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National airline celebrates women in aviation

National airline celebrates women in aviation

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day under the theme #PressforProgress, Air Namibia congratulated Elina Nependa, Iria Sheehama, and Foonie Kazarako on their achievement as its first ever female aircraft engineers for the Embraer Jet (ERJ) fleet.

The trio joined Air Namibia some six months ago, overcoming major challenges and perceived misconceptions by joining a male dominated industry.

“Air Namibia has in recent years seen a rise in women joining the airline, from management to the flight crew and now in the Maintenance department. The dream of the three women to joining the sector was enabled by the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) through the Ministry of Works and Transport,” Twaku Kayofa, the company’s Corporate Communications Officer, said.

Nependa is an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer and holds a diploma in electrical engineering from Bulawayo Technical School in Zimbabwe and an Aircraft maintenance aviation certification from Transport Education Training Authority (TETA) in Johannesburg, South Africa. While Sheehama and Kazarako are aircraft engineers and have Aircraft maintenance aviation certification from Transport Education Training Authority (TETA) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“Although there are bigger challenges, we are always eager to solve them amicably. Through hard work and determination, we are able to find the source of challenges and overcome them as a team,” Nependa said.

The aircraft engineer’s job is to make sure that the aircraft remains airworthy without compromising safety.

“When the aircraft lands and all the passengers have disembarked, we take the TL3B (Defect log book) to check if the Pilot or Cabin Attendant logged anything that is in-operation (In-op) and we fix it before the flight is cleared for departure again. If there are no issues, we do visual checks in and out of the aircraft to make sure there is nothing out of the ordinary. When maintenance needs to be done, it is done within a specified period of time without causing any delay to the normal operation of the aircraft,” Sheehama and Kazarako explained.

Air Namibia encouraged women to join the aviation technical fields and embrace their capabilities.

About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

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