Building global training capacities by enhancing regional cooperation


The ICAO Global Aviation Training Programme is the point of contact for both Member States and the aviation community at large. They are responsible for planning, managing and coordinating all ICAO aviation training activities, and for providing skills development guidance to States and industry. The GAT programme is also responsible for establishing worldwide training and qualifications standards and frameworks.

ICAO’s TRAINAIR PLUS Programme (TPP) is managed by the GAT Programme. It is a cooperative global training network that includes 92 training organizations from close to 70 ICAO Member States.

Last week, the Fourth ICAO Global Aviation Training and TRAINAIR PLUS Symposium took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The event, which was hosted by Ethiopian Airlines from 11-13 April, was the first GAT Symposium to take place on the African continent. The annual event brings Member States and training organizations together to explore new collaboration and partnership opportunities. It also serves to increase awareness  about important short- and long-term aviation training capacity priorities.



During her opening address, ICAO Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu, spoke to these concerns. She pointed to the positive and robust growth trends in the global air transport network and the imminent doubling of its flight and passenger volumes.


“Over the next twenty years, this projected growth will require many new skilled personnel such as pilots, maintenance engineers and air traffic controllers,” she stressed. “These pressing needs for aviation personnel, especially in light of competition for their skills from other high-tech sectors, makes clear for us that we must address our persisting training capacity gaps sooner than later, ultimately ensuring a sustainable skilled workforce for the future of civil aviation.”



Mr. Meshesha Belayneh, the Deputy Director of the Technical Cooperation Bureau and Acting Chief of the GAT Office, addressed the challenges faced by States. “In some regions of the world, training capacity is lower than the expected demand for skilled and technical personnel, given the various projections of traffic growth. States will have no other choice than to train regionally or globally. This becomes a real issue for States with requirements for training for certain categories of personnel varying from one State to another”.



Belayneh addressed the challenges training organizations face:

  • Social, political and cultural environments that hinder training development and delivery;
  • The lack of human, financial and material resources;
  • Redundancy of similar training in the region;
  • Available training that is not communicated or coordinated;
  • The lack of flexibility and adaptability with independent processes and methodologies; and
  • Non-recognition of certificates

“We believe it is fundamental that training organizations, within the same geographical region, join forces to establish a regional training association,” he said. By sharing resources, expertise and costs, training organization in a region can work together to identify and implement training solutions.

“Training organizations that take part in a regional training association would benefit from networking and new business opportunities by transferring knowledge”. Belayneh further noted that collaboration would increase training capacities since more instructors, experts and courses would become available.

The Secretary General took time to recognize training organizations from 14 States which have attained various TRAINAIR PLUS Programme milestones. These training centres were based in  China, Egypt, Ethiopia,  India,  Japan,  the Republic of Korea, Mongolia,  New Zealand, Paraguay,  Russia,  Saudi Arabia,  Singapore, Tunisia and  Venezuela.


The ICAO TRAINAIR PLUS Programme  is open to all training organizations and operators, provided they are recognized or approved by their respective governments. The network consists of the following four categories of membership:

  • Associate Members: training organizations that successfully pass an on-site assessment;
  • Full  Members: TRAINAIR PLUS Members that develop Standardized Training Packages (STPs);
  • Regional Training Centres of Excellence (RTCEs): regional TRAINAIR PLUS-leading Full Members that can develop ICAO courses using ICAO provisions (Annexes and guidance material); and
  • Corporate  Members: aviation  institutions  and  industry  organizations that participate  in the  various  TRAINAIR PLUS Programme activities and have access to Members of the network.

To find out more information about the GAT programme and other ICAO training initiatives, contact the GAT office here.