First National Certificate in Airside Operations Awarded  

The UK’s first NCAO Certificate was awarded on January 5. 
The UK’s first NCAO Certificate was awarded on January 5.

A Heathrow employee has become the first airside operative in the UK to be awarded the nationally recognised Certificate in Airside Operations.

With aerodrome operators in the UK required to ensure that all personnel involved in the operation, rescue and firefighting, maintenance and management of the aerodrome are trained and competent, aviation employers had been looking for new ways to demonstrate competence through proficiency checks.

As a result, last year, the National Certificate in Airside Operations (NCAO) was launched to deliver a recognised, accredited and portable certification for all those working in airside operations throughout the UK aerodromes, which evidences compliance with EU Commission Regulation 139/2014 and the UK CAA. The certificate’s requirements were developed in partnership by the performance management specialists People 1st and the Airside Special Interest Group of the Aviation Industry Skills Board.  The Board is co-chaired by Simon Newbold, Airside Operations Training Manager, Heathrow and Harry Harrad, Aerodrome Compliance Manager at Birmingham Airport.

Tony Heap, Aerodrome Standardisation Lead from the Civil Aviation Authority commented: “The EU aerodrome regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) No.139/2014) requires aerodrome operators to ensure their staff have demonstrated their capabilities following training and that qualification, training and proficiency checks records are maintained to demonstrate compliance with the requirements. The NCAO provides the system that fully supports the training requirements contained in the aerodrome regulation.”

Since its launch, more than 160 airside operatives from airports across the UK including Belfast City, Birmingham, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool John Lennon, London Gatwick Airport, London Heathrow Airport, London Luton Airport, London Stansted Airport, London City Airport, Doncaster Sheffield Airport and Hawarden Airport that are working in the role, but without a recognised qualification have registered on the NCAO scheme to get their knowledge, skills and experience recognised.

On January 5, 2018, the first candidate to achieve the certification – Harry Cooper from Heathrow – was awarded the certificate by Trevor Waldock, Head of Airside Operations on behalf the Aviation Industry Skills Board and People 1st.



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