CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Today, U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director Leocadia I. Zak welcomed attendees to the U.S.-South Africa Aviation Forum: The Future of Aviation Leadership. The Forum serves as the capstone to a series of training activities that USTDA sponsored to support South Africa’s goal of establishing top-notch aviation education programs.
“USTDA developed this program not only to promote innovative solutions, but also – and more importantly – to develop the next generation of leaders in aviation,” Director Zak said. “This Forum is an opportunity to identify tangible ways that we can all work together to shape the aviation sector of the future.”
Director Zak was joined by Assistant Secretary Susan Kurland, who leads the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office Aviation and International Affairs, as well as representatives from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Minister Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, head of the Republic of South Africa’s Department of Transport, led a delegation of high-level officials, including:
- Mr. Zakhele Thwala, Deputy Director General of Civil Aviation, South African Department of Transport
- Mr. Thabani Mthiyane, Chief Executive Officer, Air Traffic and Navigation Services of South Africa
- Mr. Nico Bezuidenhout, Acting Chief Executive Officer, South Africa Airways
- Mr. Bongani Maseko, Chief Executive Officer, Airports Company South Africa
The Forum will support the mission of these entities to prepare for the expected increased demand for air transportation services in one of the world’s most rapidly expanding aviation markets. The country’s top airport, O.R. Tambo International in Johannesburg, is poised to exceed capacity as early as this year.
The Forum, which concludes tomorrow in Cape Town, features sessions on problem solving and case studies on workforce development that will foster the advancement of the U.S. and South African aviation communities. Sessions will maximize interactive discussion between the South African delegates and U.S. industry executives, who will share their experience in developing leaders and cultivating innovation.
Forum participants will post real-time information on social media using the #SAAviationForum hashtag.