23 - 24 October 2018

Breaking barriers in the aviation industry through innovation.

Day One

CEO (Acting) Welcome

Mr Kgokolo is a Chartered Accountant (CA).  He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Gordon Institute of Business Sciences, B. Compt. Honours from the University of South Africa (UNISA), and B. Com. Accounting Sciences from University of Pretoria (UP). Prior to his appointment as Acting CEO, Mr Kgokolo was an ATNS Board Member and served as a Member of the Audit and Risk Committee.


Refilwe Ledwaba is a social entrepreneur, a qualified pilot (fixed wing and rotor wing), and an academic, passionate about youth development and the economic empowerment of women in the aviation and space industry in Africa. She is currently a flight instructor and serves on various aviation boards including serving on the Domestic Air Service Licensing Council as Vice Chairperson.

She is a founding partner of both Women and Aviation (W&A), and Southern African Women in Aviation and Aerospace Industry (SAWIA), a registered hybrid organisation dedicated to the sustainable economic empowerment and personal development of women in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, with a focus on the aviation and space industry through various strategic programmes. She is also a founder of the Girls Fly Programme in Africa (GFPA) foundation (registered NPO and PBO) – an information and skills development STEM education programme for school and post-school learners with a focus on aviation and space sciences. The programme includes the use of design thinking, technology, and innovation to inform, connect, motivate and inspire the next generation of makers and problem solvers in the aviation and space industry.

Refilwe is a recipient of numerous scholarships, international awards and honours for her work in both SAWIA and the GFPA foundation. The continued successes of these organisations has led her to being named as the recipient of multiple social entrepreneurship awards such as; the winner in the entrepreneurship category at the inaugural South African Youth Awards in 2012, the winner of the aviation category of CEO Communication's most influential Women in Business and Government in 2012 and 2015; and was listed as one of the top 35 Africans under 35 to watch by the Young People in International Affairs (YPIA) in 2014. In 2018 she was selected as one of the top 8 innovators in Africa by the BBC. She is a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, council member of the Aeronautical Society of South Africa (AeSSA) outreach team and a recipient of The Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship (AEMSF) for flight training in 2018.

She holds an Airline Transport Pilot license (ATPL) for helicopters and a frozen ATPL fixed wing license. She flew for the South African Police Service for 10 years as a helicopter pilot while being the first black female to do so and flew for a regional airline for two years as a Junior First Officer on a CRJ 200.

Refilwe holds a Bachelor of Science degree (Microbiology and Biochemistry) from the University of Cape Town (UCT), a post-graduate Diploma in Business Administration from UCT graduate school of business and an MBA from the University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science. She will be pursuing her PhD in 2019. In her free time, she flies all over the country in a C172, landing in remote areas to inspire girls to take up careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.


Dr Sandile Malinga is the first Chief Executive Officer of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). Sandile holds a prominent place in the national, continental and global aerospace industry.

He was one of the primary drivers in the promotion and development of the South African space programme and its interface with other African countries. At SANSA, he had oversight over its key programmes including:

  • Satellite-based augmented navigation for aviation and road traffic;
  • Radar systems;
  • Satellite antenna systems;
  • Space weather for navigation and communication;
  • Remote sensing and satellite imagery;
  • Cutting-edge data systems; and
  • An ambitious national satellite development programme.

Sandile holds a PhD in Physics and is a space physics researcher by training, with numerous papers published in recognised international scientific journals. Before joining SANSA, he was the Managing Director of the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory (now SANSA Space Science), a national geo-space science facility that operates a wide observational network in South Africa and Antarctica. Before that he was a senior lecturer and dean's assistant at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, responsible for the science and agriculture academic support programme. Sandile holds an MBA from the Business School Netherlands.

