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Dragonair Youth Aviation Academy Takes Off Inaugural Event Inspires Youngsters on their Aviation Dreams

25 Jun 2011

(HONG KONG) Dragonair held a one-day programme today to inaugurate the launch of the Dragonair Youth Aviation Academy as a tribute to celebrate the 100th anniversary of aviation development in Hong Kong. The Academy’s event, entitled “Aviation Insights”, was supported by 20 industry partners and attended by around 300 tertiary students.

As a people-focused airline, Dragonair places emphasis not only among customers and staff, but on the younger generation in society, too. Given the fact that young people in Hong Kong do not have so many chances to be exposed to aviation as those in the West, the Dragonair Youth Aviation Academy has been established to provide our young people with such opportunities, currently including key components such as Aviation Insights and the Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme, which are a youth-oriented career talk and education programme respectively.

Speaking at the launch of the Academy, Captain Ross Taylor, Assistant General Manager (Flying), Dragonair, told the audience: “Through the initiative of the Dragonair Youth Aviation Academy we aim to inspire our younger generation by witnessing firsthand, the dynamism of Hong Kong’s aviation sector. We also wish to contribute to the growth of the industry by stimulating and nurturing a new stream of young, talented, future aviation professionals.”

Guest of honour at the Aviation Insights was Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Secretary for Labour and Welfare. Officiating guests at the inauguration ceremony of the Academy were Mr Matthew Cheung, Acting Director-General of Civil Aviation Mr YK Leung, Captain Ross Taylor and Group Captain Lee Kwok Wing, Commanding Officer of Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps.

Mr Cheung noted that the aviation industry provides a wide spectrum of quality and attractive careers with training and advancement opportunities. “For the enterprising youngsters, aviation not only provides jobs, but also launching pads for rewarding professional career development. In short, the aviation industry will enable one to fly high and be upwardly mobile, in both social and physical sense,” he said.

“In a wider context, investing in human resources and ensuring the sustainable supply of quality workforce is a major policy anchor of the government’s labour and manpower policy,” Mr Cheung said, adding that a "through-train" programme is in place to provide comprehensive training and employment support to the youths.

Acting Director-General of Civil Aviation, Mr YK Leung, said that from the Government’s perspective, the importance of partnership is vital for the sustainable growth of the aviation industry. "Today's event is clearly a joint venture of the aviation industry that requires the efforts and dedication of those involved," he said.

Group Captain Lee noted that Hong Kong is an aviation hub in Asia, characterised by the city's progressiveness and ability to forge partnerships, and provides many opportunities for aviation enthusiasts. “We thank all our partners here today - you have helped us reach for the sky and inspire young talents,” he said. "I hope that all the participants today will soon become the backbone of the aviation industry."

The one-day Aviation Insights programme, organised in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Department and Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps, is aimed at inspiring youngsters by informing them about the dynamism and job opportunities the aviation industry can offer, providing them with first-hand, detailed information on different aspects of respective professions in this booming sector. It featured a keynote presentation by Mr Anthony Lai-hon Tam, Acting Deputy Director-General of Civil Aviation in Hong Kong, that introduced Hong Kong’s air transport system, and highlighted factors that influence aviation development in general, as well as an outlook for future development.

Other interactive sessions covered specific aspects of the aviation profession, namely Cabin Crew, Customer Services and Ground Support, Professional Support covering aircraft engineering and maintenance, Cockpit Crew, and Disciplinary Forces including Government Flying Service, police, fire services, customs and immigration. More than 30 moderators and speakers joined the sessions, all of them professionals actively engaged in their relevant industry sectors.

The Academy also encompasses the Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme. This is a mentorship scheme run by Dragonair in conjunction with the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps, and has been running since 2006. It offers young people with the opportunity to explore their aviation dreams by providing in-depth information and instruction on all aspects of the industry, from cockpit and cabin operations to air traffic control, aircraft maintenance, meteorology, airport management and more. To date, more than 20% of the programme’s graduates have gone on to pursue careers in the local aviation industry, including pilots, engineers and air traffic control officers.