By Dr. Arun Lohiya
Those who are eager to go around the world, combine employment with adventure and make good money at the same time may consider a career in aviation. An aviation career has all the trappings of an adventure sport, coupled with responsibility and good earnings. The job is both challenging and rewarding.
Aviation is an industry by itself. The jobs in this sector range from ‘meet and greet’ services; luggage handling; passenger management; ground security; air-side maintenance and engineering; in-flight safety and service; and piloting. These jobs are regulated by the Directorate General of Civil Engineering (DCGA), and care is taken to ensure that all personnel get enough stress-free time to be able to focus on their tasks when on duty. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is a UN body that validates acceptable hours of duty so that staff are always alert and responsive on the job.
The Indian aviation sector has tremendous potential for growth. At the international level, it ranks third in the world after the USA and China in terms of attractiveness. The sector offers jobs for various levels of qualification; universities and institutions also offer a number of courses specific to the aviation industry. Aviation courses include: Aeronautical Engineering; Bachelor of Business Administration in Aviation / Airport Management; Bachelor of Science in Aviation; Cabin Crew Certificate Course; and Commercial Pilot License Course. Those who pursue these courses can get a job in the aviation industry.
An airline pilot’s job is one of the best paying jobs. One can get prepared for it through a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Safe transport of passengers and freight from one point to another is the primary duty of an airline pilot. The pilot is also responsible for ensuring that all personnel aboard the flight follow the safety guidelines. S/he must check the weather conditions along the route and prepare an optimum flight plan; thoroughly check the aircraft before take-off; and maintain constant communication with Air Traffic Control in each flight zone.
Air traffic controllers coordinate movement of flights remotely through communication with the pilots. They must control traffic such that there is minimal delay, and no danger to people or the aircraft. They give the pilot clearance for landing and take-off, and keep in touch through radar and other visual aids when the flight is airborne to track its progress and safety. An air traffic controller must have the ability to remain alert for long hours. While the pilot relies on their guidance, they must immediately report any issues flagged up by the pilot, and also be alert to any loss of communication from the pilot.
Flight attendants or cabin crew are responsible for the in-flight comfort of the passengers. They must be good at dealing with people, as very often they have to deal with difficult passengers. Their presence in the cabin must bring comfort and relief to the passengers. Soft tone of voice, patience, and service with a smile are some of the hallmarks of a good flight attendant.
Airport managers oversee the day-to-day operations at the airport. Crowd management, irate passengers, maintenance and security, and compliance with regulations all come under the ambit of an airport manager. Ground staff handle passenger issues such as baggage, transit journeys, security checks, ticketing and boarding.
The satisfaction at being able to provide passengers with a seamless experience with all these personnel working in tandem is unparalleled. Besides the joy of being able to earn while travelling to different places, it is the feel of different cultures, social traditions and rituals, and various cuisines that add to the richness of a career in aviation. There are moments of intense pressure and tension, and others of euphoria. For those at the right age and in a position to take their own career decisions, a career in aviation is worth considering. Moreover, the retirement benefits, and the advantages to the family are added frills that add to the attractiveness of an aviation career.
(The author is Chief Operating Officer, CAD Ventures Pvt Ltd. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)