Cathay Pacific Airways today held a graduation ceremony for ten local cadet pilots who have completed its Cadet Pilot Programme at BAE SYSTEMS Flight Training in Adelaide, South Australia. The ten graduates bring the number of cadet pilots who have graduated from Cathay Pacific`s programme to almost 150 since it first began in 1988. Cathay Pacific investment in the programme is part of its long-term commitment to develop Hong Kong`s aviation industry.
Today`s ceremony marked the first time in Hong Kong`s aviation history that cadet pilots have been able to be issued with a Hong Kong Commercial Pilots` Licence directly as a result of graduation from a Hong Kong ab-initio training course. Previously these licences had to be issued by way of conversion of a foreign licence. To qualify for the licence the cadets completed a new course which has been jointly designed by Cathay Pacific, the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, and BAE SYSTEMS Flight Training.
The graduating class comprises nine male and one female cadet pilots aged between 20 and 27. All of the cadets are Hong Kong permanent ID card holders and each successfully completed the 60-week cadet pilot programme. The graduation ceremony was hosted by Cathay Pacific`s Director of Personnel William Chau, while the guest of honour was the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department`s Director General Albert Lam. The families of the cadets were also present.
Cathay Pacific`s Director of Flight Operations Captain Ken Barley said: “We are delighted to see the graduation of these ten young cadet pilots. They have all put in a great deal of work to compete what is a very comprehensive and demanding course. We wish them all the best as they embark upon their careers and we hope they will serve as role models for future cadets who aspire to be a part of Hong Kong`s aviation industry.”
Mr Lam said: “I am very pleased to be here today to witness the graduation of these fine young cadet pilots. They are the very first to graduate directly from the new programme that we have designed with Cathay Pacific and BAE SYSTEMS Flight Training. We wish them all the best in their future careers.”
The cost of training a Cadet Pilot is approximately HK$1 million for each cadet, including training, accommodation, uniforms, weekly allowance, meals and other expenses. The cost is entirely borne by Cathay Pacific. Prior to 1999, Cathay Pacific trained an average of 12 cadets each year. The intake was doubled to 23 cadets in 1999, and is planned to be increased to 48 cadets in 2001.
BAE SYSTEMS Flight Training College is located at Parafield Airport near Adelaide. The College has so far trained more than 1,000 cadet pilots for a range of international airlines.