The Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) has partnered with a number of organisations to host the inaugural Soweto Aviation Day at the Makhoroane Primary School in Dobsonville, Soweto.

ATNS partnered with the Southern African Women in Aviation and Aviation and Aerospace (SAWIA), the Kutlwanong Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), South African Airways (SAA), the South African Police Services Airwing (SAPS), the Wits University Aeronautical Department and South African Air Force (SAAF)

The event started at 10am and will end at 4pm.

International aviation experts who invested their own time and resources to be part of the important day are Sandra Clifford, Northern California aero-club president (also a corporate pilot in the USA); Pam Svrdlin, co-president of Women in Aviation International (WAI). Pam is also a commercial pilot in the USA; Kelly Hoffman, a co-president of WIA. Kelly is a Pilot and is employed by Facebook in the USA. Anne Marie Clifford, social community leader from St Helena, USA, Christi Dobelli, airline captain, global chairperson of Women in Corporate Aviation (WCA). Christi is from the USA and Kim Wong Brigitte, a commercial pilot from Paris, France.

The event’s main aim is to allow grade 12 students to engage with various professionals within the aviation and aerospace fields, thereby exposing them to opportunities that exist within the industry. Today, 300 learners from the Kutlwanong Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology are in attendance.

A week ago, ATNS welcomed 18 final year electronics engineering university students at the prestigious Aviation Training Academy (ATA) situated near the O R Tambo International Airport.

These students are from the Universities of Johannesburg; the Central University of Technology (Bloemfontein), the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (Cape Town); the Durban University of Technology (Durban) and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (Port Elizabeth).

Thirteen of these students are women. This demonstrates that ATNS is implementing its women development programmes according to its set strategic imperatives. Since 2009, ATNS ATA has offered experiential training to 48 third year students from various universities across the country. Over half were women.