6 reasons why the GSN Diploma Programme brings value to your career

Issa Castro by Issa Castro | Jul 1, 2018

Whether you are new to the aviation industry or an experienced airport professional, it can be quite daunting trying to determine which training would be the best fit for your professional development needs and will equip you with the right knowledge and skills to perform your job well. Naturally, you would want to get the most out of your learning experience so that you can be assured of gaining not only improved competence but also increased confidence to accomplish your goals.

ACI Global Training developed the Global Safety Network (GSN) Diploma Programme to directly contribute towards the career advancement of aviation professionals, operators and regulators, specifically in the areas of safety and operations. The programme provides tools and learning solutions to help airports ensure that they have the right people with the right competencies in the right jobs to keep airports running safely and efficiently.

To date, the GSN courses have been delivered to more than 6,000 participants worldwide and over 450 GSN Diplomas have been awarded since the programme’s inception in 2006.

The reasons why the GSN Diploma Programme brings value to your career

  • Further your education – Completion of the entire programme allows participants to gain a comprehensive understanding of relevant international standards and recommended practices, safety management systems, risk assessment, emergency planning, aerodrome inspections, auditing and compliance.
  • Develop competencies effectively – All GSN courses include the practical application of lessons learned through tabletop or group exercises performed airside at the airport which contribute to better class interaction and retention of subject matter, leading to more effective learning overall.
  • Meet regulatory requirements – The GSN Diploma Programme is highly recognized in the industry and is often used to meet training standards and requirements set by aviation authorities and airport operators.
  • Learn from ACI airport experts – The courses are delivered by senior airport managers with extensive “real time” experience of operational procedures, Safety Management Systems (SMS) and airport certification. The ACI instructors share their knowledge and expertise through a multitude of examples, case studies, photos and videos.
  • Grow your network of safety professionals – Participating in classroom courses gives you the opportunity to learn from other colleagues in the industry through discussions and exchange of ideas, and expands your network of airport contacts throughout the world.
  • Improve your career opportunities – As a GSN graduate, you gain additional knowledge, competence and confidence to help you qualify for jobs.

Recent GSN graduates share their insights on GSN

Meet three of our latest GSN graduates as they share their background and objectives for taking GSN and further explain why the diploma programme is extremely valuable and highly recommended.

Nikolay Kostov, Head of Safety Department from Burgas Airport, shared that the reason he wanted training through the GSN programme was the desire and need to acquire new knowledge in the field of aviation safety.

Nikolay began his career in agricultural aviation as an aviation technician for the helicopter Kamov 26. Five years later, he moved to Burgas Airport, where he worked as marshaler, ramp agent, load control supervisor and, since 2007, as Safety Manager.

Nikolay Kostov was awarded the GSN Gold Diploma on 8 June 2018 in Riga, Latvia by ACI instructors Debbie Riley (left) and Wally Walker (right).

“I knew the diploma will help me in my everyday work and raise the image of Burgas Airport. The acquired knowledge has already helped me during the preparation and completion of certification at Burgas Airport according to the requirements of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA),” he further added.

“I highly recommend ACI training for its excellent instructors and programmes, pleasant training centers and opportunities to meet colleagues. It was an experience that I really enjoyed.”

Nikolay obtained the GSN Gold Diploma on 8 June 2018 upon completion of the sixth and last module on GSN 6: Aerodrome Auditing and Compliance, in Riga, Latvia.

Jamsheer Velapuram, Officer-Planning, Dubai Airport shared that the GSN Diploma is truly an achievement. “A golden feather in my cap,” he said.

“I am continuing my journey conquering different heights and the GSN Diploma is an important milestone in my career,” Jamsheer said after receiving the GSN Gold Diploma upon completion of the sixth and final module on GSN 3: Emergency Planning and Crisis Management, on 28 June 2018, in Abu Dhabi, UAE.  

Ever since he was a child, Jamsheer had dreamed of working in the aviation industry. After completing his postgraduate studies at Shivaji University, India, he was offered a job in a financial company, but chose instead to join the prestigious Dubai Airport as Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) Assist-Officer where he gained extensive experience on airport/airline ICAO codes, flight plans, Aeronautical Information Publications (AIPs), Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs), etc. Four years later, he joined the management team of Airside Operations as Officer-Planning.

He obtained the GSN Gold Diploma on 28 June 28 upon completion of the sixth and last module on GSN 3: Emergency Planning and Crisis Management, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Jamsheer was awarded the GSN Gold Diploma in Abu Dhabi, UAE by ACI instructors Doug Roberts (left) and Ian Barrie (right).

“The other major objective for going through the Diploma Programme was to prepare myself to take on new responsibilities within Airside Operations. The GSN courses are completely relevant to my job role and I am now confident that I can move to any other job roles within Airside Operations,” he added.

Recently, one of Jamsheer’s colleagues was preparing for a higher job role. “With the knowledge that I gained from the GSN courses, I was able to help him prepare for the test and interview,” he explained. “The efforts were fruitful; he got the job!”

Jamsheer outlined the reasons why he recommends the GSN diploma programme to anyone who is working or is interested in the aviation industry.

  • “The knowledge gained while performing practical exercises and acting on various airport scenarios is the most powerful part that I will always remember.” 
  • “Most of the GSN instructors have over 30 years experience and they have seen the step-by-step growth of the aviation industry. Therefore, the explanations on each aviation subject from the instructors’ first-hand experiences are just amazing.”
  • “I will remember the relationships created with people from various parts of the world who attended the courses with me throughout six GSN courses. Whether it be Germany, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Costa Rica, Nigeria or any other part of the world, I have friends to contact and consult.”
  • “Nonetheless, the live discussions among the participants truly adds up a lot of information from different airports in the world. So, it’s really a worthwhile course!”

Martin Bülow, Safety Manager, Fraport AG also weighed in his thoughts on GSN. After graduating from Berlin Technical University with a MSc in Aviation Engineering, he decided to move to Germany’s Capital of Aviation and started working at Frankfurt Airport in a department that focused on airside quality and capacity enhancement.

“Following my promotion to EASA Safety Manager and not coming from an airside job, I decided to get specialised training for the new job. The GSN offering was comprehensive in giving me the tools and gaining experience in an area that I was not as familiar with.” Martin shared.

Martin Bülow, Safety Manager, Fraport AG obtained the GSN Gold Diploma on 6 July 2018 upon completion of the sixth and last module on GSN 5: Advanced Safety Management Systems, in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Meeting great people and much valued colleagues in six different countries was what Martin said he would remember the most about his GSN journey. “It gives you new perspectives on certain topics and makes you aware that in the end all airports face their own challenges – even in a heavily standardized environment,” he said.

“Examples, best practices and shared experiences from other airports help in evaluating situations that might be new to your own airport. This was already helpful during the EASA certification process,” Martin added.

Finally, when asked if he would recommend the GSN Diploma Programme, Martin replied, “Of course! It will enhance your knowledge and get you in contact with fellow aviation experts.”

GSN Diploma Programme
Learn more

Issa Castro

Issa Castro

Director, Training Programmes, ACI World
Issa is responsible for the programme development, instructional design, and delivery of airport safety training solutions for ACI’s worldwide membership. She brings to ACI over 25 years of international experience in the aviation and service industry with focus on training and organizational development.
2 articles
Share This