2012 Programme Opens for Application
(HONG KONG) The 2011 Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme came to a successful conclusion last Friday night with this year’s 24 graduates honoured at a special event organised by the airline. The programme is a major initiative under the Dragonair Youth Aviation Academy which offers Hong Kong youngsters a practical platform to explore the fascinating and multi-faceted world of aviation.
The eight-month educational initiative, jointly organised by Dragonair and the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps, is designed for young people aged 18 to 24 who are interested in pursuing a career in aviation. Each participant is guided by a Dragonair pilot mentor as they build a strong foundation of aviation knowledge through comprehensive training and personal visits hosted by supporting industry organisations.
2011 is the first year in the programme’s six-year history in which it has accepted public applicants. Half of this year’s 24 participants were from the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps, while the other half were public applicants.
Officiating at the graduation ceremony, Director General of Civil Aviation Norman Lo said: “The world is short of a competent aviation workforce. I am extremely grateful for Dragonair's continued support and contributions to aviation youth development in Hong Kong by initiating the Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme.”
Patrick Yeung, CEO of Dragonair, highlighted the promising prospect of the aviation industry. “Currently 65,000 direct jobs are being offered on the airport island and the industry will require many new talents, with the robust growth expected over the next 20 years. Up to 76,000 new jobs could be created by 2030 with the building of the third runway.”
Talking about the success of the programme, Mr Yeung said, “We can see just what a real and direct impact the programme has had on the aviation business, with close to 30% of our graduates joining the industry, serving in various aspects including air traffic control, aircraft engineering, ground handling and of course, as flight attendants and professional pilots.”
Addressing the graduates at the ceremony, joint organiser Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps Commanding Officer Group Captain Lee Kwok-wing said, “Some of you may one day pursue your career in the aviation industry and others may venture on different ambitions, but I am sure all of you treasure the experience gained from the programme.”
During the programme, graduates were impressed and touched by the immense seriousness and the highly professional attitude shown by the aviation workforce, as well as their strong desire and passion in nurturing the society’s younger generation. 2011 programme graduate Ariana Chan was extremely impressed by how aviation personnel working in the industry take their responsibilities seriously. “I appreciate their attitude towards the job and their attention to details to ensure aviation safety. This really brought home to me that this is a professional and serious industry, and that I want to be part of this team,” said Ariana. Mentor of the programme Captain Vladimir Mikic similarly appreciates the opportunity the programme offers him to pass on the benefit of his experience and knowledge that will in turn contribute to the professional development of the industry as a whole. (Ariana Chan and Captain Vladimir Mikic’s stories are in the appendix.)
Following the graduation of this year’s participants, the next cycle is about to start with applications for the 2012 programme open from 5 to 27 December 2011. Young people who are interested to explore the exciting world of aviation should not miss this valuable learning opportunity. Programme and application details are available on the programme website:www.dragonair.com/aviationacademy.
Reflections from the Dragonair Aviation Certification Programme (DACP) 2011
Taking Responsibilities Seriously
One of this year’s DACP graduates is Ariana Chan, a member of the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps and a Year 2 student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, studying Systems Engineering and Engineering Management.
She says that her experience in the DACP was an inspiring experience that has deepened her desire to join the industry as a pilot. “The programme did not only enrich my aviation knowledge, but also allowed me to meet many peers who share the same interest and goals in life,” she says. “It made me understand how the many different functions in aviation relate to each other and come together to present a seamlessly integrated operation.”
She was impressed by the aviation personnel from various supporting organisations, and by how all staff take their responsibilities seriously. “Though accompanied by their senior manager on the day of the Aviation Security Company Limited (AVSECO) facility tour into the restricted area, the AVSECO staff at the security check point still insisted on a thorough search and picked out a prohibited mini sharp edged tool in the bag of one participant. No way would they relax their standards even the group was accompanied by their senior manager.” Ariana appreciated the staff’s attitude towards the job and their attention to details to ensure aviation safety. “This really brought home to me that this is a professional and serious industry, and that I want to be part of this team.”
Ariana is planning to apply for the Dragonair cadet pilot scheme upon her graduation. “I love the Dragonair culture. I quickly realised on the programme that the airline is a great and warm family with team members forming a great community, working together for the best results.”
Challenging Programmes in Grooming the Next Generation
Simon Ng, graduate in English major from the University of Hong Kong in 2010, is one of the first cohort of participants in the DACP to be drawn from the public (in previous years, all participants were members of the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps). Simon appreciated very much the opportunity to join the unique programme as there is no such programme available for the public, “Despite being part of an aviation club at school, I never had much interaction with pilots. No other programme offered this. I was very keen to get to know a pilot and to benefit from their experience.”
During the programme, Simon met his mentor, Captain Vladimir Mikic, every one or two months. They talked about everything from life to flying and preparing for pilot interviews. “Captain Mikic always encouraged me, telling me he knew I could do well and that I should work towards my goal of becoming a pilot. This has been a great encouragement to me. He cares about me and has helped me every step of the way through the cadet pilot interview.”
Captain Mikic points out different people had helped him pursue his dream when he was starting out on his career. “I have been with the DACP for five years now. I appreciate the opportunity that Dragonair has given me through the mentorship scheme to nurture young people and to pass on the benefit of my experience and knowledge, just as this had been passed on to me,” he explains.
Seeing his mentees grow, both in terms of aviation knowledge and in a personal capacity has always been Captain Mikic’s greatest reward for the contribution made to the next generation and the industry as a whole. “The DACP is a challenging programme. It stimulates these young people to grow, to improve and to understand their ability and potential. It is rewarding to see them become happier, more confident and clearer about the future path they want to take.”