Allowing private players to set up training facilities for air traffic control officers will help in addressing manpower shortage in air traffic management activities, says a report.
Air Navigation Services (ANS) comes under state-owned Airports Authority of India (AAI) and for quite sometime there has been a shortage of air traffic controllers.
A report prepared by industry body Assocham and consultancy KPMG has said the number of Air Traffic Control Officers (ATCOs) grew to 2,600 last year but there is a shortage of around 1,500 such people.
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Noting that staff crunch is a cause for concern, the report suggested enhancing capacity at existing ATCO training facilities and also permit private entities to carry out training activities.
The Civil Aviation Ministry may consider the option of allowing private players to set up ATCO training facilities, subject to adequate supervision by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), it said.
“This may be started in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode first and thereafter be made fully open to private sector in the long run,” the report said, adding partnership with international ATC training institutes should also be explored.
Currently, there are ATC training facilities at the Civil Aviation Training College, Allahabad and at the Hyderabad airport.
A study done, sometime back, by the US-based Washington Consultancy Group for AAI had estimated that requirement of ATCOs would be 3,599 up to the year 2020.
As part of efforts to meet the growing manpower requirements, AAI plans to create additional posts of ATCOs.
“In order to meet the current and future requirements i.e. to cope with the growing requirement of air space and air traffic management, the AAI board has approved creation of additional posts of ATCOs in various grades,” Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma had told Rajya Sabha in March.