Formal instruction of air traffic controllers only started circa 1950s to 1960s, in the form of ad-hoc temporary classes conducted by senior controllers. Previously, training was carried out on-the-job and appointment was based on competency. After 1960s a few controllers were sent abroad. In response to the growing need to train controllers locally, a Civil Aviation Training Centre was established at the Paya Lebar Airport in Singapore.
The cession of Singapore from Malaysia resulted in the reorganizing of the administration of civil aviation. Mr. A. Parker, a Colombo Plan expert from Australia with two other consultants; S. Hill (ATC) and Mathisen (Fire Services) assisted in the setting up of a training centre under the Australian Aid Programme. On 21st September 1969, the Civil Aviation Training Centre (CATC) was established with two branches, namely ‘the School of Air Traffic Services’ and ‘the School of Aerodrome Fire and Rescue Services’. The CATC was temporarily located adjacent to the main terminal building at Subang in buildings that were originally constructed as a quarantine station.
The first batch of ATC trainees passed out of the CATC on 25th April 1970. The first RADAR simulator was installed in 1974. By the late 70’s, the CATC was getting congested and plans were afoot to expand the terminal building, thus affecting the CATC, especially the AFRS training. The government approved a 2-phase development plan for the CATC. Phase 1 consisted of 4 wooden blocks, built on a hillock across the road from the terminal building at Subang. Phase two would involve the construction of permanent structures and the wooden blocks were then to be converted into hostels for trainees. The first phase of the plan was implemented and the new college was officially opened on 1st January 1981 and renamed ‘Civil Aviation College’ (CAC). The college was down-sized in October 1992, when airport operations were privatized. The AFRS School moved to Penang to join the Security Training Centre, and became a part of the airport operator, Malaysia Airports Berhad’s training centre.
In 1996, in preparation for the opening of the new KLIA airport at Sepang, and the concurrent reorganization of the Kuala Lumpur FIR airspace structure, a massive training schedule was required to train many new controllers as well as retrain all existing controllers. As the college was not in a position to handle such numbers, the training was contracted out to IAL-Serco and Airspace Management Services (a joint venture between a local company and Ambidji of Australia).
The second phase of a permanent training complex only materialised in 2009. The new buildings in Sepang is now in operations. The previous training needs concurrent to KLIA’s opening had resulted in the procurement of two new radar simulators of more than 25 Nodes, a number of Non Radar simulators and 3 units of 2-D Aerodrome Simulators and one unit 360 Degrees Aerodrome simulator. These equipments were housed at the branch campus of the CAC in Taman SEA, Petaling Jaya.
With the re-location to Sepang, more simulator and other training resources will be added. MAvA is well equipped with a comprehensive range of facilities to conduct all required courses inclusive of training world class Controllers to provide ATM services in Malaysia and internationally.
The MAVA provides aviation related training to meet national and international needs; for operational and management personnel.