Published on : Saturday, September 20, 2014
South African Airways (SAA) in partnership with Boeing, one of the world’s largest aerospace companies, today unveiled a Boeing 737-800 aircraft replica which will be visiting schools around the country as part of the SiVulindlela Aviation Awareness Project.
This was unveiled during the Africa Aerospace Defence show at the Air Force Base in Waterkloof, Pretoria, with school learners in attendance.
The project, targeted at grade eight to 11 learners, aims to help them understand some aspects of the aviation industry including, among others, technical and piloting opportunities in this industry.
Boeing converted a new special purpose-built cargo container to resemble a Boeing 737-800 aircraft with near-complete functionality of a cockpit, cabin seats, storage cabins and a demonstration engine. The replica also has a plasma TV and iPad functionality mimicking the external view from a cockpit and the digital operation of an aircraft.
“As SAA, we are fully committed to opening doors for young women and men to explore other career options in the aviation industry. For many, this sector is far removed from their realities due to socio-economic circumstances, but we believe that if we plant this seed today, many will cherish and rise above any limitations to pursue their interest in the aviation space,” says SAA CEO, Mr Monwabisi Kalawe.
This mobile exhibition will be used to raise awareness about aircraft and career options available in this space especially in remote communities around South Africa where many people have never seen the inside of an aeroplane. The experience with the aircraft model will provide practical exposure to all the aspects of operating an aircraft. Pilots, technicians and cabin crew members will be conducting tutorials to help learners gain insight about the industry. Participating schools will be supplied with relevant reading materials and videos.
“The aviation industry plays a crucial role in the movement of passengers and cargo, facilitating cross-border trade and enhancing socio-economic standards across the African continent,” said J. Miguel Santos, vice president, Africa, Boeing International and sales director, Africa, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Project SiVulindlela is an investment in the future development of young South Africans to inspire them to become the pilots, engineers, technicians and airline personnel of tomorrow,” concludes Santos.
The Department of Basic Education will play a key role in identifying schools which will be visited during this nation-wide initiative.