18 Sep 2010
One-hundred energetic and motivated young Hong Kong people today celebrated their graduation from the Cathay Pacific “I Can Fly” programme at a ceremony held at Cityplaza in Taikoo Shing.
The event was hosted by the airline’s Chief Operating Officer, John Slosar, and joining the graduates for the celebration were Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung, Director-General of Civil Aviation Norman Lo, and a number of senior figures from organisations that gave their support to the programme
“I Can Fly” was set up by Cathay Pacific in 2003 to nurture a passion for aviation among local school students and at the same time enable them to make a contribution to their home community. So far more than 3,000 youngsters have completed the programme, with some of the former members already forging careers in aviation, including working as pilots for Cathay Pacific.
For the fourth “I Can Fly”, 100 selected members, aged 15-18, were guided through a six-month programme in which they learnt about aviation, developed a sense of teamwork and responsibility, and designed their own social service programmes to give something back to the community of which they are part.
The members visited various aviation facilities in Hong Kong, including Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Ltd, the Government Flying Service and the Air Traffic Control Tower. They also attended a training camp and ground school training, organised by Cathay Pacific pilots and staff leaders, to learn about various aspects of flight operations and inflight services. They also designed and delivered social service programmes to help people in need in Hong Kong.
The programme ended with visits to aviation organisations overseas for the 100 members including the FTA flight training school in Adelaide, the Boeing factory in Seattle, the Airbus assembly line and the Civil Aviation University of China in Tianjin.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Cathay Pacific’s John Slosar said: “As the airline of Hong Kong we are deeply committed to our local community and in particular to helping young people reach for their dreams. I hope the members of this year’s ‘I Can Fly’ programme have learnt a great deal about aviation and developed a deeper sense of commitment to their home community. Our thanks go to all our partners in ‘I Can Fly’ whose great support helped to boost the learning experience for the members.”
Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung praised the “I Can Fly” programme for facilitating well-rounded development for the youth of Hong Kong. He said: “The programme equips youngsters with insights and knowledge in aviation, and encourages them to fly high and reach for their dreams. At the same time it utilises the creativity and drive of the young people to deliver social services, helping them to contribute to the community of Hong Kong.”
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Director-General of Civil Aviation, Mr Norman Lo urged the graduates to make use of the knowledge and friendship acquired through the programme to contribute to the future development of the aviation industry.
“I would like to thank Cathay Pacific for offering such a meaningful youth development programme which is a true reflection of the airline’s commitment and effort in sustaining Hong Kong's status as an international aviation hub,” Mr Lo said.
More information on the “I Can Fly” programme can be found on the programme website, http://icanfly.cathaypacific.com. More details of Cathay Pacific’s community activities can be found in the airline’s 2009 Sustainable Development Report, available from the About Us section at www.cathaypacific.com.