The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) welcomed students and aviation professionals, young and experienced, for the Second Next Generation of Aviation Professionals (NGAP) Symposium held on 3 and 4 December, at its Headquarters in Montreal. 327 participants from 58 States and 10 Organizations attended, including hundreds of young potential next generation aviation professionals (NGAPs).
The ICAO NGAP initiative is aimed at ensuring that enough qualified and competent aviation professionals are available to operate, manage and maintain the future international air transport system. The issues it presents are key factors to the long-term success of ICAO’s Global Aviation Safety and Air Navigation Plans, providing invaluable inputs as the UN’s specialized aviation agency responds to recent projections that air transport passenger and flight totals will double by 2030.
“International civil aviation’s greatest priorities over the coming decades virtually all derive from the projected doubling of our network’s capacity,” stressed ICAO Council President, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “The shortage of pilots, air traffic controllers, engineers and mechanics we are facing around the world, as well as the need to accelerate training and certification for these aviation professionals and the new managers who will need to lead them, are key areas where ICAO’s leadership and action will be instrumental to the future viability and sustainability of our global network.”
With its theme of “Celebrating the Past, Preparing for the Future”, and on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Chicago Convention, ICAO’s Second NGAP Symposium provided participants with useful opportunities to share information relating to best practices and educational tools. Aviation human capital executives also explored selection and recruitment processes and important linkages to the development of agreed global competencies for specific international aviation professions.
The Symposium highlight was the panel conversation with Ms. Julie Payette, OC, CQ, former Astronaut CSA and Director of the Science Centre of Montréal. She shared her experience and vision on attracting and retaining the NGAPs of all ages, nationalities, gender, race and socio-economic backgrounds into the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education programmes.
The work plan for Phase 2 of the ICAO NGAP Programme includes publication of the new provisions, regional workshops to support their implementation, creating tools to support sharing human capital best practices, an Implementation Kit, Internship Toolkit and an Aviation Education Institutions Directory, all to be available on the NGAP web site (http://www.icao.int/safety/ngap/Pages/default.aspx).
ICAO Council Representative for the United Arab Emirates Capt. Aysha Alhameli announced a new collaborative Aviation Discovery Program (ADP) at the event, coordinated between the FAA Academy, the Western Michigan University, the École nationale de l’aviation civile (ENAC), and the Association of African Aviation Training Organizations (AATO). Beyond its initial information campaign, the ADP’s objective is to excite and motivate youth throughout African regions, facilitated by AATO. The ADP team has agreed on a roadmap and will submit a progress report to the NGAP Taskforce in Summer 2015.