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Flying High: Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme Fuels Youngsters’ Industry Ambitions

The event organisers extended their sincere appreciation to the programme’s founder and coordinator, Captain Marcus de Santis, who will be stepping down from his role after 11 successful years.

The event organisers extended their sincere appreciation to the programme’s founder and coordinator, Captain Marcus de Santis, who will be stepping down from his role after 11 successful years.

The Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme (DACP) continues to go from strength to strength following a ceremony held on 7 November to celebrate its latest 40 graduates. Joining the graduates at the event, held at Regal Airport Hotel, were DACP alumni, pilot mentors and guests from the programme’s supporting partners.

Now in its 11th year, the DACP, which is a major initiative under the Dragonair Youth Aviation Academy, offers young people aged between 18 and 25 a comprehensive nine-month aviation programme that aims to deepen their knowledge of aviation and boost their interest in taking up a career in this fascinating and dynamic industry. To date, some 200 participants have graduated with nearly half now working as flight dispatchers, air traffic controllers, load controllers, cabin crew and pilots.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Algernon Yau said: “The Hong Kong aviation industry has seen rapid growth, and with the confirmed addition of a third runway at Hong Kong International Airport, it is clear there is a strong demand for more aviation talent to support this growth. We are delighted to not only promote aviation among the younger generation but also to witness the success of the programme’s graduates who have gone on to embark on a career in the industry. It has proved to be a highly rewarding initiative for all involved and we look forward to providing opportunities for more and more young people in the years ahead.”

Dragonair Director Flight Operations, Captain Peter Sanderson, added: “Aside from providing a wide range of prospects for participants to deepen their aviation knowledge, the programme also helps young people to develop a positive attitude towards their career and life pursuits with the guidance of their mentors and industry professionals. My special thanks go to our Dragonair pilots who have played a very important role in mentoring and inspiring the young people through the fruitful nine-month journey.”

Dexter Ng was among this year’s graduates, shortlisted from nearly 500 applicants, who went the extra mile to achieve his ambition of joining – and subsequently graduating from – the DACP.

“I first applied to join the programme two years ago, but unfortunately I failed to earn a place. I was disappointed but it didn’t end my dreams,” said Dexter. Determined to succeed, Dexter studied hard and prepared diligently, earning a place on the 2016 programme, which he described as having been an adventure. “I thought I wanted to be a pilot but over the course of the nine months I learned that my real interests and skills are more suitable for air traffic control, an area of aviation that I had very little previous knowledge. Among the broad range of career opportunities the industry offers, I am glad to have clearly identified my future goals.”

The programme’s success relies on the continued support of 14 aviation-related organisations, including Airport Authority Hong Kong, Aviation Security Company Limited, Cathay Pacific Services Limited, the Civil Aviation Department, the Fire Services Department, the Government Flying Service, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited, Hong Kong Aero Engine Services Limited, Hong Kong Airport Services Limited, Hong Kong Aviation Club, Airport Meteorological Office of the Hong Kong Observatory, the Hong Kong Police Force, LSG Lufthansa Service Hong Kong Limited, and TAG Aviation Asia Limited. All these organisations have shown a willingness to nurture the next generation for Hong Kong’s aviation industry.

The DACP is organised by Dragonair in conjunction with the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps and the Scout Association of Hong Kong. The programme includes aviation-related tuition, industry visits, pilot mentorship, jump seat observation, leadership exercises, etiquette training and community service.

Enrolment for the 2017 Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme will open on 21 November 2016. Young people with a keen interest to explore the world of aviation are encouraged to apply for this valuable learning opportunity. Programme details and application procedures are available at

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Categorised in: Aerospace, Airline

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