By Libya Herald Reporters.
Tripoli, 23 June 2014:
There was rising student anger this evening at the expected indefinite postponement of their Air . . .[restrict]Traffic Control course in the UK, which comes after seven months of waiting because of course payment problems.
Some of the 104 students have been ear-marked by the Ministry of Transport to go for the two years training being run by NATS in southern England. They are complaining bitterly that their course, due to start in mid-July, with ten months of intensive English training, is likely to be postponed with no new date in prospect. An official announcement is expected tomorrow from the ministry.
The deal with the UK company, which is responsible for all of the UK ATC and provides similar training to students from around the world, was signed last year.
After mastering English, the students would spend the rest of their time on ATC training. The financial terms of the contract have not been revealed. It is unclear what has gone wrong. One source close to the Ministry of Transport told the Libya Herald this evening, that it there had been an interdepartmental dispute, over the payment terms already agreed in the original contract.
Whatever the reason, it seems that after seven months of waiting for the full terms to be implemented, NATS has decided to put the deal on ice.
According to social media, one student has complained that he had already booked a UK flight this Saturday. However if the contract is indeed now to be postponed, the visas issued to the would-be students for study with NATS may no longer be valid.
Earlier in the year, students selected for the ATC training demonstrated outside the Transport Ministry protesting to continuing delays in their despatch to the UK.