The Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) Company of South Africa has been awarded the 2012 International Air Transport Association (IATA) Worldwide Top Regional Training Partner Award.

The handing over ceremony took place today at the IATA Head Office in Montreal, Canada. This prestigious award was presented to the Acting ATNS CEO, Mr Thabani Mthiyane by Mr Mark Hubble, IATA Senior Vice-President. Several IATA and ATNS Executives – who are currently attending the 2012 International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Air Navigation Conference, were present.

The South African High Commission (Canada) was represented by its Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Anesh Maistry. This is the second year in succession that ATNS is receiving this award.

The selection and subsequent awarding of the award – recognises the impressive results and outstanding contribution by the Training Academy to developing the human capital of the air transport industry. To qualify for the award a training organization needs to have conducted more than 30 IATA Accredited courses and trained more than 500 students in a year.

“We appreciate and thank ATNS for their commitment to this result-oriented partnership,” said Mr Hubble. “Continue in the same way – to train young human capital in South Africa and the rest of the continent. It is an undisputable fact that IATA has a very excellent working relationship with ATNS in many areas of Air Traffic Management,” he concluded.

One of ATNS’s key strategic initiatives is to bring South Africa’s small but highly capable aerospace industry in line with the requirements of the global supply chain – by creating skilled and sustainable jobs. Human resources development is central to this, especially relating to transformation – to address historical racial imbalances while creating a pipeline of qualified and competent talent. Similarly, attracting and crucially, retaining highly skilled workers are key elements to its success.

In accepting the award, Mr. Mthiyane said: “It is indeed a great honour for us as ATNS because our quest and effort to ensuring that Africa prescribes to the best practices in the provision of aviation training, is being recognised – especially the critical aspect of safety in training – as well as making sure that there is continuous training to all airspace users, including but not limited to aviation engineers and Air Traffic Controllers across the continent.”

Since April 2000, the ATNS ATA has proudly trained more than 9,000 international 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.

ATNS’s vision is to be a major contributing partner towards ensuring aviation safety in Africa, through its well-structured training programmes. ATNS’s ATA is committed to world best practices and undertakes to give each client and/or delegate, the skills and knowledge to successfully take on the challenges faced by providers of Air Traffic Management and Technical services worldwide.

IATA seeks to improve understanding of the industry among decision makers and increase awareness of the benefits that aviation brings to national and global economies. It fights for the interests of airlines across the globe, challenging unreasonable rules and charges, holding regulators and governments to account, and striving for sensible regulation.

Training continues to be one of the most important aspects of this company’s work. In October 2011, ATNS unveiled its new 3D simulator, which was developed in partnership with Airways New Zealand. With this new device ATNS is able to recreate any airport terrain in the world and simulate virtually any flight conditions or operational difficulties, to prepare candidates for the real thing.

South Africa is a regional leader in aviation safety and ATNS’s role in developing the human capital of the aviation industry in Africa by upgrading the skills of aviation professionals will strengthen African aviation as a whole. The “seemingly deferred dream” of Africa having a single seamless airspace is now becoming a reality.

There are currently 15 Regional Training Facilities globally.