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Kosovan Airport Staff Receive Training at Inverness 26 February 04

A group of eight airport staff from Kosovo are receiving two weeks of training at Inverness Airport as part of an international aerodrome operations programme.

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited is delivering a two-week training programme to the operational staff from Pristina Airport on behalf of the Civil Aviation Authority International.

Members if the Kosovan group have already carried out training in England and are now gaining an insight into all aspects of airport operations north of the border.

The two-week training programme, which has been devised by HIAL's operations department, includes classroom-based theory and practical aspects of airport operations.

Topics being covered during the course include fire fighting, security, health and safety, wildlife management, aircraft refuelling, statutory regulations, emergency planning, navigational aids and inspection regimes.

HIAL hopes to deliver more courses of this type to international delegates in the future as it already has an extensive in-house training programme for its own staff.

Paul Clarkson, HIAL's general manager operations said: "We are recognised as a centre of excellence for airport operations and are delighted to be sharing our knowledge and experience with the staff from Pristina Airport.  As a company we are committed to maintaining the highest operational standards and to be an innovating member of the airport industry.

"With the expansion of the European Union we believe there will be further opportunities to offer training to European delegates and we are very pleased to be assisting CAA International with this current programme."

Andy Rackham, HIAL's operations manager, is overseeing the training programme. He said: "This course allow us to share best practice with the members of staff from Pristina Airport and also gives us an insight into their operations and how they meet the considerable regulatory requirements governing airports.

"Airports are strictly regulated and complex to run and this is reflected in the wide ranging mix of theory and practice that is included in the training course.

"We already have an extensive suite of in-house training for our own staff and it is a logical progression to extend this to external delegates. We hope that the programme will be of value to the staff from Pristina Airport and that this will be a growth area for our business," said Mr Rackham.

The training programme at Inverness Airport will finish on Friday 5 March.