Cathay Dragon Aviation Certificate Programme 2017 now open for applications

The Cathay Dragon Aviation Certificate Programme (CDACP), the newly renamed flagship initiative under the Cathay Dragon Youth Aviation Academy, offers young people an invaluable learning opportunity to explore the fascinating multi-faceted world of aviation over a period of nine months. Young people aged between 18 and 25 are now invited to apply for the 2017 intake.

Aimed at nurturing future talent for the aviation industry in Hong Kong, the CDACP has provided young people with a comprehensive aviation programme, which is organised by Cathay Dragon in conjunction with the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps and the Scout Association of Hong Kong, for the past 11 years.

The programme has made a positive impact, with more than 40 per cent of graduates having already embarked on careers in various areas of the aviation industry, including aircraft engineering, air traffic control and ground handling, while a number are now working as pilots with Cathay Dragon and Cathay Pacific.

What makes CDACP unique is that each participant is guided by a Cathay Dragon pilot mentor who offers guidance and advice throughout the programme to help their professional and personal development.

The programme has garnered enormous support from a broad spectrum of aviation organisations who share many of the same values as the CDACP. Participants are given the chance to visit and experience various aviation activities at first hand, such as aircraft takeoffs and landings, the workings of air traffic control and, through a flight simulator, the handling of an aircraft’s controls.

Another programme highlight for students is the opportunity to take an observation flight operated by their mentors, following the whole journey from the pre-flight briefing to experiencing the actual flight from the cockpit. Through this, participants gain a thorough understanding of how important teamwork within the aviation community is in the operation of each and every flight.

Pilot mentors have played a very important role in guiding and inspiring participants at every step of their journey. On average, around 30 pilot mentors from Cathay Dragon are involved in the CDACP every year. One long-term mentor is Captain Brian McCarthy, who will take on his role as the programme’s coordinator in 2017 from Captain Marcus De Santis, the founder of CDACP and its coordinator ever since its launch in 2005. Just like many other Cathay Dragon pilot mentors, Captain McCarthy said he wants to give back to the aviation community and to Hong Kong having been inspired by his own mentors as a young aviator.

Enrolment for the 2017 programme is open until 16 December 2016. Young aviation enthusiasts should not miss out on this unique and valuable learning opportunity. Programme and application details are available at