Pilots, baggage handlers and aviation managers went back to the classroom last week for an air industry training course.
Staff from across the Cayman Islands took part in the week long course aimed at bringing them up to speed on legislation affecting the industry.
The course was the first of its kind to be held in Grand Cayman and is part of a new drive from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands to offer professional development opportunities locally.
An instructor from the International Air Transport Association was flown in for the week-long course at the University College of the Cayman Islands.
Richard Smith, director general of civil aviation, said the association had worked out a deal with IATA to host the course in Cayman. He said it would ultimately prove cheaper than sending staff away for such courses and would also allow more local aviation workers to be involved.
“This is a breakthrough for us in terms of being able to offer this kind of course locally.
“We hope to be able to offer future professional development courses to our staff here and on a regional basis, through this partnership with IATA.”
He said the IATA courses were typically held at different locations around the world, from Singapore to Miami.
The Cayman Islands usually sends two or three managers to relevant courses when they are hosted in Miami. Mr. Smith said bringing the courses to Grand Cayman would mean ready access to high quality training for locals.
Last weeks course focused on legislation and regulations affecting the industry across different jurisdictions.
“Aviation has brought the whole globe together. It is very closely regulated and there are standards that are observed through all jurisdictions.
“Aviation Law is one of the courses that allows managers to get a greater understanding of the implications of these regulations, what we do and why we do it,” Mr. Smith added.
Allan Rossmore, the IATA instructor who led the course, said knowledge of the legal framework of the industry was vital for managers.
He said the kind of things covered included what the rights and liabilities of the airline were if there was an accident involving a passenger on board.
“It is a professional qualification and it helps keep them knowledgeable and competitive in the global aviation community. “This has been a great group. What you have in Cayman is highly qualified people that are real multi-taskers. They are involved in so many different areas of aviation.”
Taron Smith, a dangerous goods inspector with the CAA, said the course had given him a different perspective on the industry.
He said: “It really opened up a new aspect of aviation that I hadn’t explored before.”