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[Guyana] Consider a career in aviation - GCAA pitches for youths

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[Guyana] Consider a career in aviation - GCAA pitches for youths

Unread post by bimjim » Wed Oct 16, 2019

https://guyanachronicle.com/2019/10/15/ ... n-aviation

[Guyana] Consider a career in aviation - GCAA pitches for youths
Wendella Davidson
October 15, 2019

Youths are being urged to start thinking outside of the box when it comes to choosing a career that is stimulating and rewarding.

“Step away from the conventional job choices, and choose a career that’s exciting and fulfilling. The aviation industry provides hundreds of different job opportunities one can follow. Whether you choose a ground –based position such as Air Traffic Controller (ATC), flight dispatcher or engineer, or something in the air like pilots, flight attendants, or prefer working in an office or dealing with the public,” says Lolita Fernandes, Air Traffic Control Officer 11 (ATCO11).

She is part of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority’s (GCAA) NexGen team, whose main focus is to enlighten, expose, and attract youths to world of aviation and have them move away from the conventional job choices, like becoming doctors, lawyers and teachers etcetera.

Addressing a gathering at the launch of NexGen at Umana Yana on October 11, 2019, and speaking directly to the many secondary school students in attendance, Fernandes, who hails from Queenstown Village, Region Two (Pomeroon–Supenaam) said she had just completed schooling at Abram Zuil Secondary, when she was encouraged to apply for the job to become an ATC.

Admitting that she was then clueless as to what the job entails, Fernandes who has chalked up 18 years as an ATC said, “GCAA has taken me from maps, rulers and clocks to well-established digital systems and advanced technology to assist in separating and monitoring flights. We have moved leaps and bounds in ATC over the past years.”

Alluding to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) statistics which suggests that airlines will have to add 25, 000 new aircraft to the current 17,000 fleet in the next seven years, Fernandes said as a result there would be a higher demand for pilots, cabin crew, dispatchers, mechanics, ATCs and airport staff to service the industry, even as she wondered what the world would have been without aeroplanes.

“The advent and evolution of the aviation industry have a tremendous impact on everything around us – consumers, travellers, businesses and even politics. The current reality of the aviation industry has far exceeded the wildest imagination of science fiction writers from the past. The aviation industry has created what we’d like to call the global village, enabling people to travel from far-flung locations in a matter of hours. It also created the Global Marketplace enabling the rapid transport of products and material to and from different locations around the world. “

Fernandes also explained the regulatory framework within which the aviation system operates. “But how does this entire process take place so smoothly and in such a safe and expeditious manner? It is as a result of a complex system of interdependent organisations in a regulatory framework. For instance, if an airport closes, planes cannot land and passengers cannot travel. If the regulator or service provider is inadequate, there may be conflicts between airlines and accidents may occur and as a result people would not want to travel, exports would not leave the region and imports may be lost in transit. To ensure that this does not occur, we have our airlines, airports, civil aviation authority and air navigation services.”

In continuing her pitch for the youth, urging upon leaving schools to consider aviation as a career, more so as an ATC, “the job entails being responsible for issuing clearances, instructions and advice to aircraft, both in the air and on the ground, to ensure that aircraft are separated from each other, and that flights are conducted in a safe and expeditious manner,” Fernandes stated.

Working from Control Towers using complex Digital, Visual and Communications Technology where they are able to see and direct airplanes, with the primary concern being safety, the ATC must also direct airplanes efficiently to minimise delays; manage the flow of aircraft into and out of Guyana’s airspace using – invisible roads in the sky called flight routes; guide pilots during takeoff and landing, and separate and monitor aircraft, as they travel through the skies; provide information to pilots, such as weather updates, runway closures, and other critical information, and alert appropriate organizations, like Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Guyana Fire Service (GFS), Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Guyana Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), in the event of an aircraft emergency.

Also, controllers usually manage multiple aircraft at the same time and must make quick decisions to ensure the safety of the aircraft, using as an example, that a controller might direct one aircraft on its landing approach, while providing another aircraft with weather information, or separating several aircraft from each other, Fernandes pointed out.

“Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, there are men and women working to ensure the safety and efficiency of our national airspace system – Of course this includes weekends and holidays. We provide a vital public service to guide pilots, and their planes with thousands of passengers and hundreds of tons of cargo daily from taxi, to takeoff, through the air and back safely on the ground,” she added.

Remarking that the job is a “very exhausting and stressful career”, she added that among the many advantages is job satisfaction knowing that their work protect lives and make air traffic safer. Additionally, all training is conducted locally by the Civil Aviation Training School which is located in the Control Tower complex building, Timehri.

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