Mariama Jallow is thought to have become The Gambia’s first trained female air traffic controller after successfully graduating from the Ghana Civil Aviation Training Academy.
She was among a group of nine young Gambian air traffic controllers who were sent by the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to Ghana for an ICAO 052/053 Air Traffic Control Course.
Mariama joined the GCCA four years ago while studying at the University of The Gambia, where she bagged a bachelor’s degree in Physics in 2015.
According to one of her colleagues: “She is the only female air traffic controller in The Gambia right now. We had female air traffic control cadets before but none of them made it to training. They left or transferred to other units before they were due for training.”
Mariama and her colleagues are returning home this week and they would undergo three to six months training at the Banjul International Airport before they finally receive their licence.
About air traffic controllers
They are responsible for the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic. Usually stationed in air traffic control centres and control towers on the ground, they monitor the position, speed, and altitude of aircraft in their assigned airspace, and give directions to the pilots by radio. The position of air traffic controller is one that requires highly specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities.