Sales and Administrative Assistant with American Airlines, Nikkola Williams, speaks to Alexandra Secondary School students about careers in the airline industry.??

As?? the?? world?? tries to recover from the?? economic recession -?? within the next few years, new exciting?? career?? opportunities?? are expected to become available within?? the Civil Aviation sector.

To this end, secondary school students have been advised that the time is ripe for them to consider entering the "exciting world of civil aviation and air transport".

The advice came from Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Business and International Transport, Gabrielle Springer, today as she addressed a Flag-raising ceremony and official opening of a Careers Showcase to mark International Civil Aviation Day under the theme Civil Aviation, Beyond Air Travel Building our Economy.

Ms. Springer, who was deputisng for Minister of international Business and International Transport, George Hutson, said "in spite of the current slowdown in the industry caused by the global economic crisis, prospects for the long-term growth of the industry were definitely positive and strong".

The Permanent Secretary???? told her audience, which included students as well as personnel from the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) and other aviation bodies: "Though the industry has not yet returned to pre-recession levels, the number of passengers has been steadily increasing this year …Some airlines have again been looking to expand, with new routes and extra flights. As a result, job numbers are improving. New technologies will also transform the nature of aviation jobs. New aircrafts will find their way here as Barbados negotiates air services agreements with different countries.

"…All of this augurs well for the industry as Barbados seeks to establish itself as a hub for passenger and cargo distribution. As a result, there will be a need for more pilots, air traffic controllers, maintenance personnel and managers capable of effectively meeting the demands of a rapidly changing aviation working environment," Ms. Springer disclosed.

In delivering the welcome address, Technical Officer with the Civil Aviation Department, Mitchinson Beckles, gave some background to the International Civil Aviation Day observance, noting that December 7, 1944 marked a very important civil aviation event in the form of the signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation in Chicago, USA.

According to him, what made the Convention important, was four key inherent principles which shaped global aviation, namely – The Air Services Transit Agreement; The Air Transport Agreement; The Convention on International Civil Aviation and the establishment of a permanent body to administrate civil aviation – the International Civil Aviation Organisation. In explaining the Air Service Transit Agreement, Mr. Beckles noted that this gave aircraft???? the privilege (not right) to overfly without landing; as well as the privilege to land in the territory of a state for non-commercial purposes.

??In terms of the Air Transport Agreement – he explained that this allowed a Barbadian registered aircraft to take passenger mail and cargo to another state; to enter another country and take on board passengers, mail and cargo bound for Barbados and to enter any other state to take on passenger, mail and cargo and airlift them to another state.

"These two agreements transformed the world’s airspace into commercial highways and supported world commerce. This is where the business element of civil aviation had its origins and that is why we are here this morning as a people who have found employment in Civil Aviation,"?? Mr. Beckles concluded.

Several exhibitors were on hand to give students some insight into the civil aviation sector, including officials from the Barbados Light Aeroplane Club; REDjet; American Airlines; Barbados Civil Aviation Department; Caribbean Aircraft Handling;?? the Royal Barbados Police Force and the Barbados Fire Service.

Participating schools included: Dottin’s Academy, Alexandra Secondary, Garrison Secondary, Parkinson Memorial School, Alleyne Secondary, Springer Memorial Secondary and Christ Church Foundation.?? This year’s international theme is Safe, Secure and Sustainable Aviation for our Planet.??cgaskin@barbados.gov.bb

Training Officer with Caribbean Aircraft Handling, Hugo Williams, holds the rapt attention of students of the Garrison Secondary School.??

Students from the Alleyne Secondary School learn first-hand about the operations in the Control Tower from Air Traffic Control staff.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministy of International Business and International Transport , Gabrielle Springer, takes a turn on??the aircraft simulator under the guidance to?? Chief Pilot with the Barbados Light Aeroplane Club , Alexander Bailey.??

Constable O’Connor Forde of the Royal Barbados Police Force’s Marine Unit, educates?? Matthew Bailey of the Garrison Secondary about?? the dangers of?? underwater explosives.

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