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.
The primary activities of MAVA are associated with Air Traffic Controllers training, which shall observe international standards and up-to-date techniques. Controllers’ training includes a range of courses from ab-initio training for new recruits to other advanced courses required to provide Air Traffic Services within Malaysia. ATC courses scheduling is coordinated with the ATM Sector on need basis.
Other aviation related management courses will be conducted towards building MAVA as a centre of excellence for training. MAVA also takes part in Malaysian Technical Cooperation Program (MTCP) and provides training for international participants under ICAO’s umbrella.
The following training programs are conducted at MAVA:
- Primary ATC
- Aerodrome Control Course
- Approach Procedure Control Course
- Approach Radar Control Course
- Approach Radar Control Course (Conversion)
- Area Procedure Control Course
- Area Radar Control Course
- Air Traffic Flow Management Course
- Search and rescue Mission Coordinator (SAR MC)
- Aeronautical Fixed Service
- HF / Aeronautical Mobile Service
- Automatic Message Switching System
- Basic Instructional Techniques
- RVSM / RNAV Routes training
- ATC Automation
- Aviation Technical English
- Obstacle Clearance Limitation
Malaysian Technical Cooperation Program (MTCP)
Implemented since 1980, the MTCP was formulated based on the belief that the development of a country depends on the quality of its human resources. The programme consolidates the various forms of technical cooperation that had been extended by Malaysia to other developing countries since the 1960s and organizes technical cooperation activities on a systematic and sustained basis. Hence, the MTCP emphasizes the development of human resources through the provision of training in various areas which are essential for a country’s development such as public administration, agriculture development, development planning, poverty alleviation, investment promotion, central banking and English language.
Through these cooperative efforts, Malaysia’s bilateral ties with MTCP member countries was strengthened, with many supporting Malaysia’s philosophy of promoting smart partnerships, regional cooperation such as that of ASEAN-East Asia and a united South-South position. The MTCP is implemented through several cooperation programmes such as training in both short and long-term courses; study visits and practical attachment; advisory services through the dispatch of experts; and project-type assistance which includes the provision of equipment and assistance in-kind, on a highly selective and case-by-case basis.
The CAC was the designated institution for conducting specialized training in its area of expertise – Civil Aviation in general, but more specifically in the field of Air Traffic Management. The first international course was conducted in 1984 by the AFRS School. The first international course was conducted by the School of ATC in 1989 for Aeronautical fixed telecommunication network (AFTN) operators. In 1989, the first ATC course, An Approach Control (Non Radar) course was conducted.
Since 1989, the CAC has trained more than 300 controllers from 44 countries in a range of ATC courses. As of 2008, MAvA continues this program as the designated training institution.