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30 youngsters ready to fly high in the Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme 2013

19 Mar 2013

(HONG KONG) The Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme is celebrating its eighth anniversary this year, with an inaugural ceremony held on 15 March to launch the 2013 programme. This year, the intake has increased from 24 to 30 participants, the highest number ever, which will allow more young people to benefit from this unique opportunity.

The Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme, an educational initiative co-organised by the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps and an integral part of the Dragonair Youth Aviation Academy, has been running since 2005. The programme offers local youth a solid platform to explore the world of aviation through training sessions and facility visits hosted by various Dragonair departments and aviation-related organisations.

Officiating at the inaugural ceremony were Guest of Honour, Director-General of Civil Aviation Norman Lo; Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Patrick Yeung; Dragonair General Manager Operations Captain Peter Sanderson; and Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps Commanding Officer Group Captain Lee Kwok Wing. Guests from supporting organisations, Dragonair pilot mentors, programme participants and alumni were also in attendance.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Norman Lo said: “I’d like to thank Dragonair and the supporting organisations for going the extra mile to nurture young talents for the sustainable development of aviation. Sustainability, environmental friendliness and education are all crucial elements in the development of this industry. I must congratulate the 30 successful candidates. Having demonstrated your competence and passion for aviation, I am sure you will all work hard in this nine-month programme and get the most out of it.” 

Mr Patrick Yeung said: “The programme’s success relies on great support from the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department and all our aviation partners. It has been instrumental in nurturing young aviation talent in Hong Kong since its inception. About 40% of our alumni in the past seven years have embarked on aviation careers, and 18 out of the 24 participants in the 2011 programme now work in the aviation industry. As for 2012, seven of the graduates have already joined the aviation family and we expect more to come.”

The programme was opened up to the public for the first time in 2011. This year we received more than 340 public applications, a 40 percent increase from last year. There has also been an increase in the number of pilot mentors participating in the programme, with a total of 30 Dragonair pilots offering the benefit of their expertise and experience in 2013.

“Each participant will be guided by a Dragonair pilot mentor throughout the nine-month journey. My special thanks to all our mentors for giving their time to provide personal guidance and inspiration throughout the programme, helping to make the experience particularly special,” said Dragonair General Manager Operations Captain Peter Sanderson.

Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps Commanding Officer Group Captain Lee Kwok-wing had some sound advice for the participants. “Show us your perseverance and keenness to learn in the coming months,” he said. “The Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme is a great stepping-stone that will help you acquire the ability and mindset to prepare yourself for possible future service in the aviation industry. “

In addition to the mentorship scheme, under which each participant is paired up with a Dragonair pilot mentor, other highlights of the 2013 programme will include an observation flight, where participants will experience the pre-flight briefing and preparation, and then sit in the jump seat of a Dragonair aircraft to observe the actual flight operation. To enhance their flying experience, participants will be guided by qualified flying instructors to take part in a 40-minute, hands-on control flight on a CAP-10C aircraft at Shek Kong Airfield. Other highlights will include lectures, training sessions, briefings and tours hosted by industry partners that will give a deeper understanding of the workings of the industry.

Support from aviation-related organisations has been one of the key factors behind the success of the programme. Twelve aviation partners - Airport Authority Hong Kong, Aviation Security Company Limited, the Civil Aviation Department, the Fire Services Department, the Government Flying Service, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Ltd, Hong Kong Aero Engine Services Limited, Hong Kong Airport Services Ltd, LSG Lufthansa Service Hong Kong Limited, the Hong Kong Police Force, the Airport Meteorological Office of the Hong Kong Observatory, and TAG Aviation Asia Limited – are involved in 2013, all of them sharing the same enthusiasm for nurturing the next generation of the aviation industry.

More information on the Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme and other activities in the Dragonair Youth Aviation Academy can be found at www.dragonair.com/aviationacademy.