Thabani Myeza joined ATNS in April 2015 as Executive for Commercial Services. In this portfolio, he is charged with driving the growth strategy implementation for the organisation with a focus on non-regulated revenue growth in Sub-Sahara Africa (including Indian Ocean Islands). Thabani's career spans diverse industries and he has extensive experience in developing and implementing growth and new market strategies including establishment of start-up operations in the region. 

His recent focus while with Tata Africa and General Electric had been on managing regional policy and regulatory issues, understanding their impact to the business and creating alignment with the operating environment. Thabani also spent time developing and packaging new opportunities in the broad utilities (water and energy) space for Rand Water, General Electric and SembCorp Industries.

He co-lead the establishment of commercial business services for Rand Water in the region. Prior to this he was part of the team that set up Vodacom business in Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Thabani's core strength lies in working with initial concepts, aligning these with strategy and actualising implementation. 

While working on various projects/initiatives he has gained exposure to regional/international organisations such as the World Bank, European Investment Bank, NEPAD Agency and the World Economic Forum.

Thabani holds a B Com degree (Accounting) from the University of Zululand and an MBA in General Management from Texas Southern University.
Adrian Tiplady is the Head: Strategy and Business Systems for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project and has a PhD from Rhodes University, specialising in radio astronomy and electronics.

He joined the SKA project in 2005 and was involved in the preparation of South Africa's bid proposal to host the SKA and the establishment of a protected area for radio astronomy. He is a globally-recognised expert in radio frequency interference for radio astronomy and is currently the only African representative on the European Science Foundation (ESF) expert Committee on Radio Astronomy Frequencies, as well as the international Scientific Committee on the Allocation of Frequencies for Radio Astronomy and Space Science. He is an invited member of the ESF College of Expert Reviewers and is currently involved in the establishment of a treaty organisation for the construction and operation of the SKA radio telescope.

Day Two


Linden Birns is the founder and Managing Director of Plane Talking, the air transport and aerospace-focused communications, public affairs and reputation management agency based in Cape Town, South Africa. Plane Talking works with clients around the world including airlines, aircraft manufacturers, airports and industry associations.

  He is also a founding partner of BHK Crisis Communications, a global practice which prepares, trains and supports organisations and executives for and during crises.  As an experienced crisis communications advisor, Linden has worked with numerous airlines, aircraft operators, airports, aircraft manufacturers and government agencies in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.  In December 2004 he was also deployed to Phuket, Thailand as part of a task team assembled to support the Asia Tsunami response and victim identification programme.

Linden is regularly called on to provide expert commentary and analysis on the aviation and air transport industry for African broadcast outlets.

He holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Rhodes University (1985). Prior to moving into communications, during the late 1980s – early 1990s, he was an award-winning newspaper journalist and photographer for BusinessDay, a radio presenter, TV News reporter and anchor, non-fiction author and TV producer in South Africa, Namibia and the UK.  In addition to the local media, Linden's reports and photographs also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Newsweek, Associated Press, the BBC and several other news titles.

From 1991 Linden began focusing on aviation, aerospace, defence and related topics, working as the Southern Africa contributor for Flight International and various other professional industry trade journals.  From 1993 – 1998 Linden was a partner and editor of the best-selling AirReport yearbooks on aviation in South Africa and author of More than Game, a best-seller coffee table book on the South African Air Force.

Linden is married to Hilka and they have two sons.  His hobbies include flying light aircraft and he is also a musician with a Cape Town jazz band.

Keynote Speaker

George Simataa is the Secretary to the Cabinet of the Republic of Namibia, a position he held since 24 March 2015. Before his appointment as Secretary to the Cabinet by His Excellency the President, George was a Permanent Secretary of the Ministries of Works and Transport as well as that of Labour and Social Welfare.

A public servant with over 37 years' experience George held several non-managerial positions from 1979 to 1993. He became the Deputy Director for Namibia's Electoral Commission in 1994 and then the Senior Special Assistant (Director) to Namibia's First Prime Minister in 1995, now President of the Republic. He also worked as the Director for Human Resource Management and then as Under-Secretary of the Department Public Service Management in the Office of the Prime Minister before moving to the Social Security Commission as General Manager for Human resources in 2005.

