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New initiative to address the growing demand for training

by Jean-François Lepage

IFATCA Liaison Officer at the ICAO ANC

In response to growing demand in terms of training offered by the Federation and to better organize how training is provided to our Member Associations, the IFATCA Training Task Force (TTF) was formally established at the last Annual Conference in Jamaica, in May 2023. Since then, the TTF had two virtual meetings, in June and July 2023. The task force, as it stands now, has been joined by 26 members from 17 IFATCA Member Associations.

Following a request to the four Regional Vice-Presidents of IFATCA to identify the topics for which training needs are most urgent, a large number of subjects were identified, approximately a hundred. They were then classified in five areas of expertise (the “Champion Groups”), for which the task force nominated one of the members to be in charge (the “Rapporteurs”). These areas of expertise are:

  • CG Safety Management (Rapporteur: Alfred Vlasek – Austria)
  • CG Aerodromes (Rapporteur: Ben Kings – Netherlands)
  • CG ATM (Rapporteur: Francois Barwise – South Africa)
  • CG Professional matters (Rapporteurs: Jaco van der Westhuizen – South Africa, Mehdi Debbari – Algeria)
  • CG Leadership and organizational matters (future work)

The task force will first consolidate the in-person courses IFATCA is already running before adding new courses. However, among the first steps the task force will take during this year is the creation of an online platform for e-learning. This platform will be called “the IFATCA Academy”. To this end, an IT Department (Rapporteur: Renz Bulseco – Philippines) was setup. As necessary, this IT Department will liaise with the Communications Team of IFATCA.

Needless to say, the task force has been very busy so far setting up everything needed to progress the work, and there is still a lot to do. Among the next steps, each Champion Group Rapporteurs will meet with their respective Champion Group and determine how the work will be progressed. On the IT side, Ben Kings has already tested and provided ideas for potential platforms to host our future online training portal, the IFATCA Academy. The IFATCA EVP Professional, Peter van Rooyen (South Africa), together with TTF Chair, Jean-François Lepage (Canada) will follow up the work of the CGs and make sure progress is made in order to be on track with deadlines.

In December 2023, another full meeting of the TTF is planned, where draft versions of the first batch of deliverables will be presented to the group, and trials of the chosen platform will take place. Later in February 2024, the first batch of deliverables is expected to be ready and will be uploaded on the platform, for a scheduled roll out at Conference 2024. In the long term, the plan is to hand over the chairmanship to one of the members of the task force, to continue adding online courses to the e-learning platform and expand our offer of in-person courses.

Stay tuned for more!