Posted: Sun 16th Feb 2020

Sky’s the limit for Flintshire aviation students

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Feb 16th, 2020

Flintshire high school students studying an aviation programme participated in a ‘Futures Week’ which gave them a real-life experience of airport operations and an insight into careers associated with the industry.

Georgina Godfree from the aviation charity, fly2help, organised activities at colleges and airports for year 9 Ysgol Treffynnon students on the Airbus Foundation’s Flying Challenge Programme, with support for transport from Reaching Wider – North and Mid Wales Partnership, and Flintshire County Council.

The Airbus Foundation’s Flying Challenge Programme is accredited at Industrial Cadets Gold Level, a nationally recognised qualification. 


It aims to develop new workplace skills, offer practical experience, advise about careers in aviation and develop a passion for learning.   

At Coleg Cambria the students were taken around the engineering workshops and given an opportunity to use the flight simulator. 

They met apprentices who shared their knowledge about the theory of flight to help prepare the students ahead of their own flying lessons in June.

On a trip to West Cheshire College in Ellesmere Port, the students learned about different jobs within the tourism sector and went on a tour of the college to see the facilities and courses on offer. 

They learned about the roles of cabin crew and, after a quick demonstration, delivered a pre-flight safety briefing in a plane cabin located within the college. 

This year Manchester City Airport and Heliport in Barton is celebrating its ninetieth birthday and the students were excited to have the chance to see inside the Air Ambulance Service and National Police Air Service helicopters and learn about the important work carried out by the teams. 

In the afternoon, the students went up into the air traffic control tower where they gained a glimpse of the complex operations undertaken by staff. 

This was followed by a visit to fire and rescue; the crew talked about the diversity of their job from putting out fires and responding to accidents to having to cutting the grass on the runways.

On the final day the students went to Ravenair Business Aviation Centre, which operates out of John Lennon Airport, Liverpool.  

The students were shown around the engineering hanger to see aeroplanes being repaired and look at the different types of planes that depart from there.  They also visited the flying school. 

At XLR, a business aviation company, representatives explained the types of flights they charter and what they offer their clients, many of whom are celebrities, football teams, royalty and business owners.  

Shelby Trippas said: “I enjoyed the fire safety session because we got to use the fire extinguishers and learnt how to use them properly. I also enjoyed learning about the Air Ambulance Service.

The Futures Week has given me more confidence when speaking to others and I have learnt about so many jobs in connection with aviation, realising that it’s not just to do with flying.”

Vicky Bond, Science Technician at Ysgol Treffynnon said: “The Futures Week has highlighted to the students the huge variety of jobs that are available within aviation. 

We are grateful to everyone who generously gave up their time to show us around and explain their roles within the industry, they were all wonderful with the students.

I would also like to say a big thank you to Georgina Godfree from fly2help for arranging the programme to enable the students to learn about these opportunities.  

“All the students are enjoying the programme enormously. 

They have eagerly taken on the challenges every week, and the mentors working with them are fantastic, really getting involved with their group and helping the students to improve their skills and confidence.

“The Flying Challenge is giving these students a once in a lifetime opportunity and it is a privilege to be involved with such a wonderful initiative.”

Since commencing the programme in September, the students have been working in groups with their Airbus mentors on numerous aviation related projects involving weekly sessions at Airbus, Broughton as well as classroom lessons and talks.


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