PLANS are afoot to make sure that air traffic controllers in the country are updated with relevant and modern skills in their daily activities as international flights have started resurging after being hit by coronavirus travel restrictions.
Some of the plans he underlined include using simulators to get updated training skills of resuming their duties competitively.
Speaking during the commemoration of the World Air Traffic Controllers day in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, the president of Tanzania Air Traffic Controllers Association (TATCA) Mr Shukuru Nziku, said that air traffic controllers’ work was highly affected by the outbreak of the pandemic making few aircrafts to visit the country.
“Travel restrictions made few aircraft landings in the country thus making air traffic controllers remain redundant for some time. But with an increasing number of flights now there is a need for equipping their skills,” Delving further, Mr Nziku said that Dar es Salaam for example saw the region and its airspace serving about 230 aircrafts on daily basis before covid-19 travel restrictions, and thereafter, the figure dropped to around 150, a move which slows down ability and capacity of decision making among the controllers.
Other challenges for the air traffic controllers highlighted by Mr Nziku included fast-changing technology embracing the whole air traffic controlling industry which requires frequent training amid budget constraints and assuring air travellers that they were in safe hands.
“All part of the country’s airspace is monitored and seen through modern tools like surveillance radars. Our staff is working 24 hours daily to make sure that air navigation process is done carefully and professionally,” he added.
According to him, there are around 130 trained Air traffic controllers in the country, with the female number remaining as low as 23.
Air traffic controllers role includes aerodrome control services, approach Control services and area control services.
Tanzania’s air control extends its services to overseeing Rwanda and Burundi Airspace according to Mr Nziku This year’s air traffic controller’s day was led by the theme: ‘Air traffic controllers committed to your safety.