VTC, Civil Aviation Department and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology co-organise Aviation Industry Forum 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges for the aviation industry, as it has for the entire community. The aviation industry is now eager to take off again in style by adopting smart technologies to embrace the new opportunities that will arise. At the Aviation Industry Forum 2022 jointly organised by the Engineering Discipline of the Vocational Training Council (VTC), the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia, on 25 November at Hong Kong International Aviation Academy, speakers shed light on the latest trends and technologies for airport and cargo operations, skilled talent strategies and the “new normal” of travel and aviation services, all aimed at enhancing the sustainable long-term development of Hong Kong’s aviation industry.
Themed “Resilience of Aviation in a New Age of Technology”, the Forum, one of the VTC’s 40th Anniversary events, was held in hybrid mode, attracting more than 800 leaders from the education and aviation sectors, professionals, academics and practitioners, both online and offline.
Officiating guests were HKSAR Government’s Under Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Mr LIU Chun-san; Australian Consul-General to Hong Kong and Macau Ms Elizabeth WARD; VTC’s Chairman Mr Tony TAI and Deputy Executive Director Dr Michael WANG; and CAD’s Assistant Director-General (Airport Standards), Mr Raymond NG.
Mr LIU told delegates in his opening speech that in order to address the long-term manpower demand of the aviation industry in Hong Kong and the region, the Hong Kong International Aviation Academy would launch a GBA Youth Aviation Industry Internship Programme in collaboration with relevant aviation training institutions in the Mainland. Under this programme, young people from Hong Kong and the Mainland would be offered internship placements at other airports in the GBA and at HKIA respectively. The programme was targeted for launch in the first half of 2023 and would provide about 300 places in the first year, he added. This would help consolidate Hong Kong’s status not only as an international aviation hub, but also as a regional aviation training centre.
Mr TAI noted that talent would play a crucial role in catalysing industry recovery, which was particularly important in the context of Hong Kong. Aviation-related policy initiatives and strategic targets would be rolled out to reinforce the city’s position as an international aviation hub and a regional aviation training centre. As the city’s major provider of vocational and professional education and training (VPET), the VTC would be committed to nurturing a diverse supply of high-calibre, multi-skilled and tech-savvy talent to promote the flourishing development of the aviation industry and society at large. He added that the VTC had already groomed a wealth of versatile talent over the years to support different aspects of the industry, working with CAD and RMIT University and with staunch support from industry partners.
Ms WARD said the Forum provided a valuable platform for re-energising knowledge-sharing on the latest aviation trends, challenges and emerging technologies, as well as for fostering future collaboration within the region. The aviation industry had faced an unprecedented crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic, she said, but had stayed resilient. With the use of smart technologies and human inventiveness, recovery was now well in hand. Ms WARD pointed out that Hong Kong’s role as a major aviation hub, its third runway development and its potential for integration with the Greater Bay Area made the future of civil aviation in the city bright and promising. Australian universities and companies had been playing an important role in bringing various technologies, practices and approaches to Hong Kong and beyond, she noted. The partnership between Australia and Hong Kong offered exciting opportunities for all parties.
CAD’s Mr NG delivered a keynote speech on how the adoption of cutting-edge aviation technologies would play a crucial role in enhancing resilience and sustainability across the aviation industry. He said the Forum provided an excellent platform for aviation industry stakeholders to share their experience and strengthen collaboration, so that all of them could contribute to supporting long-term aviation development in Hong Kong and beyond.
Executive Dean of the School of Engineering at RMIT University, Distinguished Professor Adrian MOURITZ, presented comprehensive insights on resilience of the aviation industry during post-pandemic and emphasised the radical changes to aviation operations and customer service enhancement bought by emerging technologies. He added that RMIT and VTC would continue to nurture students with new technology skillsets to pursue promising careers in the aviation industry.
In total, 12 different topics were discussed during the Forum, including future technological applications for passenger and cargo operations at Hong Kong International Airport; the future of air traffic management systems; aviation policies and procedures during and after the pandemic; navigating the resumption and recovery of the aviation sector; joint strategies with GBA airports; VPET requirements for Hong Kong's aviation sector; and future skillsets for the industry.
This year's Forum featured more than 10 industry experts, including CAD’s Assistant Director-General of Civil Aviation (Flight Standards), Miss Clara WONG who hosted the panel discussion, CAD’s Acting Chief Operations Officer (Air Services), Mr Simon CHEAN, who talked about aviation policies and procedures after the pandemic; and CAD's Head of Airworthiness Standards, Mr Eric CHEUNG, who outlined the Joint Maintenance Management Cooperation Arrangement, a collaboration between CAD, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Macao Special Administrative Region (AACM). Chief Commissioner of the Australian Safety Transport Bureau Angus MITCHELL shared his insights on air safety in the post-pandemic era, while Senior Strategy Manager of Thales Group Airspace Mobility Solutions, Mr Dean MACAULEY, discussed future development of air traffic management systems followed by Director, Aviation Academy of RMIT University, Ms Lea VESIC on restart and recovery of aviation industry.
Established in 1982, the Vocational Training Council (VTC) is the largest vocational and professional education and training provider in Hong Kong. The mission of VTC is to provide a valued choice to school leavers and working people to acquire the values, knowledge and skills for lifelong learning and enhanced employability, and also to provide support to industries for their manpower development. VTC has 13 member institutions, namely the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi), the Institute of Professional Education And Knowledge (PEAK), the School for Higher and Professional Education (SHAPE), the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE), the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI), the Hotel and Tourism Institute (HTI), the Chinese Culinary Institute (CCI), the International Culinary Institute (ICI), the Maritime Services Training Institute (MSTI), Youth College, Pro-Act by VTC, the Integrated Vocational Development Centre (IVDC) and the Shine Skills Centre.
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