First African Aviators Webinar Addresses Challenges Faced by Aspiring Pilots

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The first African Aviators webinar series successfully took flight on September 9 with episode 1 zooming in on Pilots.

This series of webinars is a first for Africa and is focused on engaging the next generation, providing inspiration, insights and practical advice on how to pursue a career in aviation from the horse’s mouth, African aviation professionals who have seen it and done it before

It is an initiative of the African aviation group (on facebook), AviaDev and Airspace Africa with support from Embraer

The esteemed panel could not have had better representation than Captain Haig Anyonyi and Amanda Kandawire-Khoza with aspiring Pilot Nuga Pavali completing the crew

Amanda Kandawire-Khoza is an Airline Pilot from Soweto, Johannesburg. She has been flying for 13 years for airlines such as SA Express, South African Airways and Emirates. She was the first South African lady to fly the Airbus A380. Captain Haig Anyonyi is a TRI (Type Rating Instructor) and TRE (Type Rating Examiner), he flew for Kenya Airways and the UN, acquiring ratings on the B777, B767, B737CL, B737 NG and Embraer 170/190

The date of this episode happened to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks which profoundly changed the global aviation landscape and webinar host, Jon Howell took a moment to remember and pay respects to all those affected.

The following Challenges were identified as the most pressing for the next generation:

  • Lack of information
  • lack of funding
  • Lack of adequate and cost-effective training facilities

What are the solutions:

Solutions to Financing:

Bursary programs – Speakers suggested some of the existing options locally and internationally

Local government – Lobbying local government authorities for sponsorship

Self sponsorship – Through employment


The following were identified as the most crucial factors in selection of a Flight school

  • Safety Culture
  • Quality of facilities
  • Credentials of the teaching staff


Calls were made for governments to play a leading role by building state owned aviation training infrastructure in order to drive down high costs of training through subsidies. This will also serve the long-term sustainability of the industry through development of Talent

A Multi-stakeholder approach is needed to address Africa’s challenges and to sustainably bring through the next generation and grow the industry. Speakers agreed that all stake holders stand to benefit and as such should play their part in enabling the next generation.

The webinar was streamed live on facebook and can still be watched here:






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