Six Upper Canada College students went to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) headquarters in Montreal to attend the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals (NGAP) Global Summit and participate in the Model ICAO Forum on Nov. 27 and 28.
The boys were accompanied by Emma Kanga from UCC’s finance office and club advisor and Seaton’s House residential assistant Jon Heffernan. They arrived in Montreal on the evening of Nov. 26.
The next day the boys started their day early by attending the opening session of the NGAP Global Summit as well as two panels dealing with “Aviation Careers from Young Aviation Professionals.” The boys listened to the lectures and asked questions while also joining discussions during coffee and lunch breaks.
The students exchanged ideas with ICAO secretary-general Dr. Fang Liu about young aviation professionals. Liu was pleased to see high school students with such a passion about the aviation industry and its future.
The boys started the second day even earlier to participate in the Model ICAO Forum, during which the boys joined their assigned streams — including unmanned aircraft systems and dangerous air cargo — with other university and high school students. After a brief lecture by their stream leaders, who were aviation experts specializing in the topic, the boys spent three hours within their group discussing a specific and realistic case.
The boys wrote a one-page summary of what they discovered, observed, experienced and learned during the discussion. They learned a lot during the process, with professional aviation knowledge coming from the panelists and presentation and debate skills coming from their group peers.
“I was surrounded by like-minded students and worked on providing solutions to real life problems,” says student Harry Jiang. “I not only learned to appreciate the growth of the aviation industry, but also the critical thinking and problem solving involved in making it possible.”
After a day of hard work, UCC Aviation Club head Billy Shi and his group won the “Outstanding Case Study” award after placing first in the stream dealing with analyzing and regulating drone operations near an airport. Sloan Sobie, one of the youngest participants in the summit, won the “Outstanding Summary” award for his reflection on his stream about lithium battery cargo shipping.
“Going to The ICAO summit was a once in a lifetime experience,” says Sobie. “I talked with executives from airlines and ICAO itself.
“It taught me not only about pressing issues in the world of aviation, but about making real-life connections with some of the best and brightest in this industry. ICAO is an experience that I may never forget.”
“The Aviation Club this year is trying to apply what we’ve learned from the meetings to contribute to the aviation industry,” concludes Shi. “We hope that every small step that we take can make this huge industry a little bit better.
“We truly believe that each of our club members is a young aviation professional, and we do have the responsibility to face and solve future aviation issues to better air travel for passengers all around the globe.”