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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Sky’s the limit for Women in Aviation Industry

Zosa, who is training to be an airline Pilot, says ‘there is room for everyone aspiring to be in aviation and gender is not an issue anymore.’

MANILA, Philippines - A woman in a man’s world? If you think that the aviation industry is a man’s world, think again.

The Asia-Pacific aviation industry is set to take off in the next 20 years due to the rise in the number of low-cost carriers (LCC) throughout the world and demand for Pilots is expected to soar to approximately 183,000 in the region alone.
Alpha Aviation Group Philippines chief operating officer Kunal Sharma said the Airbus A320 is projected to account for majority of trainings and travels, with 34 percent of all deliveries to originate from the Asia-Pacific region.

 Sharma said “With the optimistic outlook and growth, there is a lot of room for everyone aspiring to be in aviation and gender is not even a question. What’s important is he or she does the job well and airline operations are running smoothly.”
History will tell us that women have also been flying high as men do, literally. Women’s passion, determination, and can-do attitude have propelled them to reach their dreams to see the world from a different perspective.
American Lillian Todd was the first woman to build and design an aircraft in 1906. French Pilots Therese Peltier became the first woman to Pilot an aircraft in 1908 while Raymonde de Laroche was the first woman in the world to receive a Pilot license. Indeed, the sky’s the limit for women in the aviation industry.

Maria Anna Karenina Zosa, an Airbus A320 First Officer Transition training graduate from Alpha Aviation Group Philippines, said gender is not an issue in the aviation industry particularly in becoming a Pilot.
Zosa said “I don’t think that gender is an issue in achieving success as a Pilot. Airplanes and airports have always been a big part of my life because my father is also a Pilot. I can’t imagine not being a part of the aviation industry. Knowing that I’m already part of this industry and a company that gets people to places safely is the best part of my career.”

Zosa, who is now a limited first officer (LFO), has been using the skills she acquired from her training at AAG Philippines, the leading training academy in the country with a comprehensive suite of airline-standard training programs.
When Zosa was still a student, she found training to be a shock at first as being in the cockpit thousands of miles up in the air while minding safety measures are great responsibilities that you have to handle.
Zosa said “I was trained in a Cessna 152 and a Cessna 172 plane, and I didn’t have that much experience yet so it was a big jump for me.”
She expressed that her training was not a breeze so she gives credit to her instructors at AAG Philippines for extending their patience during times she found lessons difficult to understand.
She added that “If you really love what you’re doing, you can overcome all challenges.”
According to her, those who hate a routine job would enjoy being a Pilot as you adjust to new teammates and crew members every time.
She explained “I had to adjust to everyone I fly with since I rarely get to be with the same crew every day. During training at AAG, I was shocked at how fast-paced everything was. Everything was a challenge since many aspects of a flight are not predictable. But I trusted in the skills of my instructors so I knew I was in good hands,”
Zosa started training in AAG Philippines in February 2009 and graduated in November of 2011. After completing training in the academy, she underwent training with a local airline company.
“At first, we flew as observers of flights for at least 30 sectors so we could get an overview of how a flight operates.  Then we started our supervised line flying,” she said.
As a limited flight officer, Zosa assists the captain in all aspects of a flight, including pre-flight preparations and paperwork, to ensure the safety of everyone onboard the aircraft.
She said “Looking presentable is essential. Once I get to the airport or office, I report to my captain and I make sure all things necessary for the flight are prepared. We then go to the aircraft and do the flight. Once we get back to base, I make sure all reports and paper works are done.”
According to Zosa, she hopes to master everything that needs to be mastered in flying an aircraft.
She said “Once I’ve accomplished these skills and the amount of flying hours, I’ll apply and become a captain,”

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