Support our local pilots

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DEAR EDITOR, I read with sadness at the plight of our local pilots. I have been following this issue, in which pilots are fighting against what they have described in the media as injustices and mistreatments, etc.

On the outset, I must say that I believe this is an old issue which the current board and admin is bearing as a burden. I believe the real culprits are the previous Solomon Airlines executive and board members. However, while saying this, I am also aware that the same elements are still in the airlines nexus. Not much have changed save few faces.

I am also appreciative of the fact that Island Sun is covering this saga, keeping us the public up to date with what is going on behind the scenes regarding our local pilots. If it had not been for these news reports, we the general public will assume that everything is rolling smoothly in there.

However, as obviously discerned for the reports, this is not the case. The poor sons and daughters of Solomon Islands are struggling a real struggle. I tend to concur with newspaper reports and social media posts pertaining to this issue.

Well, first of all, why is it that after five years there is still not a single Solomon Islander in the international service? One would think that by now someone or few local pilots would have already made their way up into the international service. But sadly no. I now know why.

It is from the various stumbling blocks inside the airlines which are to me deliberately preventing local pilots from progressing further in the airlines. That is despicable. The one thing in a trainee pilot’s endeavour is to end up flying one of the big birds, whether Boeing or Airbus. Not to merely end his or career in the Dash 8!

From what I am getting, with the Solomon Airlines our poor pilots are unfortunately on a career path that will end only with the Dash 8. Isn’t Solomon Airlines a state owned enterprise? Furthermore, aren’t state owned enterprises meant to promote local interests first?

I understand that an SOE prioritises its service, and in due course promotes its indigenous human resources. Because it says that unless a suitable candidate is found within the company, recruitment can be sourced outside.

But, it looks like Solomon Airlines has overlooked this and starts with sourcing recruitments from the outside without even the slightest regards for its existing manpower who are qualified for the job.

No wonder there are more than a dozen pilot trainees who have graduated from the Nadi institute still roaming the streets of Honiara. My nephew has resorted to teaching because h applications to the Solomon Airlines have all been turned down. This is his fifth year of doing something other than what Solomon Islands government had sponsored him to be schooled for.

I support you local pilots, sons and daughters of Solomon Islands. Stand your ground and make sure that you get what you are fighting for. Where are you board members? Where are you minister of finance? Are you all waiting for the egg to break before being stirred to do something?

Act now.

God Bless Solomon Islands

John Poro