Miri – 31 March 2011 – 13 students of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak)’s School of Engineering and Science took their learning out of the classroom and into the control tower of Miri Airport recently.
Upon arrival at the airport, the students, who were accompanied by 7 lecturers, were briefed on air traffic management in Borneo and the operations of the control tower by the Manager of Department of Civil Aviation, Miri, Haji Maslan Malik bin Haji Lamat and senior air traffic controller Azmee bin Haji Adbillah.
They learned how the air traffic management sector, which in Malaysia is managed by the Department of Civil Aviation, is responsible for the provision of air traffic services for the safe and efficient conduct of flight within the country’s airspace.
Of particular interest to the students was how the air traffic controllers at Miri Airport, from the vantage point of their control tower and use of approach radar, monitor aircraft movements on various flight routes operated by Malaysia Airlines, MASWings, Air Asia, Hornbill Skyways and others, and provide information to pilots by radio communication.
They also learned how various navigational aids like the VHF omni-directional radio range system, distance measuring equipment, beacons and instrument landing system aid in controlling aircraft landing and take-off, as well as how emergency situations and rescue operations are handled.
Tiong Teck Chai, a lecturer and industrial and external relations coordinator in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said such field trips are part of the students’ programme curriculum.
“As a forward-looking, international, research-focused and teaching university, we combine theory with practical study and challenge traditional boundaries of learning, such as learning out of the classroom with field trips such as this. They give our students a far more fulfilling learning experience, and also the opportunity to observe and interact with industry professionals,” he said.