Micronav has developed a new air traffic control simulator (ATC) for East Midlands Airport (EMA) in the UK.

The new system is designed to inspire students from schools and colleges across the region to consider air traffic control as a career option.

The portable kit is designed to allow students to experience guiding and controlling an aircraft in and out of the airport under different conditions. Experts will be available to provide guidance.

Equipped with a voice-activated system, the simulator enables users to verbally communicate with virtual pilots and take action under the changing scenarios.

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EMA air traffic services manager Paul Kay said: “There is a perception that air traffic control is a vocation for the most academic students with a university education. I want to bust this myth.

“While it’s certainly a highly skilled profession, I want more young people from all backgrounds to realise that it’s a career open to anyone.

“Once trained, so many people stay in the profession until they retire and, with many controllers throughout the UK coming to the end of their careers, we need to start inspiring more young people to consider this work as a future career.”

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Through the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Advisor network, EMA has reached a partnership with Castle Donington College to support career programmes.

With the rapid growth in the aviation sector, UK air passenger traffic is expected to rise from 284 million in 2018 to 435 million by 2050.