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Angela Gittens, View from the top, issue 4, 2104

ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, explains the importance of training current and future generations of airport professionals.

Worldwide, over 470,000 professionals are employed in airport management and operations. They utilise a wide range of skills and strategies to ensure that their airports run safely and securely, practising sound environmental stewardship, assuring a smooth journey for the passengers, maintaining healthy finances and upholding the airport’s role as an economic generator for the community. 

For this reason, the principal goal of ACI’s Global Training function is to help students develop a relevant body of knowledge and skills for their current role in the organisation and to prepare them for their next role. 

Under the guidance of its Training Steering Group, World Committees and Regional Human Resources Committees, ACI continues to innovate and design flexible classroom and online education programmes to maximise benefits at all levels at the airport, from top executives to frontline staff. 

Since its launch 11 years ago, ACI Global Training has grown to offer an unrivalled suite of courses to meet a range of training needs for airports large and small. In fact, eight new courses have been launched and we have increased our language capabilities so that we can deliver more French and Spanish language classes. 

We have also delivered our first course in Arabic and another simultaneously translated into Mandarin.

As well, in keeping with our pledge to leave no airport behind, ACI’s Developing Nation Airport (DNA) Assistance programme has delivered nine courses in English and French in the last year, welcoming 302 participants from 60 different countries. 

One of our newer programmes is the very popular Airport Operations Diploma Programme (AODP), which is fully online with all three modules – Airside, Landside and Terminal, and Business Operations. The Airside module has already been translated into Spanish, with the other two modules to follow shortly.

Of course, our pride and joy is our first collaboration with ICAO, the Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme (AMPAP). Through the end of 2013, the AMPAP programme has seen 700 International Airport Professional Diploma graduates and 72 Associate Diploma graduates, with some 607 students now enrolled. 

The highlight of my year is the graduation ceremony that we hold directly after the World Annual General Assembly, where the CEOs can witness the achievement of their high-potential managers.

But ACI’s training programme isn’t just about educating the current generation of airport professionals; as aviation grows, airports need to effectively compete with other industries in attracting new skilled candidates. 

Our courses are a great way of ensuring that new or prospective hires understand that working at an airport offers a satisfying career path with plenty of opportunities for professional and personal development. 

In the end, we are an industry of people serving people, and across every initiative that ACI undertakes this fact remains top of mind. 

It is no exaggeration to say that without skilled employees to keep our customers safe and secure, aviation wouldn’t be the force that it is today for connecting people, places and businesses around the world. We are here to help develop those skills.

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Mark Draper

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