ABOVE: Assistant controller Kira Steele and her instructor, CAA Examiner Rod Boath 

Two of London Biggin Hill airport’s Air Traffic Control Assistants have recently completed the AOPA Flying Companion’s Course, boosting their situational awareness of the local area and building on their understanding of the pilots’ experience.

AOPA explains that the syllabus is designed to ‘enable those who fly regularly with a Private Pilot License holder to be more involved in the flights and, therefore, more confident when flying as passengers’. It consists of a minimum of eight hours of dual flying with a qualified Flight Instructor.

The course was delivered by the MP Flying Club, based at Shipping and Airlines at Biggin Hill, and was specially adapted for colleagues at the airfield to ‘provide an insight into flight operations, air to ground communications and general aviation flight training’.

“The AOPA Flying Companion Course has enhanced my understanding of pilot perspectives, procedures and workload during the different phases of flight,” said Kira Steele, Air Traffic Control Assistant at Biggin Hill. “This puts me one step ahead of the curve as I progress onto my Air Traffic Control Officer training, as I work towards qualifying as an Air Traffic Controller.”