President Ir Aaron Bok led a delegation of Division Chairmen for a visit to the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (CAD), at the kind invitation of Director General Ir Captain Victor Liu, on 19 December 2022.
The Director General restarted a long-standing tradition of an annual HKIE visit, with the COVID restrictions being slowly removed.
The CAD briefed the HKIE on the many changes in Hong Kong aviation. First and foremost, was the Three-runway System (3RS) which was commissioned on 25 November 2022 to add significant capacity to the airport and help regain its position as a premier aviation hub. Alongside the 3RS, CAD also introduced to the delegation the Smart technologies utilising artificial intelligence to aid air traffic controllers to increase airport safety management. The CAD was also a key matter expert on the development and certification of the COMAC C919, which was recently delivered to the launch customer, the China Eastern Airline.
To facilitate better co-operation on safety, training and certification, the CAD explained the latest developments of the Joint Maintenance Management, which had recently included the recognition of aircraft maintenance organisations, aircraft maintenance training organisations and aircraft maintenance licence holders. This would remove much duplication between the Mainland, Macau, and Hong Kong.
Finally, CAD shared their green initiatives, not only in the design and ongoing upgrades to the headquarters but also at remote stations located throughout Hong Kong, from extensive use of solar power to inspection of CAD facilities using drones.
The Director General then led HKIE on a tour of the upgraded air traffic tower 3D training simulator, which is used for training new controllers and recurrent training for existing controllers. The delegation was shown the array of visual enhancements that realistically portrayed the real-life views of the airport and its surrounding terrain that provide the latest training aids for controllers.
Engaging the community is a pillar of CAD and the HKIE, and HKIE delegation was then taken on a tour of the reopened Education Path designed for the public to showcase the different works of the CAD and behind-the-scenes activities. The Education Path utilises interactive and visual tools, displays and actual aviation equipment to allow the public to really see the work of the CAD and their contributions to global aviation.
Finally, the delegation visited the newly established Air Accident Investigation Authority. Once part of the CAD, this newly formed and independent unit investigates air accidents and incidents. The delegation was introduced the array of tools used for understanding why incidents or accidents occur, including the famed black box or cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder.
HKIE delegation with CAD representatives outside the Air Traffic Control Building
CAD briefed the HKIE delegation on the latest developments in Hong Kong aviation
The Institution sees not only an obligation to offer professional views to the media on topics concerning the public, but also an opportunity to engage and impress the public with good stories of the engineering profession. It is therefore important to hone the storytelling skills of especially the representatives speaking on behalf of the Institution.
Following the Executive Media Training held last October, trainings have been extended to some 30 representatives of Divisions, Committees and Disciplines, as well as President’s Protégés and the Institution’s KOLs in December 2022.
Participants of the media trainings were first briefed about the media landscape and how local interest and global trends interact with each other. Explaining how perception has a greater impact than reality, the coaches discussed the trends of news as entertainment and the growing emotionsfirst style in the age of digital media. In the practice sessions, participants were able to work on their body language and skills in resonating, and learn how to build trust with the audience through some given scenarios.
The coaches (middle, standing) asking participants to share their thoughts
A coach (L) guiding the discussion of a group of participants
The coaches making introductory remarks on the media landscape
A participant (middle, holding the mike) trying her hand at responding to an imaginary media inquiry