Cathay Pacific and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) signed a three-year agreement to work in partnership on a new unified course for Cathay Pacific’s Cadet Pilot training programme that will nurture local aviation industry talent and expand Hong Kong as a hub for aviation training.
Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, 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 Air Services and Safety Management Ms Clara Wong from the Civil Aviation Department was also in attendance.
The Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung said during the signing ceremony that it marked a milestone in Hong Kong’s aviation industry. The Cadet training programme marks a new chapter in Hong Kong’s aviation history that a local institution imparting aviation theory courses for the first time, thus elevating the diversity of aviation professionals training in the city.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Augustus Tang said that the company is delighted to be continuing their Cadet Pilot programme. As Hong Kong’s home airline, the company is committed to continuing to invest in young local talent and the long-term development of the Hong Kong international aviation hub. Tang added saying that this new integrated course would provide world-class instruction and training for prospective pilots. The team thanked the CAD and PolyU for their support in getting this new course off the ground.
Cathay Pacific aims to train more than 1,000 cadet pilots by 2025
Since the inception of their Cadet Pilot training programme, Cathay Pacific has trained more than 1,000 cadet pilots from Hong Kong. To meet the rising global demand for travel, the airline has formed a comprehensive plan to hire 4,000 front-line employees to meet their operational needs over the next 18-24 months. This includes over seven hundred pilots, of which four hundred are cadet graduates joining as Second Officers by the end of 2023. The airline aims to train more than 1,000 cadet pilots by 2025.
PolyU Deputy President and Provost Professor Wing-tak Wong said that the civil aviation industry has been the backbone of Hong Kong’s progress. 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 partnership between academia and industry. The University later launched the Department of Aeronautical and Civil Aviation Engineering to offer undergraduate, master, and doctoral degree programmes to nurture talents in the industry and reinforce scientific research in civil aviation and aeronautical engineering
Professor Wong added saying that the airline would continue to actively collaborate with industry partners to develop more professional qualifications and training programmes in support of the National 14th Five-Year Plan, 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 encompasses three phases: theory, simulator training and flight training. Under the recently signed agreement, PolyU would deliver a 150-working-day ‘‘Theoretical Ground Training’’ course that comprises a minimum of 750 hours of instruction and examination in areas comprising principles of flight, meteorology, human performance, instrumentation, general navigation, radio navigation, air law and many more. Successful candidates would then begin flight training overseas before resuming back to Cathay City for multi-crew simulator training.
The first batch of twenty-four candidates have already begun the integrated course at PolyU in March and are scheduled to commence flight training in October after completing the ground theory portion of the programme. Cathay Pacific is also conducting cadet pilot training courses based upon the original programme module in Adelaide.
Conducting most cadet-training activities in Hong Kong would ensure that the training regime is exclusively suited to meet the needs of Cathay Pacific. Cadet pilots would first be habituated 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.