Pupils from Philippi and surrounding areas were introduced to the world of aviation when the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) held a career workshop at Beautiful Gate on Friday, September 22.
Aviation development officer and stakeholder relations at SACAA, Paballo Makgato, said they wanted to tell pupils about the career opportunities in the industry and how to access those.
Ms Makgato said the pupils were shocked to learn that there are routes in the sky and just like on the ground.
She said there are N2s and M5s in the sky just like on the ground and aeroplanes do not just fly in the middle of the sky without staying in their correct lanes and routes.
Through such workshops, she said, they had discovered that people from previously disadvantaged areas know very little about this industry and often think that it is for white people only.
Therefore, she said it was important to motivate pupils and introduce them to this sector. “We want to tell these pupils that are here today that the sky is not the limit but in aviation we say the sky’s home.
“We want these children to dream beyond their imagination and we want them to be visible in such industries and know that they have the capabilities to be in this industry and more than anything they should be dreamers.
“Through these workshops we have learnt to engage these children in the languages they understand so that we can ignite their love for aviation,” she said.
Ms Makgato said there are plenty of careers in the industry such as people who design aircrafts, mechanics, pilots, air traffic controllers and flight attendants.
To be in the aviation industry, she said, you must be able to pay attention to detail; take as subjects pure maths, physics and English and must be above level 5 and it is important that you understand calculations because you are dealing with people’s lives.
Talking about fears and challenges, she said when they started with these workshops they feared that these pupils might not understand their concepts because the aviation sector is very technical but they have worked their way around it.
Grade 11 pupil from Vuyiseka High School, Lathitha Sogaxa said she learnt about the different careers found in the aviation industry and ways to get into this industry.
She said the aviation industry is one of the industries which is not often talked about in the school and in their surrounding areas and it was an eye-opening experience for her.
Air traffic service officer at Air Traffic and Navigation Services, (ATNS), Amanda Kuwane who hails from KTC in Nyanga, said her message was clear, that where you come from does not determine your future and you have a huge responsibility to turn things around yourself.
Ms Kuwane said it is possible to enter spaces that seem out of reach before.
She said her duties include giving the pilots approval they start the flight and to communicate with pilots to ensure that they are following the right routes.
She told the pupils to never look down on themselves or doubt their abilities.