SAAF supports International Civil Aviation Day in Bisho

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The South African Air Force (SAAF) was out in force at Bisho Airport earlier this month for the 2023 International Civil Aviation Day (ICAD).

An estimated 1 500 learners from surrounding Eastern Cape schools descended on Bisho Airport on 8 and 9 December, Captain Mbali Nkabinde reported for the SA Air Force.

Learners were fed with knowledge around aviation, and the different careers within aviation, by stakeholders including the SAAF, Civil Aviation Authority, Armscor, Department of Transport, Airports Company of South Africa etc.

Some of the learners saw a flying aircraft for the first time in their lives. These learners also had an opportunity to touch and feel the SAAF BK117 that was flown all the way from Air Force Port Elizabeth Station by Major Corrie Obherholtzer.

An exhibition was put together by 5 Air Servicing Unit, 1 Air Servicing Unit and 68 Air School. All these Units displayed the different aviation platforms and support that they provide on a day to day basis to the SA Air Force.

Captain Luntu Ndongeni addressed the learners and motivated them on how important it is to be aware of the opportunities made available to them. Airman Ncengiwe S’nenhlanhla Shezi, an Aircraft Turner at 1 air Servicing Unit, also addressed the learners and told them what is required in being an Aircraft Turner. She reminded the learners that “Education is key and with focus nothing will stand on your way.” She further reminded them “, before you can be part of the aviation family within the SA Air Force, one needs to be a trained soldier first.”

On 9 December, the BK117 gave a display in the cloudy skies of Bisho. The day also saw the arrival of the Deputy Chief of the South African Air Force, Major General Mayenzeke Matanda, who said, “It is exciting and great that something of this magnitude can be brought to the community of the Eastern Cape, and shared with the locals.”