(HONG KONG) The Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme is celebrating its seventh anniversary this year. An inaugural event was held this afternoon to launch the 2012 programme with 24 young participants ready to embark on an exciting aviation journey over the next eight months.
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. Each participant is paired with a Dragonair pilot who acts as a personal mentor.
Out of the 24 participants in the 2012 programme, 12 are members of the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps while the remaining 12 were recruited from the general public in Hong Kong. The programme was opened up to the public for the first time in 2011 and this year saw a 30% increase in the number of applications.
Officiating at the inaugural ceremony were Guest of Honour Director-General of Civil Aviation Norman Lo, Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Patrick Yeung and Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps Deputy Commanding Officer, Training Wing Commander John Siu. Guests from supporting organisations, programme participants, Dragonair pilot mentors and programme alumni were also in attendance.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Mr Norman Lo said that the aviation industry is developing rapidly and young talents are needed to sustain the development.
"Moving on to its seventh year, this programme has become stronger and more versatile. I learnt that the number of applications from the general public increased significantly compared with that in last year. I encourage mentees to embrace diversity among themselves and share their experience in the programme so as to inspire their friends and bring more talents into the aviation industry." said Mr Lo.
Mr Patrick Yeung said at the ceremony, “The prospects for the development of aviation in Hong Kong are very promising and there will be strong demand for new young talent. We are excited to see the Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme bringing new blood into the industry, and to date around 30% of our programme alumni have already embarked on an aviation-related career.”
Support from aviation-related organisations is one of the key factors in the success of the programme and three new partners - the Fire Services Department, the Hong Kong Police Force and Dragonair’s inflight catering provider LSG Lufthansa Service Hong Kong Limited – are taking part for the first time this year.
The other aviation partners include Airport Authority Hong Kong, Aviation Security Company Limited, the Civil Aviation Department, the Government Flying Service, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Ltd, Hong Kong Airport Services Ltd, the Airport Meteorological Office of the Hong Kong Observatory, and TAG Aviation Asia Limited.
The mentorship scheme is a core part of the programme and Wing Commander John Siu said: “The examples set by the pilot mentors, including their high professional achievements and their very own unique personal experience, will serve to influence and inspire our next generation."
Mr Yeung expressed his appreciation to all the Dragonair pilot mentors for contributing their precious time. He also thanked programme co-organiser the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps for sharing the same passion as Dragonair in nurturing Hong Kong’s aviators of the future.
More information on the Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme and other activities in the Dragonair Youth Aviation Academy is available at www.dragonair.com/aviationacademy.