CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE FOR 2022
We started the year 2021 with much optimism when the development of vaccines to battle the Covid19 virus was found. But then the Delta and Omicron variants began spreading, and this has again delayed the smooth opening of air travel lanes. Since Jan 2022, we are seeing signs of recovery in the aviation sector despite the occasional hiccups when the health authorities assess the threats associated with the new variants.
Against this backdrop, IAFPA has been busy reaching out to new corporate members. I am pleased to welcome Super Beijing Umbrella of China, a training provider and Birmingham Airport, UK into our family. We have now a total of 10 corporate and organizational members supporting our cause.
For the Financial Year (FY) 2021, we have improved our financial position despite the lockdowns and the many ‘restrictions’ placed to protect the health of the community. The lockdowns did not deter us, and we met on numerous occasions virtually for the AGM held on 27 Aug 2021, Board meetings and training sessions. We have adapted very quickly to the use of technology and blended learning.
The highlight for the 2021 was the presentation of our ‘5-Year Strategy Road Map’ by Gillies Crichton. IAFPA aims to be a premier global aviation rescue and firefighting organization, leading a continual improvement philosophy for the enhancement of aviation safety, security, and the environment within the industry. The Strategy Road Map has identified four strategic intents which are the ‘Use of our Skills and Sharing of Knowledge’, ‘Show Great Leadership’, ‘Grow the Organization’ and ‘Be Commercially Aware’ to deliver the vision, mission, and purpose. These strategic intents are ubiquitous and will blend to form the overall strategy for IAFPA over the next five to ten years.
Our original intent in 2021 was to ride the waves of recovery by organizing a hybrid seminar in Singapore in December 2021. Unfortunately, the uncertainty of the virus spread during this period stalled our efforts with governments around the world imposing restrictions on air travel again.
Despite this setback, we have decided to go ahead and have our first in-person and online workshop scheduled for end-May 2022 to take place in Singapore. For those who are unable to travel, we will be live streaming this event to all interested members who are interested to register. More details will be released soon on this upcoming online workshop.
Amid the pandemic, we continue to pay our utmost tribute to the healthcare personnel who remained steadfast in these trying times. We salute their resilience as they battle the waves of infections in medical facilities and in their respective communities. At the same time, let us appreciate our ARFF personnel who had to, despite the pandemic, make sacrifices so that the fire stations at their respective airports remain fully operational. I was informed by a fellow member, of a shift of firefighters who had volunteered to temporarily stay in an offsite airport facility as one of their colleagues was suspected to have contracted the Covid infection. There were also many occasions of fellow leaders voluntarily sacrificing their rest days to cover the duties of their sick colleagues in quarantine. Such heartfelt stories reinforce my belief that firefighting is not just a profession, but a family borne out of individuals whose dedication and commitment make the ultimate difference.
I look forward to meeting all members in-person as we cautiously restart meetings and training workshops.
On behalf of the Board, I wish you and your loved ones a great 2022 year ahead with lots of joy, prosperity and memorable moments with your family and loved ones.
Cletus M J Packiam