If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but then how would you train engineers to maintain equipment?

The answer lies deep in the green fields of Hampshire, where a unique site plays host to an array of ground based navigation systems that provide a hands-on training experience to all NATS engineers, as well as delegates from across the globe that seek our expertise.

Safety has always been the first priority in the aviation industry. This means that engineers strive to implement and maintain systems and equipment with 100% safety but to do so they need a training environment within which they can learn and make mistakes without operational consequence.

This is the only facility in the UK that allows engineers to have access to full size working equipment to break and then practice repairs, using live data but without any impact on airports or planes in the sky. This extraordinary set up provides an opportunity to fulfil training needs in a way like no other.

A dedicated NATS training team manage this special resource, instructing on specific equipment and building bespoke training courses where necessary to include the operation of;

— Instrument Landing System and Far Field Monitor

— Digitally Resolved Direction Finding

— Instrumented Runway Visual Ranging

— Distance Measuring Equipment

— Doppler VHF Omni-Range all with associated antenna systems.

Delegates are placed in the safe hands of instructors who are experienced engineers themselves, using their knowledge and passion for their role to become certified trainers under the Training Accreditation Programme (TAP©) and formally deliver skills competence to a new generation of engineers.

Throughout the year trainee engineers will complete a range of courses at this site as part of a comprehensive engineering technician scheme, as well as experienced engineers returning to complete refresher training, and including overseas delegates. It’s  important for all engineers to maintain their skills in order to deliver a successful operation for any business and the complete portfolio of Air Traffic Safety Electronic Personnel (ATSEP) training courses underpin the NATS-wide Engineering Technician scheme which forms part of the professional development programme of The Institute of Engineering Technology  (IET).

We play an active role in the development of the Training & Competency framework being undertaken by ICAO. All our ATSEP training courses conform to the EUROCONTROL’s Common Core Content Initial Training Specification and will comply with the regulatory framework being proposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA). It’s important that our industry continues to train engineers in a dynamic way that allows the most to be achieved with new systems and equipment so we can improve safety levels worldwide.


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