Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) company of South Africa’s Aviation Training Academy (ATA) has been given the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 2011 worldwide top regional training partner (RTP) award.

The prestigious award presented today to ATNS CEO, Mr Patrick Dlamini, by IATA’s regional vice president for Africa, Mr Michael Higgins recognises the impressive results and outstanding contribution by the training academy to develop the human capital of the air transport industry. To qualify for the award a training organisation needs to have conducted more than 20 courses and trained more than 400 students in 2011.

"South Africa is a regional leader in aviation safety and your role in developing the human capital of our industry in Africa by upgrading the skills of aviation professionals will only strengthen African aviation as a whole. IATA strongly recognises and supports your efforts," said Mr Higgins. The partnership with ATNS has been so successful that it will be expanded in 2012. "We are glad to announce that going forward we will in the very near future offer a number of courses through distance learning. ATNS ATA will become the first aviation training Institution in the Southern African region to offer this kind of training," said Higgins.

"ATNS ATA is honoured to have received this award from IATA, which demonstrates our commitment to IATA’s training programmes. ATNS puts people and safety first – by rigorously training and upgrading safety knowledge and skills, and is committed to upholding aviation safety standards, legislation and practices," said Mr Dlamini.

The Academy utilises computer-based training (CBT), radar simulator, engineering laboratories as well as 3-D aerodrome simulators to the highest industry and safety standards.

Since April 2000, the ATA has proudly trained more than 9,000 international (majority in Africa) and local delegates. A wide variety of training programmes are offered to prepare graduates for a successful professional career in air traffic services and engineering support.