The leading region for growth in commercial aviation is Asia, and here more and more women are involved in the industry over a variety of disciplines, involving roles as senior management, flight crew, engineering, ATC, flight dispatch etc. Chris Long continues CAT’s Women in Aviation series.
“I am an aviation professional, born in Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand. I have always been interested in aviation since I was young, and had the ambition to be part of this exciting industry. I started my first aviation career as cabin crew with a Middle East-based international full-service airline. I enjoyed travelling and seeing the world while working. When flying in that role I had the opportunity to meet and talk to lots of professionals working from different areas in aviation, including flight crew, and I became very much interested in a career as a pilot. I found out that, in Dubai, there are several flying schools that offer flying lessons, and so I chose to start with a (part time) Private Pilot License (PPL) course.
Managing the job as cabin crew, and at the same time learning to fly, was a big challenge as I needed to balance my working/study time. After completion of the PPL course, I wanted to pursue my aviation career as a pilot, so I enrolled in a Commercial Private License (CPL) at a flying school in the USA. With the CPL completed, I was offered my first pilot job in Thailand flying a small Cessna Caravan aircraft, and then got the chance to move to a bigger turboprop aircraft, the SAAB 340, as a First Officer. I worked at my first company for about three years, and then I got a new offer from a well-known Thai low-cost carrier, flying the Airbus A320 and continued to build multi-engine jet hours.
My career moved on to the next stage when I joined a newly established low-cost carrier based in Bangkok, flying the wide-body Boeing B777. During my time as a pilot flying the B777, I got a chance to work in other areas in aviation, such as becoming an internal auditor, Crew Resource Management (CRM) instructor, and as a member of the safety action group in the company.
Next I was invited to join the new-age airline in Thailand, Thai Vietjet Air, which is based at Suvarnabhumi Airport, and am currently the Safety Manager under the Safety, Security & Quality Assurance (SSQA) Department. After transition to type A320, I am delighted to be training to become a Captain to command the A320. As the Safety Manager, I have the challenging responsibility of the implementation of Thai Vietjet Air Safety Management System (SMS), including Safety Performance Indicators (SPI), safety reporting, HIRA, investigation, safety training and Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) program.
I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be able to contribute to the sustainable growth of aviation in Thailand, which is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the South East Asia region. Aviation safety is critical, and is the priority in order to support the growth. Together with the safety team and other professionals in the Thai Vietjet Air family, we are committed to promote safe and secure flight services to the highest standard as part of the company’s continuous efforts to promote excellent service product delivery for the travelling public.”
Published in CAT issue 4/2018