Indian air traffic controllers to train in US

New Delhi: Indian air traffic controllers (ATCs) will now get an opportunity to train in the US, under the India-US Aviation Cooperation Programme (ACP) that will be overseen by the US-India Joint Aviation Steering Committee. The committee held its first meeting in the Capital on Friday.

India is one of 15 countries worldwide where the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a permanent representation.

"The training is the first project of the ACP. It will begin in January and run through 2008, focusing on air traffic operations at the two busiest Indian airports of Delhi and Mumbai," James Filippatos, assistant administrator for international aviation, FAA, told reporters here Friday.

"The project will be completed in four phases, permitting Indian and American air traffic control officials to work together," added Filippatos.

The ACP is a public-private partnership between the US Trade and Development Agency, the FAA, US aviation companies and the Indian government.

"We see an opportunity to enhance our partnership with India because the growth is (occurring) here," said Filippatos of the two initiatives, which grew out of a suggestion made by civil aviation minister Praful Patel at the first US-India Aviation Summit here in April.