The following simulators are used at the Academy for training activities:

  • 1 radar simulator (24 work stations in 12 suites);
  • 5 3D 270° tower simulators;
  • 1 CRJ flight simulator;
  • 1 laboratory for rapid prototyping and scenario validation;
  • 1 meteorology operations room simulator for observatories;
  • 4 part-task trainer work stations.

In order to keep the quality standards of the service at the highest level, ENAV cannot but view investment in training as a priority. As the only company in Italy authorised to select, train and update the various professional profiles operating in civilian air traffic management (air traffic controllers, FIS personnel, meteorologists and flight inspection pilots), over the years ENAV has been able to put operational training more and more at the centre of its strategic choices, reaching the highest levels among the international service providers for quantity and quality of service provided.

The Academy is a national and international centre of excellence for training in air traffic management. Its mission is to design and implement learning solutions for the development of technical and managerial skills for air traffic management. It is located in Forlì in the heart of an aeronautical community that includes the University of Bologna (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Degree Programmes), the Aviation High School “Francesco Baracca”, and other flight schools and training institutes for aviation maintenance technicians. The Academy offers its participants an environment dedicated to learning, with classrooms that seat up to 30 students, simulators and support services.

Internal training of technical and operational personnel

The geometrical figure of reference for an air traffic controller is a parallelepiped. It is inside that space that every airplane in flight must move without ever trespassing another aircraft’s space: 1,000 feet on the vertical plane (about 330 metres) and 5 miles on the horizontal plane (about 9 km). It is inside that space that air traffic controllers, seated in front of a monitor full of glowing symbols, demonstrate their ability and their capacity to make sure that the pilots, with whom they are in radio contact, comply with their instructions.

Being an air traffic controller is not a job like any other: it requires taking on great responsibility, the ability to manage stress and a strong teamwork ethic. It is a job that springs from a great passion and for which only the best are chosen.

For these reasons, special focus is placed on developing skills through classroom and on-the-job training, factors that play a decisive role in achieving the objectives and in performing the delicate role that the company is called to play.

Therefore, the preparation of air traffic controllers guaranteed by the ENAV Academy is essential. The Academy’s mission it to oversee the training needed for Company and Group staff, as well as those of external customers, to enable them to provide air navigation services. The Academy adapts its training courses to the educational standards of sector, national and international regulations, especially those relating to the Single European Sky. Because of this, the Academy must design its certificate and non-certificate training programmes to meet certain general requirements, in order to make it of the highest level of quality.

Each training programme must therefore always provide information on the structure and duration of the training, the methods of delivery, the characteristics and needs of the target population, the teaching objectives and the applicable reference legislation.

In line with the previous year, 2018 confirmed the trend of a shift in the Academy’s programmes from basic training to continuing training. The emphasis of training thus shifts from stability in the delivery of long programmes with a stable design over time (typical of initial training) to the fragmentation of continuing training, characterised by short durations, low numbers of participants and the ever-present necessity to design and redesign it to ensure that it fully meets present needs. This change in the way training is provided is the result of an increasingly closer collaboration between the Operational & Technical Training department and the Group’s other operations departments.

During the year, the training provided by the ENAV Academy covered various environments, managed by the following structures:

  • En Route Training: guarantees the process of designing and delivering training for operational personnel involved in providing route and approach services;
  • Airport Training: guarantees the process of designing and delivering training for operational personnel involved in providing airport services;
  • ATSEP Training: guarantees the process of designing and delivering training for ATSEP involved in the functioning, maintenance and installation of communications, navigation, surveillance and air traffic control systems; 
  • Local Training Design and Harmonisation: guarantees the process of designing continuing training, providing specialist input to the competent operational structures to harmonise local training; 
  • Human Factor Training: oversees the processes of designing and delivering human factor training and ensures that human factor principles are integrated in operational technical and training processes to improve performance and awareness of safety among line staff; 
  • Instructional Design and Training the Trainers: supervises the instructional design process, providing the Corporate Academy and line operational structures with the methodological support for designing training courses and on-the-job training. 

In the course of the year, the ENAV Academy organised the OJTI Refresher programme, in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/340. The programme held over two days and intended for on-site operations instructors, incorporated activities focusing on the human factor. In addition, in 2018 the Academy launched training programmes on Abnormal and Emergency Situations (ABES) in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/340.

In 2018, there were two Basic APP/ADI/ADIRAD beginner training courses and two ACS courses, characterised by long duration and high number of hours/pupil, were offered. This feature led to a significant increase in hours of beginner training provided during the year compared with 2017 (+ 34%), although the number of people involved decreased (-36% compared with 2017).

