ENAV Academy

In order to keep the quality standards of the service at the highest level, ENAV cannot disregard the investment in training as a priority. As the only company in Italy authorised to select, train and update the various professional profiles operating in civilian Air Traffic Management (air traffic controllers, FIS personnel, meteorologists and flight inspection pilots), over the years ENAV has been able to put operational training more and more at the centre of its strategic choices, reaching the highest levels among the international service providers for quantity and quality of service provided.

The Academy is a national and international centre of excellence for training in Air Traffic Management.. Its mission is to plan and implement learning solutions for the development of technical and managerial skills for Air Traffic Management. The headquarters is located in Forlì in the heart of an aeronautical community which involves the University of Bologna (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Degree Programmes), the Aviation High School "Francesco Baracca", a flight school and a school for aviation maintenance technicians.. The Academy offers its participants an environment reserved forlearning, with classrooms which seat between 6 and 30 people, a conference hall for up 200people , simulators and support services while, the following simulators are used at the Academy for training activities:


Radar Simulators (24 working positions in 12 suites)


Laboratory for rapid prototyping and scenario validation


Tower 3D 270° Simulators


CRJ Flight Simulator


Part Task Trainer working positions

Internal training of technical and operational personnel

The geometrical figure of reference of an air traffic controller is a parallelepiped. It is inside that space that every airplane in navigation must move without ever trespassing with respect to another aircraft: 1,000 feet on the vertical plane (about 330 metres) and 5 miles on the horizontal plane (about 9 km). It is inside that space that air traffic controllers, seated in front of a monitor full of bright dots, demonstrate their ability and their capacity to make sure that the pilots, with whom they are in radio contact, respect the indications.

Being a traffic controller is not a job like any other: it requires great responsibility, the ability to manage stress and a strong team-work ethic. It is a job that is born from a great passion and for which only the best are chosen. For these reasons, special attention is given to the development of skills through training. including on-the-job training, factors that play a decisive role in achieving objectives and in performing the delicate role that the company is called to play.

The Academy's Mission, in fact is to supervise the training inherent to the air navigation services for the staff of the Company and the Group, or for external customers, guaranteeing the constant compliance of the training and teaching standards with the sectoral, national and international regulations, with particular reference to the regulations on the subject of the Single European Sky. By virtue of this, the plan activities of the certified and non-certified training provided in the Academy must meet some general requirements, with the aim of pursuing the highest levels of quality; for each training activity the following targets are aimed at:

  • to clearly define the general goals and specific objectives that the training aims to achieve;
  • to break down the objectives of skills development in terms of knowledge, ability and behaviour;
  • to define the process conditions and the teaching modalities necessary for the realisation of the training and the system of verification of the objectives.

Each training project must therefore always provide information on the structure and duration of the training, the methods of delivery, the characteristics and needs of the target population, the teaching objectives and the applicable legislative references.

2017 confirmed the ongoing trend in Academy-run training, recording a marked shift from initial training to continuing training. This is a change that is intended to be confirmed, also due to the role of the Academy in training plans resulting from the introduction of Regulation 340/2015. The emphasis of training thus shifts from stability in the delivery of long programmes and with a stable design over time (typical of initial training) to the fragmentation of continuous training, characterised by short durations, low number of participants and the continual necessity to design and redesign to ensure a complete response to the needs. 

In the course of the year, the OJTI (OJTI Refresher) Update Programme was launched in accordance with Regulation 340/2015, thus providing for the inclusion of the Human Factor dimension within the two days of activity intended for all the operating instructors present in the installations.

The activities carried out are characterised by the constant commitment to provide high quality training, as well as aligning it with the national and international standards of reference. In 2017 the activity - - initiated in the two-year period 2015-2016 - of revisiting the training plans and the evaluation practices and adapting the management methods of the training to adopt the changes introduced by Regulation 340/2015 was completed.

The activities provided are linked to the following areas, supervised by specific Academy sectors:

  • Ab initio training: it plans and manages the activities of providing the basic training courses foreseen for the operational staff in the ANS field
  • Advanced training: it plans and manages the activities of delivery of advanced training courses anticipated for the operational staff in the ANS field
  • Continuous training: guarantees the professional updating of teachers, instructors and examiners. It provides support to the territorial structures for the alignment of training activities in the area of on the job training (UTP) for the programmes and courses provided by the Academy department. Coordinates the assessment of the competence of the English language in the aeronautical field
  • External projects: it oversees, in coordination with the Business Consulting department, the project activities of training services to third parties, contributing to the analysis of the needs and to the planning of the courses, ensuring their subsequent realisation.
  • Human factor: it oversees the integration and homogenisation of human factor principles related to non-technical skills in training processes (Training Plan and UTP).
  • Didactic methods and system: this is the sector that oversees the definition of methodologies, techniques and tools for the improvement of training activities, in line with the best practices in the field of training. It defines innovative techniques and learning solutions for classroom management and for the conducting of groups in training and education. It engineers and develops, in coordination with other relevant structures, materials and supports for training programmes and "on the job training".

