By Fabian Hakalits – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The cadet programs for pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers have been a significant achievement for national flag carrier, Air Niugini.
Board Chairman, Sir Frederick Reiher, says the cadet programs are part of a series of trainings that Air Niugini has invested in to train locals on the job.
This is no doubt a reference to one aspect of Air Niugini’s operations that the board and management take pride in.
Sir Frederick said that Air Niugini has been rolling out highly professional, localisation-training programs since Independence.
Sir Fredrick says those who complete the program are among the 2,350 nationals making up 87 per cent of the employees, recruited and trained by Air Niugini.
The cadet pilot program has graduated over 80 nationals, with five women among them.
“Men and women who now serve in the flight crew of all our aircraft from Dash 8s to Boeing 767s. We have graduated five women – and increasing that number is a high priority,” he said.
The cadet aircraft maintenance engineers program started in 2012 with 12 nationals. Currently there are 38 cadets in New Zealand undertaking this intensive, practical training program.
“It’s intended to add 12 trainees each year under the 10-year agreement we have with Air New Zealand – meaning that at the end of this agreement, over 100 young Papua New Guinea’s will be fully trained to be aircraft maintenance engineers,” he said.
Sir Frederick added that two facets of Air Niugini’s training and skills program reflects the airlines strong commitment to its national employees
This is to ensure, Air Niugini is competent in the international market.