There are young people who occasionally are called on to help out with the basic and continuing advanced training courses, serving as “pseudo pilots”, that is they pretend to be pilots in simulations. They are mainly students who ENAV hires under fixed-term contracts, the duration of which varies case by case. In 2018 there were 126 pseudo pilots (equal to about 50 full-time equivalent positions) while in 2017 there were 102 (equal to about 48 fulltime equivalent positions).

Techno Sky also provides technical operational training through specific course for air traffic safety engineering personnel (ATSEP) involved in the functioning, maintenance and installation of communications, navigation, surveillance and air traffic control systems. More specifically, in 2018 Techno Sky carried out the following training activities:

  • ATSEP Qualification Training, to understand the various domains in the CNS/ATM environment; 
  • ATSEP Type Rating Training, to develop the skills needed to operate the CNS/ATM systems used by ENAV for air traffic control; 
  • ATSEP Continuation Training, Conversion Training, Refresher Training and Emergency Training, to maintain the professional skills of ATSEP; 
  • ATSEP Developmental Training, for the career development of ATSEP. 

In addition, during the year Techno Sky conducted a technical training course for technical and engineering staff in order to develop the skills of those working in Operations and Technology areas.

Definition of targets
ENAV therefore defines specific targets to achieve in developing its training, such as:
  • to clearly define the general goals and specific objectives that the training aims to achieve ;
  • to break down the objectives of skills development in terms of knowledge, ability and behaviour ;
  • to define the process conditions and the teaching methods necessary to conduct the training and the system of verification of the objectives.

Third-party training

The training provided by the Academy is for professional positions closely related to air traffic control and for people working in various areas of the aeronautical sector, who require special training courses in flight navigation (e.g. airlines, airport management companies, air traffic management services, aeronautical industries and government bodies in the air transport sector).

Thanks to its ability to develop scenarios and operational specifications that are adaptable according to the objectives of the courses, even building airport scenarios and personalised service areas, the ENAV Academy can also tailor training courses to the customer’s specific logistical and organisational needs.

During the year the Academy developed special training programmes for ANSPs to train their operational staff, for aeronautical technical institutes (including “Fabio Besta” in Ragusa), to familiarise them with ATCs and specialists in the design of air spaces. The training programmes are designed to respond to a wide range of needs, such as:

  • ADI TWR APS ACS training: training aimed at the acquisition/ reinstatement of certification in the Tower and Radar environment; 
  • FISO & MET AFIS course: training aimed at obtaining the FISO (Flight Information Service Officer) licence and MET AFIS specialisation (enabling the provision of meteorological services for air navigation); 
  • Apron Management: training on Apron Management for personnel of the management companies; 
  • Meteorology: training on meteorological observation and/or forecasting techniques; 
  • ATM Seminars (ITAER students): familiarisation on ATM and meteorological topics for students of technical institutes studying Transport and Logistics (formerly ITAER). 

In 2018 the training of the FIS operators, with two FISO courses and activities carried out for the customer Croatia Control, for which ENAV conducted an ADI RAD course of 10 air traffic controllers, were particularly noteworthy.

Activities also continued in favour of customers who use the Academy’s simulation environments as a way of developing managerial skills: within the tower, radar and flight simulators provide interactive experiences to improve the ability to communicate, to manage stress, and to work in groups.

Training programmes

In developing training programmes for third parties, the Academy has the same objectives of excellence that characterise internal training for Group staff, with the addition of the great care taken in handling the relationship with the customer. For each training activity there are defined:

  • the general goals and specific objectives that the training aims to achieve;
  • the objectives of skills development in terms of knowledge, ability and behaviour;
  • the process conditions and the teaching methods necessary to conduct the training and the system of verification of the objectives.

The role of the Academy for the Aerospace Technological Centre and for the territory

The ENAV Academy collaborates with local institutions, particularly with those engaged in the training system: the Aviation High School “Francesco Baracca”, the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Bologna and ISAERS (a consortium company which promotes and develops training and research activities in aeronautics and aerospace within the Aerospace Technological Centre of Forlì).

The Academy’s presence in Forlì has had a significant impact on local development over the years, such as:

  • improvement in education levels owing to the presence of new training opportunities; 
  • cooperation with local businesses and support for innovation processes; 
  • contribution to the development of the Aerospace Technological Centre, which has had a positive effect in making the area more attractive; 
  • greater visibility of the territory in the media.

In addition, during the 2018/2019 academic year, Academy staff taught courses on air traffic control at the University of Bologna. Lastly, it should be noted that ENAV Academy’s effect on the Forlì area does not end with its relationship to education. In the context of relations with institutional stakeholders, the Academy cooperates with businesses such as Unindustria and the Fondazione Cassa dei Risparmi of Forlì.