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11 women among 700 Saudi air traffic controllers: GACA
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 21 - 10 - 2019

RIYADH — The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) celebrated the International Day of the Air Traffic Controller, which falls on Oct. 20. Activities and events were held in various centers and air traffic control of GACA in all regions of the Kingdom.
The authority said in a statement that the percentage of Saudization in the air traffic controller profession in the Kingdom reached 100. The number of Saudi air traffic controllers in the Kingdom reached more than 700 and these included 11 women. They obtained their education and training from the Saudi Civil Aviation Academy, one of the specialized academies, which has received many international accreditations and honors.
The air traffic control in the Kingdoms' airports and airspace witnessed steady growth year after year, GACA said. In cooperation with the Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS) company, GACA seeks to develop the work system, raise operational efficiency and achieve qualitative leap in the services offered in the air navigation sector.
The civil aviation system in the Kingdom enjoys generous support from the government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman. The GACA is keen to achieve a safe environment in accordance with the strictest international safety standards, and build a modern system with improved services in the advanced air transport sector, the GACA statement said.
Air traffic control consists of three main functions (approach control, air traffic control tower, and area control). Approach control is responsible for air traffic management within 60 miles and at a height of approximately 15,000 feet around the airport for outbound and inbound flights. Air traffic control tower covers an area around the airport, take-offs, landings, and ground traffic. While, air traffic management at higher altitudes and handling high speeds falls under the responsibility of area control.
High concentration and quick speed of intuitive decision-making in a matter of minutes are of the most important skills of the air traffic controller. It highlights the importance of this profession in the extent and its impact on the safety, efficiency and regularity of air navigation. Moreover, the responsibilities and tasks assigned, do not bear any room for mistakes. The profession of air traffic controller was categorized as the most difficult profession worldwide, which makes it a very vital job.

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