Gerrard-Smith International Airport now boasts four fully qualified Air Traffic Control Officers with the qualifying of Brac Trainee Joshua Burke.
According to a press release from the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, 24-year-old Joshua joined the Civil Aviation Authority in October 2002 as an Aeronautical Information Services Officer. After undergoing specific meteorological and aeronautical training, Joshua applied for the post of Air Traffic Control Officer.
Once being accepted as a suitable candidate for this post, he embarked on a year-long training course in February 2004. The training began with formal coursework at the Trinidad & Tobago Civil Aviation Authority Training Centre where he successfully completed the ‘Procedural Aerodrome & Approach Air Traffic Control Course.’
Joshua returned home in August of 2004 to begin the final six months of on-the-job-training, which has historically been undertaken in the Air Traffic Control Tower at Owen Roberts International Airport.
‘Unfortunately, due to the damage sustained during Hurricane Ivan, this was not possible and alternate plans were devised to allow Joshua to return to his native Cayman Brac with a specially designed course to be overseen by Senior Air Traffic Controller, Miguel Martin,’ the release said.
This phase of the training is designed to give the trainee officer practical experience after having received technical and academic training. Basically, trainees at this stage perform their duties in the Air Traffic Control Tower while being supervised by a senior air traffic control officer/instructor, explains the release.
‘This gives the trainee officer the opportunity to operate in real-life situations while having the expertise and guidance of an experienced officer.’
Joshua completed the final phase of training 18 March, passing all the examination modules (practical, written and oral) to qualify as an Air Traffic Control Officer.
Senior Manager of Air Navigation Services for the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, Mr. Walter Ebanks, remarked, ‘I am extremely pleased to welcome Joshua to an elite team of local air traffic controllers who are entrusted to guard the safety of air transport throughout our islands.’
Chief Executive Officer of the CIAA, Mr. David Frederick commented, ‘Not only are Joshua’s accomplishments noteworthy as he has demonstrated excellent potential as an Air Traffic Control Officer, but the fact that this is the first officer to complete the latter portion of his on-the-job-training in Cayman Brac at the Gerrard-Smith Tower is also significant.’