Cathay Pacific and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have signed a three-year agreement to collaborate on a new integrated course for Cathay Pacific’s Cadet Pilot training programme that will cultivate local aviation industry talent and develop Hong Kong as a hub for aviation training.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Augustus Tang and PolyU Council Chairman Dr Lam Tai-fai welcomed Secretary for Transport and Logistics Mr Lam Sai-hung as the guest of honour at the signing ceremony, which took place at Cathay Pacific’s headquarters, Cathay City. Assistant Director-General of Civil Aviation (Flight Standards) Ms Clara Wong from the Civil Aviation Department was also in attendance.
The Secretary for Transport and Logistics Mr Lam Sai-hung said today’s signing ceremony was very meaningful as it marked a milestone in Hong Kong’s aviation industry. The Cadet Pilot training programme would not only groom more pilots for Hong Kong, but it also marked the first time that aviation theory courses would be taught by a local institution, writing a new chapter in Hong Kong’s aviation history and enriching the variety of aviation professional training in the city.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Augustus Tang said: “We are delighted to be continuing our Cadet Pilot programme. As Hong Kong’s home airline, we are committed to continuing to invest in young local talent and the long-term development of the Hong Kong international aviation hub. We firmly believe that there is huge potential for Hong Kong to become a leading centre for aviation training in the world, and this new integrated course will provide world-class instruction and training for prospective pilots. We would like to thank the CAD and PolyU for their support in getting this new course off the ground.
“Since the inception of our Cadet Pilot training programme, Cathay Pacific has trained more than 1,000 cadet pilots from Hong Kong. We look forward to welcoming candidates who will be starting the new cadet courses and becoming part of the Cathay Pacific team upon graduation. As we get ready to meet the rising global demand for travel, we have already started a comprehensive plan to hire 4,000 front-line employees to meet our operational needs over the next 18-24 months. This includes over 700 pilots, of which 400 are cadet graduates joining as Second Officers by the end of 2023. Overall, we aim to train more than 1,000 cadet pilots by 2025.”
PolyU Deputy President and Provost Professor Wing-tak Wong said: “The civil aviation industry has been the backbone of Hong Kong’s development. PolyU and Boeing co-founded the first Aviation Services Research Centre (ASRC) in Hong Kong ten years ago and the centre has since become a successful exemplar of research and innovation collaboration between academia and industry. The University later established the Department of Aeronautical and Civil Aviation Engineering to provide undergraduate, master and doctoral degree programmes to nurture talents in the industry and strengthen scientific research in the field of civil aviation and aeronautical engineering.”
Professor Wong continues: “Moving forward, we will continue to actively collaborate with industry partners to develop more professional qualifications and training programmes in support of the National 14th Five-Year Plan, so as to contribute to the healthy and sustainable development of the civil aviation industry in Hong Kong and the Nation.”
The new 55-60 week integrated course comprises three stages: theory, simulator training and flight training. Under the newly signed agreement, PolyU will provide a 150-working-day Theoretical Ground Training course that includes a minimum of 750 hours of instruction and examination in areas including principles of flight, meteorology, human performance, general navigation, instrumentation, radio navigation, air law and more. Successful candidates will then commence flight training overseas before returning to Cathay City for multi-crew simulator training.
The first batch of 24 candidates have already started the integrated course at PolyU in March and are scheduled to commence flight training in October after they have completed the ground theory portion of the programme. In parallel with the new integrated course, Cathay Pacific is also conducting cadet pilot training courses based upon the original programme module in Adelaide.
Conducting the majority of cadet-training activities in Hong Kong will ensure that the training regime is specifically suited to meet the needs of Cathay Pacific. Cadet pilots will be familiarised with aviation facilities and relevant organisations in Hong Kong, such as the CAD, Hong Kong Air Traffic Control, the Hong Kong Airport Fire Contingent, Cathay Pacific maintenance providers such as HAECO, and specifically the expertise of PolyU and the Cathay Pacific Training Centre.