Last year I was featuring on Channel 9 News as the CMO of the fastest growing international pilot academy in Australia. It was an environment where the urgency to develop regional aerodromes was at its peak and the company I was tasked to grow, could not accomodate the expansion fast enough.
Fast forward 18 months and the majority of Aviation professionals and Airline Pilots are finding themselves staring into the proverbial abyss. Although Aviation is renowned to be a profession marred by peaks and troughs, no one could have possibly imagined the global scale of devastation that Commercial Aviation is now facing.
With most of us (especially in Victoria Australia) still caged in our abode, the sheer lack of mental focus and routine discipline that so epitomises pilot life, is enough to drive even the Pope to drink.
The Choice: Alter Heading or Innovate?
It seems that the only options we are left with are:
1. Change course or
Changing course is an adventure. Having lived and worked on 4 continents, not as a pilot but as a business development specialist, I can attest that personal resilience and adaptability is a welcome by-product of global business travels. But to be honest, it took me over 3 decades to finally answer the unwavering call of pilot training. Cockpit fever first hit me at 6 years old when I witnessed my favourite aircraft, the F16, at an air show as a young girl in South-Africa. I knew then, that I was destined for the cockpit, but in those times
a) we had no airforce in South-Africa and b) girls, just didn't fly!
So out of sheer stubbornness and refusal to give up what I have waited my entire life to do, I personally am not about to change course, I am going to innovate.
1. Change Course/Alter Heading
For those Pilots with a desire to experience something new, I can honestly say that the world is your oyster, you have skills and discipline second to none and if you can attain ATPL and thousands of flying hours away from your loved one's, the only obstacle in your way of certain success, is deciding what it is that you would like to tackle and then going for it.
2. Innovate... But How?
Step 1: Network
For the patriots of Aviation who could not possibly imagine a life without regularly touching the skies, innovation is our pick of the day and this is why I felt that an online Aviation network would be a great 1st step in bringing us all together to collaborate ideas, communicate challenges and support one another in order to spearhead and accelerate the evolution of commercial/business aviation.
Although I do come from a similar background to Elon Musk, I (unfortunately) was not endowed with the gift of mind-bending innovation that he seems to possess in spades, but I do have an abundant amount of passion and a little experience in bringing people together and growing things.
Step 2: Pivot
Moving on, but relating back to the networking concept of devising innovation through collaboration. How many innovations could we uncover if somebody just started to ask the right questions or simply held the space for creative thinking to occur?
I think one of the single most brilliant ideas to come out of the COVID19 Aviation crisis, is Qantas's "flight to nowhere." It is simply genius. It just goes to show that we don't even need a destination or a pilots licence to desire to hit the skies, the desire is simply... THERE.
Step 3: Meet the Immediate Demand
DEMAND. The indisputable sign of life, beckoning Aviations very bright future. An almost unbelievable demand for flight, despite the threats and rants regarding COVID transmission in closed/tight spaces or the contorted covid economic climate.
Tickets for the 'flight to nowhere' sold out within 10 minutes! People paid up to $2700 to get on a plane, amid a pandemic, to simply ...GO NOWHERE.
The word unprecedented has been massacred this year, but this 10 minute sell out, is simply that ...and a sign of just how much future there is for Aviation in both the short term and beyond. If we simply put our heads together and do something to out-create the apathy that COVID19 has left us in AND meet this demand, frankly, we have another UBER on our hands.
How many more smaller charter companies could simply follow the lead of Qantas's 'flight to nowhere' and dig them selves out of the economic melodrama of COVID19. All they need do, is simply follow suit and revitalise the entire escarpment of Commercial as well as General Aviation in 2021, just with this one concept!
There are so many brilliant ideas and people out there in Aviation. Someone just has to provide a space for them to get creative and get them (legally) out of isolation.
We need to shine a light on the possibilities that lie in wait and a whole new dawn of aviation is possible.
For those aviators out there, who are not yet ready to say farewell to the checklists and the cockpit, but don't quite know what to do. Register your interest to participate in our bi-monthly online meetings, by following our Linked In page Here and messaging me directly OR sign up for the invite list at Talking Leads AvNet | Contact
I will leave you with a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald, that always resonates in these times:
“For what it’s worth... it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start over again.” Power up and climb! Liesl