The establishment of Entry Point North Ireland in January saw Entry Point North join forces with the Irish Aviation Authority, under the direction of newly appointed Managing Director Austin Hallahan. The IAA become a 25% shareholder in Entry Point North while their training centre became a 100% Entry Point North owned training subsidiary delivering all air traffic control training for the Irish Aviation Authority. Entry Point North Ireland is staffed by experienced ATC personnel seconded from IAA and supported by personnel from headquarters in Sweden.

Since its establishment, more than 1300 students have participated on courses at Entry Point North Ireland. The busy opening year has seen the delivery of up to 70 training programmes including two Basic ATC courses and four initial courses in both Area Control Surveillance (ACS) and Approach Control Surveillance (APS). To add to the challenge of its opening year, Entry Point North Ireland has also embarked on delivering Unit Training, a first time for Entry Point North.

In September the first Air Traffic Controller students trained under Entry Point North Ireland graduated from the ACS (Area Control Surveillance) Programme. Having received their Student Air Traffic Controller Licences, the 14 students are undertaking the Shannon En-Route and Dublin Unit Training.  As well as Basic, Initial and Development Training, Entry Point North Ireland also offers Unit Training where students engage in Transition Training, Pre-OJT (On-the-Job) training and OJT training and subsequently graduate fully equipped to commence work in live traffic situations as Air Traffic Controllers.

Also in November four students graduated from the APS Student Controller Programme. The students have now progressed to the Shannon En Route and Cork Training Unit.  This training, which is already underway, will continue into 2015.

2015 is looking to be another busy year for the academy in Ireland – more than 1200 students are planned to participate on courses in 2015. It will deliver initial training for new ATCOs as well as a wide range of refresher and development training including COOPANS system upgrade for all the IAA’s air traffic controllers.

Written by: Sandra Honan, Entry Point North Ireland

Photo: Entry Point North Board meeting in Shannon, October 2014