations (AATO). The AATO is currently addressing important issues such as the standardization of course curricula, the harmonization of instructor training, and the recognition of certificates. Dr. Liu encouraged other regions to follow this example.