The ab initio courses, related to the latest personnel research for air traffic controllers, were completed in 2014 and marked a turning point in the composition of the training needs of the ENAV operating staff: the training completed and the inclusion of human resources necessary to ensure the turn over, the prevailing requirement has become that relating to continuous updating and - to a marginal degree - to reconversion. The decrease in the number of hours, recorded in 2017, compared to 2016, is equal to 60,360 hours (-71%); this is attributable to the continuation of the trend that sees the decrease of ab initio programmes (characterised by long duration and high number of hours/pupil) and the higher incidence of continuous training (characterised by short duration and low number of hours/pupil).

Third-party training

The scenarios and the operational specifications are adaptable according to the objectives of the courses, reaching the possibility of building airport scenarios and personalised service areas. This also allows the provision of projects tailored to the customer, on the basis of specific logistical and organisational needs. The training provided by the Academy is aimed at professional figures closely related to Air Traffic Management and for people working in various areas of the aeronautical sector, requiring specific training courses in flight navigation (e.g. airline companies, airport management companies, air traffic management services, aeronautical industries and government bodies in the air transport sector).

The general objectives that characterise the management of the training of external subjects are analogous to those adopted for the training of the internal staff, with the addition of special attention to the issue of customer relationship management.

The training plan activity for third parties has the same objectives of excellence that characterise the internal training; for each training activity there are defined:

  • the general goals and specific objectives that the training aims to achieve;
  • the objectives of skills development in terms of knowledge, ability and behaviour;
  • the process conditions and the teaching modalities necessary for the realisation of the training and the system of verification of the objectives.

The training programmes are aimed at ANSP (e.g., Croatia, Libya) for the training of its operating staff, aeronautical technical institutes (Fabio Besta of Ragusa) for the familiarisation of ATC, to specialists in the design of air spaces and that respond to a wide range of needs, such as:

  • ADI TWR APS ACS training: training aimed at the acquisition/reinstatement of certifications in the Tower and Radar environment
  • FISO & MET AFIS course: training aimed at obtaining the FISO licence (Flight information Service Officer) and MET AFIS specialisation (enabling the provision of meteorological services for air navigation)
  • Apron management: training on apron management for personnel of the Management Companies
  • Meteo: training on meteorological observation and/or forecasting techniques
  • ATM Seminars (ITAER students): familiarisation on ATM and meteorological topics for students of technical institutes studying Transport and Logistics (formerly ITAER)

In 2017 the activities carried out in favour of the UAE customer (United Arab Emirates) were particularly noteworthy. A Training Needs Analysis activity was carried out for the customer and a

wide array of e-learning training was provided: a total of 96 modules, over 22 hours of e-learning allocated to 583 air traffic controllers.

Activities were also continued in favour of customers who use the simulation environments of the Academy as a way of developing managerial skills: within the tower, radar and flight simulators engaging experiences are conducted which are able to improve the ability to communicate, to manage stress, and to work in groups.

The role of the Academy for the Aerospace Technological Center and for the territory

The ENAV Academy collaborates with territorial institutions, particularly with those engaged in the training system: the Aviation High School "Francesco Baracca, the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Bologna and ISAERS (a consortium company which has he objective of promoting and developing training and research activities in aeronautics and aerospace within the Aerospace Technological Center of Forlì).

The presence of the Academy on Forlì territory has generated a significant impact on local development over the years. Analyses carried out over the period 2007-2012 have estimated a direct economic impact equal to approx. EUR 23 million during the period, to which must be added the spillovers and some intangible effects that are not of secondary importance, such as:

  • the increase in the levels of education arising from the presence of new training opportunities;
  • cooperation with local businesses and support for innovation processes;
  • the contribution to the development of the Aerospace Technological Center, which has generated a positive effect on the attractiveness of the territory;
  • greater visibility of the territory in the media;

Lastly, it should be noted that ENAV Academy's effect on the Forlì territory does not end in the relationship with education. In the context of relations with the institutional stakeholders, the Academy cooperates with businesses such as Unindustria and the Fondazione Cassa dei Risparmi of Forlì.