Innovation was the core focus at Air Traffic Navigation Service (ATNS) AVI Awards Ceremony, where leaders in the aviation industry gathered at the Council for Science and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, South Africa of recent.
The AVI Awards has grown from strength to strength over the past four years, and this was clearly evident in the calibre of entries that had been received this year. The judging panel noted that the task at hand to find only three winners out of such an intuitive pool of entries, proved to be difficult.
“The AVI Awards creates a platform that collates great ideas and assists innovators in turning their innovations into commercially-viable products and services. We aim to create a pipeline of relevant aviation-related innovative ideas, products and services that seek to address the challenges faced by the industry and also look at improving on existing aviation technologies, services and products,” says ATNS Board Chairperson, Mr Simphiwe Thobela (L-R: 2nd in picture).
He notes: “Innovation is the heart of our industry. Research shows that in the last 30 years, our industry has experienced a variation of changes that have both challenged and developed the industry. The next 30 years are bound to be affected by technology and research shows that Africa will be one of the fastest-growing aviation regions over the next 20 years, with annual expansion averaging nearly 5%.”
Mr Thobela references the Air Transport Action Group’s (ATAG) report titled, “Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders” that predicts that the growth in air transport will support about 97.8 million jobs and $5.7 trillion in economic activity in 2036. Globally, the aviation industry supports 65.5 million jobs and about $2.7 trillion in economic activity. There are approximately 120,000 flights and 12 million passengers that make use of our services on a daily basis.
It is no wonder then that we have to look at new and interesting techniques, processes and solutions to enhance and drive this industry forward. Innovation is a core focus for any industry and is crucial in the aviation industry.
With a host of entries received, the judging panel selected three deserving winners. Reza Mia’s (L-R: 4th) vertical take-off business jet took home a cheque of R10 000, while first runner up, Shingai George’s (L-R: 3rd) Airside Collision Avoidance Device afforded him a R15 000 cash prize. The overall winner of the coveted O.R Tambo Cumulus Award (R30 000), went to Dr Remmy Musumpuka (L-R: 1st) for his S-Band Digital Aeronautical Communication System.
“We want to extend a big congratulations to all our entries, nominees and winners and we urge South African innovators to look out for these awards next year,” concludes Mr Thobela.