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ERA hosts 2019 global Heads of Airline Associations
January 25, 2019. AASA news. Brussels, Belgium. At a meeting held on 24 January 2019 and hosted by the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) at Eurocontrol Headquarters in Brussels, airline associations from all over the globe met to exchange information, discuss key issues affecting the aviation industry, and to promote a healthy, safe and growing aviation market.
This event was an important step towards further growing the close relationship between ERA and other key airline associations for the great benefit of the airline industry. This highly-productive meeting has reaffirmed the importance of working closely with our partners and contributes to the valuable strategic work by all associations in representing the global aviation community.
ERA Director General, Montserrat Barriga
In the session of the meeting addressing industry skills shortage and proposed solutions, AASA's CEO, Chris Zweigenthal, presented his thoughts on the industry skills shortage and his views on how the associations can work together to create an action plan to attract, recruit and retain more pilots and technicians. He identified some causes and challenges facing the industry in Africa, and proposed solutions:
- Major skills shortage, availability and development of skilled talent. The only way forward is training, and collaborating with initiatives such as IATA's International Training Fund; ICAO's Next Generation of Aviation Professionals (NGAP); cadet schools and in-house airline training programmes; promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education initiatives in primary and high school; and to support organisations such as the African Aviation Training OrganIsation (AATO).
- Aviation professions are not attractive enough to potential candidates. The high cost of training is a deterrant to high quality candidates and potential pilots. Creating awareness of aviation as a career and supporting initiatives and NGO's such as Wonders of Aviation can assist in channeling identified talent toward careers in aviation.
- Retention of talent. To address the exodus of skilled professionals to other industries, a pipeline of talent is needed to take the reigns of those retiring professionals. Skills transfer and mentorship programmes can assist with knowledge transfer across generations.
- Transformation of the industry. Human resources and development are struggling to keep pace with technological developments and a changing work environment. Education and training initiatives can also assist in closing this gap.