(HONG KONG) Twenty-four Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme 2012 graduates were honoured at a special event organised by the airline as the programme concluded successfully last Friday. The programme, a major initiative under the Dragonair Youth Aviation Academy, aims to motivate and inspire young Hong Kong people aged 18 to 25 who aspire to have a career in aviation. The nine-month educational journey is jointly organised by Dragonair and the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Director General of Civil Aviation Norman Lo expressed gratitude to Dragonair for nurturing talent for the industry. “In anticipation of the increase in demand on aviation services, we need highly motivated young people to join the industry in order to ensure sustainable development. The Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme has undoubtedly served the purpose of promoting interest and cultivating knowledge in aviation among young members of the community.”
Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Patrick Yeung said, “As a Hong Kong airline, Dragonair is committed to developing the aviation industry and the potential of young people. We are pleased to know that more than 40% of the programme’s graduates have embarked on careers in aviation as pilots, engineers, ATC controllers and ground handling operators. 2011 has been a remarkable year for the programme with 75% of participants joining the industry.”
Since the programme’s launch in 2005, the number of applications, graduates, mentors and supporting organisations has grown yearly. The programme started accepting public applicants two years ago and the intake will further expand to 30 for the 2013 programme.
The programme also received tremendous support from aviation industry partners who share the same enthusiasm in nurturing the young generation.
Nearly 50 Dragonair pilot mentors have taken part in the programme, providing guidance as participants undertook intensive aviation training sessions, in-depth tours and stringent assessments.
Joint organiser Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps Commanding Officer Group Captain Lee Kwok-wing said, “I welcome the chance to partner with Hong Kong’s aviation community to give our younger generation a great chance to have their dreams fulfilled.”
“What the aviation industry needs, right now and for the future, is young men and women of high calibre who have a good work ethic, who are passionate about the many aspects of aviation, and who are driven to do well. The graduates, past and present, are fine examples of such people,” Dragonair General Manager Operations Captain Peter Sanderson said.
Graduates of the programme said the unique opportunity to learn from the industry’s best helps them reach career goals. “Learning from the industry’s top professionals made me realise how aviation stakeholders cooperate to function as a cohesive whole. I was deeply impressed by my pilot mentor’s alertness and communication skills, and under his guidance, I feel a step closer to my dream of being a pilot,” said Cherry Wong, who plans to apply for the Dragonair Cadet Pilot Programme in 2013.
“Many of my mentees are now pilots and cadet pilots with Dragonair, and another is an engineer with Cathay Pacific,” said Captain Les Gordon, who has been a mentor of the programme for seven years. “This shows that the programme is successful in providing the tools and environment for aviation enthusiasts to attain their dream.”
Following the graduation of this year’s participants, the 2013 programme is poised to start with applications open until 16 December 2012. Young people who are interested to explore the exciting world of aviation should not miss this valuable learning opportunity. Programme details and application procedures can be found on the programme website: www.dragonair.com/aviationacademy.