Effective Communication and Culture Change are Essentials to Attract and Retain Young Aviation Professionals in the Future


MONTREAL, 27 September is the most remarkable day in my life. Excitement was literally seen from my cheering face – not due to seeing this an opportunity for my career progression, but I still disbelieved myself that I could have proven my mission to share my 7 year work experience as an Airline Public Relations and sharing my ideas to face the challenges such as: aviation technical and non technical shortage.

I stood there on a podium of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization)’s General Assembly hall to present my own ideas in front of more than 500 distinguished guests consisting of Director of Air Navigation Bureau, States Delegations, Aviation professional organisations, Academia and Students.

As the first Indonesian youth who has ever got selected at ICAO’s Young Aviation Professional programme since its launching 4 years ago. I felt very proud, not just knowing the fact that I am not a pilot nor engineer, but only a Communications professional who has deep passion for this industry since age 9.

This opportunity enables me to see God’s grace who always holds my hand and leads me to His plan despite failure, rejections thus I could deliver my personal mission.

I proposed several points that might be able to consider such as the importance of effective communications, stop using gender biased approach to promote one or two professions in aviation, regulations that flexes aviation institution to make aviation education more affordable, nurturing the millenials generation, respect other skill set and diversity, and the most important thing is to change the CULTURE. No more arrogance, superiority, and silo culture to enhance collaboration. Given that aviation as a system – means people can’t work alone and everything we do in aviation is important to keep the sustainability of this industry. Every small starts matter, so let us keep the good work!

To see the full presentation click here:

Here is the complete draft speech of my presentation:

Director of Air Navigation Bureau,

Mr. Stephen Creamer,

All States Representatives and Delegations,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 Good morning, Bonjour, Selamat Pagi,

  • Welcome to Montreal to all of you who have flown from all over the world. I am sure you must enjoy this lovely winter in Montreal.


  • First of all, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Air Navigation Bureau (ANB) who has succeeded to establish this conference today. I would also like to thank for inviting us the YAP to participate in this auspicious occasion.


  • My name Kleopas Danang Bintoroyakti and I am also known as Dan. I am from Jakarta, Indonesia. I am a 7-year experienced aviation professional with background in Communications and Business Development, specific to aviation such as airlines and airport operator.


  • I am currently on my third rotation with the YAP program with the Air Transport Bureau (ATB) Economic Development department. Prior to this rotation, I had worked with ACI with the Economic Policy team, and IATA with the Operational Safety with specific project to design and propose safety communication strategy for internal and external stakeholders.


  • I realised my aviation passion since age 9 and I began to participate in AvGeeks’communities since age 17. Playing flight simulator game, joined in online forum discussion with other fellow aviation enthusiast were part of the activities.


  • My passion is indirectly brought by my family whose for 3 generation; my late Grandfather who are among the early generation of Indonesia’s commercial pilot back in the late 50s, my Father, and older brother who are currently active commercial pilots and my 2 aunts still fly as flight attendants.


  • So, where I come from? Indonesia. My country is the largest archipelago country in the world which consist of 17,000 islands spread along 5.600 kms from east to the west, occupied by more than 260 million population. Indonesia recorded 127 million air passengers in 2016 and it is expected to increase in the future. It has 19 scheduled airlines and 45 non-scheduled airlines, a total 283 airport across the archipelago, the 28 of which are international airports, managed by Angkasa Pura 1 Angkasa Pura 2.


  • There are more than 65,000 people work in aviation industry, running technical and managerial positions in many aviation key players Indonesia.


  • Air transport facilitates the mobility of millions of Indonesian people, tourists, distribution logistics and our exports. Even our airspace, the largest airspace in Southeast Asia plays important role to support air traffic management from the North hemisphere to the South Hemisphere and vice versa.


  • This slide talks about aviation stakeholders that I have tried to map from macro view. As we can see there are so many stakeholders who collaborate together to make this safe industry even safer.


  • SLIDE 5: The aviation’s future outlook is very bright. It was projected that by 2034, passenger and cargo traffic is expected to double than in 2016, with an average growth rate at 4.5% per year. Aviation is also set to provide 99 million jobs or double than in 2014 and contribute to increase the world average GDP to $5.9 trillion in 2034. This data proves that aviation boost economic prosperity and opening new job opportunities.


  • The confidence has also been reflected by the States and airport operators’ commitment to invest in airport development projects; in their priority list to anticipate future demand. This one is part of the work that I did during my rotation with ACI, and it was published on ACI world report August 2017.


  • SLIDE 6: Ladies and Gentlemen, although the projection of air transport look promising in the future, however, there are still challenges facing the industry. Driver of change such as terrorism, global income inequality, labour union, environment, including aviation skilled professional shortage. These challenges are to be faced by the next generation aviation professionals.


