12 Mar 2011
24 YOUNGSTERS READY FOR TAKE OFF
(HONG KONG) The 2011 Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme was successfully launched at the inaugural ceremony held last night, with 24 participants ready to embark on an exciting journey to explore the aviation world.
The programme is a youth-oriented, educational initiative organised by Dragonair in conjunction with the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps, which has been running since 2005. It aims to offer young people in Hong Kong a solid platform from which to explore the aviation world through training sessions and visits hosted by various aviation-related organisations. In the eight-month journey, each participant will be paired up with a Dragonair pilot mentor for personal guidance and inspiration.
Entering the sixth year, the programme broadened its horizons by accepting applications from any Hong Kong resident aged from 18 to 24, and not just those from the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps as before, with the intake increased from 16 to 24, providing more opportunities for youngsters to realise their aviation dreams. This year, half of the participants are members of the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps and the remaining half were recruited from the public at large.
Not only does the expansion reflect Dragonair’s strong commitment to the community, it also demonstrates our contribution to the development of the local aviation industry by nurturing the future workforce.
Officiating at the inaugural ceremony were Director-General of Civil Aviation Norman Lo, Dragonair Chief Executive Officer James Tong and Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps Acting Commanding Officer Acting Group Captain John Morris Siu. Guests from supporting organisations, programme participants, Dragonair pilot mentors as well as programme alumni were also among those attending the ceremony.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Mr James Tong said: “This year’s participants come from diverse backgrounds. Aside from university students, many are already working in a variety of professions including surveying, corporate communication, accounting, and aircraft engineering, just to name a few. Some have substantial flying experience, while others are completely new to aviation. I’m sure that this diversity will bring new insight to the programme and we for sure encourage interactions and experience sharing among all the participants.”
Addressing the guests at the ceremony, Mr Norman Lo estimated the Hong Kong aviation industry will continue to develop by leaps and bounds with more flight services, passenger and cargo throughput making record highs, thus creating more career prospects for our young talents.
“I am delighted to learn that this year’s Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme is returning with a bigger bang and for the very first time, the programme is open both to the air cadets and the general public,” he said. “I believe what the mentees will experience over the coming eight months will unlock their talents to secure a future place in the aviation industry.”
Acting Group Captain John Morris Siu said: “The Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps is celebrating our 40th anniversary this year. Whilst our volunteers might have spent a lot of their personal time over the last 40 years on the affairs of the Corps, this cadet movement will not be a success without the strong support from the aviation industry, and, of course, Dragonair being one of the kindest to us in recent years.”
Mr Tong also thanked the Dragonair departments and all the aviation-related organisations for their continual support to the programme over the years, without which the programme would not have been so successful. These supporting organisations include the Airport Authority Hong Kong, Aviation Security Company Limited, Civil Aviation Department, Government Flying Service, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Ltd, Hong Kong Airport Services Ltd, Airport Meteorological Office of the Hong Kong Observatory and TAG Aviation Asia Limited, which becomes a new supporting organisation this year.
The mentorship scheme is a core part of the programme and Mr Tong paid tribute to the Dragonair pilots for contributing their precious time to take up the role of mentors. He also expressed appreciation to the programme co-organiser Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps for sharing Dragonair’s passion to nurture young people in Hong Kong.
As the first batch of programme participant selected from the public, Ms Rachel Kong said: “Dragonair is a local airline. I observe its growth while I was born and grew up in Hong Kong. I feel proud of Dragonair for its achievements and hope to have a better understanding of the aviation industry through the programme.”
Mr Mike Chan was another programme participant cum the member of the Air Cadet Corps. His enthusiasm for the aviation industry has not diminished after he graduated from school. In the recent years, he devoted most of his spare time to the Corps. He said: “I enjoy the time on the sky. I hope to enrich my knowledge in the field and get prepared myself to be a pilot.”