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Budding high flyers in UAE introduced to world of aviation.

Youngsters all aboard and hard at work in Abu Dhabi

A mission to inspire budding high flyers and help meet the estimated demand for future aviation professionals worldwide is taking flight in the UAE.

Airbus, which supplies aircrafts to UAE carriers Emirates and Etihad, anticipated in its most recent 'Flying on demand' forecast that air traffic will grow 4.7 per cent annually until 2033.

This will require more than 31,350 new passenger aircraft and freighters.

And last week 7DAYS reported that the aviation sector is forecast to support 750,000 jobs in Dubai by 2020, rising again to more than a million by 2030, according to global research firm Oxford Economics.

In anticipation of those figures, Airbus Middle East has joined a flight path with The Little Engineer (TLE) -- an organisation dedicated to instilling an appreciation of science and technology among youngsters.

The initiative is conducting workshops in schools across the UAE to introduce students to the world of aviation as young as possible, with children as young as nine years old getting involved.

Children are encouraged to move into aviation careers

The founder of the TLE programme, Rana El Chemaitelly, told 7DAYS: "We are trying to meet the shortage before it hits.

"At one time, age nine or 10 might have been seen as too early to get started. But it's not now. We need to be able to respond to change quickly. For example, how many of us had cell phones at age 10?

"Now at 15, kids are already using Java and coding in C++... they're more exposed to technology that we ever were.

"So in today's age, 15 might be too late. "You need to catch them early to put them on the right track and unleash their potential."

The interactive TLE programme introduces students of all nationalities to the Airbus A380 assembly, with an emphasis on the importance of robotics in the aerospace industry.

It introduces students to key components such as sensors and motors, enabling them to discover how machines operate in the real world.

"It's a challenging exercise," Chemaitelly admits -- but a necessary one to test aptitude and interest. Chemaitelly said the students often view the exercise as a game and compete to see who can finish first.

"And in the process,"Ceshe says, "sometimes they ask for pen and paper to try and apply their science and math to the problem… converting practical to theory."

megha@7days.ae

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Nov 23, 2014
Words:421
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