Zambia: Air traffic control aims to move aircraft safely and efficiently through the airspace shared by military and civil aircraft.
Controllers keep aircraft at set distances apart while moving them from airport to airport using set routes. They also expedite and maintain an orderly flow of air traffic, providing advice and information useful for the safe and efficient conduct of flights, notifying appropriate organizations regarding aircraft in need of search and rescue aid, and assisting such organizations as may be required.
Major Natasha Mwato, a Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Air Traffic Control Officer (ATC), was in the United States of America and successfully completed the Air Traffic Control Apprentice Course at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi.
The Keesler Technical School is the highest military Aviation school that produces qualified Air Traffic Controllers. The course ran for over 06 months and was divided into two (02) phases.
The initial phase, which provided International Military Students who meet their English Comprehension Level (ECL) test with the technical language requirements necessary to succeed at the student’s follow-on training, was conducted at the Defence Language Institute English Language Center (DLIEC) at Lackland Air Force Base, in Texas.
The second phase was the Air Traffic Control Apprentice Course held at Keesler Technical School, Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, equipped students with the significant role played by Air Traffic Control in achieving military objectives in a technologically advancing world of supersonic aircraft and advancing radar systems.
Another key objective of the course was to ensure student’s comprehension of Excellence in all they do, Integrity on the job and Service before themselves to meet high professional performance standards in the aviation sphere.
Students also learnt operational efficiency and safety in air traffic management, which is always cardinal.
Major Natasha was awarded a Diploma in Air Traffic and American language proficiency at Lackland Air Force Base for phase one of the course and a certificate in Air Traffic Control Apprentice for phase two and successfully attained Federal Aviation and Administration (FAA) level 3 Rating.
With such competencies, the country’s flight safety record will undoubtedly improve as Air Traffic Control plays an important role in aviation.