Civil Aviation marks International Day of Air Traffic Controller

By Ghadeer Ghloum

KUWAIT: International Day of the Air Traffic Controller is an annual occasion that commemorates the profession of air traffic control and its role in protecting and ensuring the safety of aircraft, whether in the air or on the ground at airports. For this reason, efforts have been made to hold an annual gathering of air traffic controllers in Kuwait. The first gathering took place on Oct 17, 2023 with the attendance of a distinguished group of Kuwait’s pioneering air traffic controllers, who previously conducted air traffic control using primitive tools, far from the latest technology, bridging the past with the present to build a promising future.

During the gathering, Mishal Salem Al-Qana’i, Chief of Operations at the Air Traffic Control Tower and Ground in Kuwait, told Kuwait Times: “Today we celebrate the International Day of the Air Traffic Controller, which falls on October 20 every year. The reason behind this is that in 1922, the first control tower in the world was established at Croydon Airport in Britain. Since 1961, airports have been celebrating International Day of the Air Traffic Controller every year, and in Kuwait, this is the first time we celebrate this event.



We have gathered all generations of air traffic controllers at this event.” Director General of Civil Aviation Emad Al-Jalawi told Kuwait Times: “It is no secret that this profession is of great importance and has a great impact on air navigation safety. Therefore, we are here today to honor air traffic controllers in recognition of their work and to highlight the value of their work and their role in ensuring safety, which is not to be underestimated. Today, we bring together both veteran air traffic controllers alongside new recruits as a tribute to their past contributions.”

He added those interested in this profession must hold a university degree and undergo a one-year training course to qualify for a license. Deputy Director General for Air Navigation Affairs Duaij Al-Otaibi said: “We are honored today to host a large number of colleagues in civil aviation in Kuwait, who were the core foundation in launching work as air traffic controllers. Under the wise leadership in Kuwait, the necessary directions were given to enhance the aviation sector in Kuwait, resulting in significant developments in various aspects, in addition to what is yet to come in the future.”

Attendees sing the Kuwait National Anthem.

Otaibi further elaborated on the significance of air traffic controllers’ mission. “Some may not realize the importance of air traffic controllers and the importance of their mission. The air traffic controller is like a pilot, but on the ground, responsible for monitoring flight routes and working with data and information related to the safety of those onboard the aircraft,” he said. Director of Air Navigation Management Adel Boursli concluded by clarifying that when talking about air traffic control, not only civilians are meant, but also military personnel. He then said today, Kuwait’s air traffic controllers witness many issues that they used to only hear about, but that have now become a reality.

The post Civil Aviation marks International Day of Air Traffic Controller appeared first on Kuwait Times.

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