Programme launched to nurture next generation of aviation professionals

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With a shortage of aviation professionals, the Civil Aviation Authority on Friday launched the ‘NexGen’ programme in Guyana aimed at training more persons to serve the expanding industry.

The local leg of the programme piloted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) some years ago, was launched at the Umana Yana, Kingston Georgetown with several school students present.

With almost 50 years in the aviation industry, Director General of the GCAA Egbert Field noted that aviation in the next 15 years will significantly double with an increase in air travel.

Director General of the GCAA Egbert Field

He noted that there is a need for more pilots, flight attendants and others to serve the industry.

According to Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, there has been a significant development in the local aviation sector over recent years and growth in passenger travels continue to increase.

The Minister in his address noted that “The present batch of aviation personnel will be deficient to serve the future goals of this sector.”

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson

“American Airlines is here, JetBlue has announced to start next year, Copa Airlines has increased frequency of flights to Guyana, CJIA has been expanding, Eugene F. Correia Airport is looking to expand, the GCAA recently turned the sod for a brand new headquarters. These are all signs of improvements.”

Patterson further added that “there is a need for air traffic controllers, aircraft engineers and this will continue to grow, the oil and gas sector also needs support in this sector.”

Some of the students at the launch of NexGen

The NexGen programme developed a number of initiatives for persons from the age of two to 25 years old.

For children between two and 12 years old, there is a Galactic Expo planned for November where there will be simulators and competitions under the Star Wars theme.

For those between the ages of 12 to 25 years old, there will be work-study placements, internships, mentor programs and ted talks with aviation professionals.

According to ICAO, youth interest in aviation is only at 14%.

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