…as GCCA launches programme to address staff shortageIn an era where the aviation sector is rapidly growing, the shortage of human resource capability in the industry needs to be addressed.Director General of GCAA, Egbert Field, Minister with responsibility for housing, Annette Ferguson along with officials from “NexGen” during the launching ceremonyFor this, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) on Friday launched the “NexGen” programme, geared at sensitising youths about prospects of the sector and getting them involved. This initiative will feature several engaging programmes, targeting children from as young as two years old.The programme was developed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) with a mandate of expanding the industry. According to the Organisation, youth interest in aviation is only at 14 per cent. However, according to Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson, there needs to be a positive change in these figures.Aviation, he noted, plays a vital role in the business of people and their activities. In fact, the sector remains the safest medium for travel.Director General of the GCAA, Egbert Field highlighted that the industry is projected to double in 15 years. However, authorities are presently incapable of meeting that demand.“Aviation in the next 15 years will surely double and that is what has been happening. They’ll need close to 500,000 pilots and engineer and other personnel in the aviation industry. At present, we don’t know how we’re going to fill those positions. That is why the NexGen initiative was launched,” he informed.For children ages two to 12, there is a Galactic Expo planned for next month, where there will be simulators, robots and aeroplane craft competitions under the Star Wars theme. Meanwhile, persons of ages 12 to 18 will be introduced to the regional aviation high flyers club for internships and mentor programmes. Lastly, the 18 to 25 category will feature gatherings at universities and technical institutes.In 2018, the aviation sector globally grew by 7.5 per cent when compared to the previous year. By 2028, it was estimated that the sector will move 6 billion passengers every year.