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In addition to its conventional air traffic control training, DFS, Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, will soon be offering fledgling air traffic controllers an alternative course of study to complete their training. Starting in 2019, prospective air traffic controllers can begin their studies in Air Traffic Management at the University of Applied Sciences Worms.
DFS has developed an alternative to its conventional training for prospective air traffic controllers in Germany. In the future, students will be able to combine a Bachelor's degree with air traffic controller training. Together with the University of Applied Sciences Worms, DFS has developed the English-language course of study in Air Traffic Management, which will start in March 2019.
The business-oriented course of study will incorporate elements from the university's existing dual course of study in Aviation Management. The second part of the Bachelor's programme in Air Traffic Management will comprise air traffic controller training at the DFS Academy in Langen.
"Offering a degree programme opens additional opportunities for our target audience," explained Dr Michael Hann, Managing Director Human Resources at DFS, while signing the cooperation agreement on Thursday in Langen. "It is meant to appeal to all those who would rather begin their career at a university. It is also a way of integrating qualified school leavers who have not yet reached the minimum age of 18 years required for controller training."
As part of the cooperation between DFS and the university, training contents that are already taught at the DFS Academy have been integrated into university courses. Initially, the students will attend three semesters of lectures related to business studies. This will be accompanied by internships and project work where they will gain additional insights into the processes and structures of DFS. From the fourth semester onwards, regular air traffic controller training will take place in Langen.
The course will be accompanied by seminars on practical air traffic control topics. During their on-the-job training at their future workplaces at various DFS units, the students will write their Bachelor theses.
"We are very proud to offer this programme in cooperation with DFS. It is unique in Germany," said the head of the degree programme, Prof Dr Richard Klophaus. The Dean of Worms' Department of Tourism and Transport, Prof Dr Hans Rück, added, "With the new major in Air Traffic Management, Worms is strengthening its position as the leading university in air traffic management in Germany."
By expanding its training, DFS aims to broaden the knowledge base of air traffic controllers in the long term and promote their understanding of the overall aviation system. In addition, DFS will continue to offer direct entry to air traffic controller training. The company currently trains around 120 prospective air traffic controllers each year for work at its 16 control towers and the four control centres in Germany.