New Zealand training for Saudi Arabian air traffic control graduates

Some 25 students from Saudi Arabia have graduated from an air traffic control (ATC) training programme provided by Airways International Ltd, following two years of study in New Zealand.

Their graduation on Nov 29 marked the completion of a scholarship provided by the Ministry of Education and the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in Saudi Arabia, for the training of air traffic controllers for Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS). Members of the SANS executive team and some of the student's family members travelled to attend the graduation.

Airways has been training Saudi Arabian students at its ATC training facility in Palmerston North since 2010. This is the sixth group to train in New Zealand, bringing the total number of students to 170 since 2010. Another group of Saudi Arabian students will complete their training in New Zealand in April 2020.

"We’d like to congratulate these graduates on the successful completion of their ATC training," said Airways International CEO Sharon Cooke.

The students spent the first 12 months studying English at Kaplan International College and Auckland University of Technology. They then completed a 12-month air traffic control training programme with Airways in Palmerston North. The students stay with local families where possible and are immersed in the culture and lifestyle of New Zealand.