  • SLIDE 7 & SLIDE 8: Therefore, I can say that Aviation is a complex, highly regulated and dynamic industry. We must remember about the rule of the balance scale: where protection and production must be balanced. Protection means that we must infuse safety in every aspect and everything we do, while at the same time, we must be able to generate revenue to ensure business sustainability.


  • SLIDE 9: So how does it like to work in aviation? To me, working in aviation is a bitter sweet experience. Indeed we could enjoy some great benefits such as travel opportunity, fairly good compensation and working in a multicultural environment. However, we must deal with some challenges such as: high investment for training, culture and language barrier, it’s a 24/7 business so you must be aware and ready should there be something happen.


  • SLIDE 10 : These pictures show us several available careers in aviation industry and they play crucial roles in aviation. This boy, Adam Mohammad Amer who recently blew social media’s attention with his knowledge about cockpit. To me, he is the sample of the next generation ‘Z’ aviation professionals.


  • SLIDE 11: In addition to technical skillset, managerial skillsets are also needed by the industry. Here I would like to share my previous work experience as an aviation PR. This function is getting more important, because aviation has always been a business of TRUST, therefore having a solid, timely communication strategy for reputation is mandatory.


  • The function of aviation PR is notable when a crisis takes place. During my 6 years experience, I have dealt with some crisis situation from all level of crisis, such as emergency landing, air crash that involve hundred of lives or dealing with natural disasters, volcano eruption which affects operation hence stranding thousands of passengers.


  • We must work with a proper strategy to counter every noise that will jeopardise our reputation. We work not just with internal stakeholders but also to external such as the media, families of the victims, Search and Rescue Agency, regulators, NTSB, etc. Timely, opened, transparent, and Putting-people-first are paramount in communication; because every action we take must be communicated very well as it has some risks for legal implications.


  • SLIDE 12: Ladies and Gentleman, we can’t deny that millenials are the future of this industry – millenials grow up with technology which enables us to easily access information, hence it is also easier for us to set our life goals including choosing our future career path. To me, the Maslow’s theory on the hierarchy of human needs still relevant, only the process for one individual to reach self-actualization now might be a little faster. Thanks to social media.


  • SLIDE 13: There are actually plenty of things that we can use to promote young talents to join in the industry, millenials like to travel right? Working for aviation industry will enable them to travel for free even for business not leisure and to see the world, and working for aviation will allow them to expand their international exposure no mateer where they work.


  • I believe those values must be consistently communicated to them, despite all challenges, such as: high investment in its education that has the potential to hamper growth of pilots.


  • Therefore to summarize this presentation, I would highlight possible 5 solutions: First, encourage aviation stakeholders to work together in creating a more attractive recruitment procedure to attract young generation. It is important to optimise the benefit of latest technology and communicating the advantages. Also stop using gender-biased marketing tool that associate one or two particular professions in aviation such as male pilot, or female flight attendant.


  • Second, collaborate with non-aviation stakeholders such as development bank, to fund those who have the potentials professionals but constrained by financial difficulties, or alternatively the States government probably able to support through provision of regulations to benefit aviation institutions hence more affordable.


  • Third, Nurturing the millenials generation, because we are the future of aviation industry. The previous generation must give them clear guidance about how the industry works, but still listening their aspiration. Fourth, In order to retain those millenials who have worked for this industry – it is important for companies to shape a friendly corporate culture, to minimise the silo or gap between current generation and future generation or between one function and other functions.


  • We must prevent superiority, arrogance and silo corporate culture and we should  encourage transparency, participation, innovation, gender equality, respect diversity, and other skillsets. This should be one of the main goal for human resource training and development, in order to enhance collaboration.


  • SLIDE 15: the Fifth, always involve aviation enthusiast community. This just a sample of what they have in Indonesia. ‘Indoflyer’. Although I was no longer active these days, but from my past experience I must say community helps companies to educate the public about aviation. The power of Word-of-mouth is stronger and powerful than paid advertisings. In fact, it is easier for industry players to identify different applicable skillsets from a community, because the member come from various background such as banker, lawyer, doctor, or other professions – who are intested with aviation, just simply because they often fly for business. Community is a true asset that we can use to recruit talents.


  • Last but not least, I would like to thank for everyone’s attention to my presentation. It has been an honour for me to stand here and let me encourage my fellow young aviation professionals: no matter what we do in aviation, our contribution are important to keep the sustainability of this industry, so we directly keep up with ICAO’s No Country Left Behind’ mission. Every small starts matter in aviation, so let us keep up the good work!! Thank you, Merci Beaucoup, Terima Kasih.




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