First ATCO Fully Trained in Croatia

October 6, 2021

Following the successful establishment of a comprehensive national training system for tower, approach and en route air traffic controllers as well as the introduction of a new tower simulator, which is a product of Croatian know-how and necessary for practical training, these days, the first tower air traffic controller has been fully trained in Croatia.

By 2020, all air traffic controllers who monitor the Croatian sky had to finish a part of this demanding training in European training organizations. Only the last part of it was conducted in Croatia Control (CCL). Along with a significant cost, training organized this way has resulted in a lack of development of domestic training experts.

“I am proud that I have successfully passed the demanding tests of knowledge and practical skills and that I will be able to control the sky above Split. Learning on the simulator with exercises designed by fellow controllers from all over Croatia is a high standard of education conducted in Europe,” said Ante Olujić, a new air traffic controller who successfully completed the entire training in Croatia in just over 15 months.

The training of 9 additional candidates for tower air traffic controllers will soon begin at the new Split tower simulator, and given the high quality of education, CCL expects high pass rates as for the previous generation.

Besides tower air traffic controllers, after the establishment of the comprehensive national training system, CCL also trains en route air traffic controllers. The training of the first group of approach air traffic controllers for CCL’s needs is expected to begin in November. With the existing state-of-the-art simulator for training en route and approach controllers and the implementation of the tower simulator that was fully developed by CCL’s experts, the infrastructure requirements for the training of air traffic controllers are fully met.

“This is a historic moment because after a decade of training controllers across Europe, we have finally shown that in Croatia, we have the knowledge as well as the technology and capacity to train our own air traffic controllers. We attract significant interest from countries in the region for training their controllers in Croatia and we will soon show that we are able to not only train our own controllers but also provide and charge this valuable service to neighboring countries,” said Vlado Bagarić, Director General of CCL.

In addition to investing in the establishment of the comprehensive national training system for air traffic controllers, CCL invested a total of over HRK 117 million in 2020 and in the first half of this year in upgrading various systems and modernizing equipment. Responsible business operations have ensured stability and a high level of investment despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a significant decline in air traffic and, consequently, CCL’s revenue.