George has, since 1995, performed critical HR roles covering full spectrum duties in both a strategic and hands on capacity. As Under-Secretary for Public Service Management in the Office of the Prime Minister, he helped to enhance functional performance through appropriate advice to Permanent Secretaries and Accounting Officers of various offices/ministries/agencies in the Public Service of Namibia and assisted in the facilitation of robust and integrated people management tools and processes. He has performed several HR assignments, including the Human Resources audit of the Social Security Commission on the request of the Presidential Commission of Enquiry in 2002. He also taught at the University of Namibia on a part-time basis in areas of Human Resources and Public Management. He was appointed by the President of the Republic of Namibia from 2006 to 2015 to a Commission that investigates and considers matters relating to remuneration, benefits and other conditions of service of political office bearers. George has also given public lectures in human resources, including facilitating strategic planning sessions, both at home and abroad. George is a recipient of numerous awards including the Vice Chancellor's Medal as the best student of Masters' Studies in the Faculty of Economics and Management Science at the University of Namibia in 1998 and as the best non-final year student in the same faculty at the same university in 1990.  In 1993, he was awarded an UNDP Scholarship to study a three-month programme in Regional Development and Planning in Nagoya, Japan.  He also participated and won an essay competition on "Individual freedom and liberties" sponsored by the American Cultural Centre in 1991.

George holds a Diploma in Public Administration (University of Zululand, 1983), a Bachelor of Administration degree (University of Namibia, 1991), an Honours degree in Public Administration (University of South Africa (UNISA), 1994), a Master's degree in Public Administration (University of Namibia, 1998) and a PhD in Management (Rhodes University 2017).


Currently serving as the Executive Director, Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, Parthy Chetty graduated with a teaching degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). After graduating, he taught at a high school in Chatsworth, Durban, teaching Physical Science, Mathematics and Computer Studies up to Grade 12. While teaching he furthered his studies in the computer studies (ICT) field at UKZN.

He was then promoted, at a very young age, to be a subject advisor in Gauteng in the technology learning area, supporting teachers in computer studies and technology. Two years later he was again promoted, this time to the Ministry of Education in Pretoria working in a specialised unit that promoted ICT innovation in education. Here he was tasked with developing policies in ICT education, supporting the provinces, writing speeches for the Minister and answering parliamentary questions.

After serving the formal education sector for 12 years he joined Intel Corporation, one of the largest IT companies in the world, and started their very first ICT integration programme for teacher development. After much success in SA, Parthy expanded the Intel programmes into Nigeria and Kenya, which are now well established in the regions. During his time at Intel Parthy worked closely with Global Public Policy from a corporate perspective. Here he learnt about the dynamics of balancing government policy with leading-edge technology innovation for social and economic development. In SA, he worked very closely on policy matters and government initiatives with the Department of Education, Department of Science & Technology and Department of Communications.

After 10 years at Intel and reaching the position of Head of Corporate Affairs, Parthy left the private sector to join the NGO sector. He was appointed Executive Director of Eskom Expo for Young Scientists in May 2013 and set up structures in all the provinces to help expand scientific research in the school system across the country. This is a national initiative that works very closely with the Department of Basic Education and Department of Science and Technology.
As a Civil Aviation engineer, Sandrine Gnassou has worked in the aeronautical industry for 13 years, gaining recognised expertise in the Communication Navigation Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) domain. She has been successfully involved in several Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR 1) projects spanning over seven years including: SESAR 1 Airport operational concept definition and validation, Enroute Operations, ASAS Sequencing & Merging and Integrated AMAN-DMAN.
Sandrine obtained an engineering degree in Civil Aviation (Aerospace/Electronics/Aeronautical Telecommunications) from Ecole nationale de l'Aviation Civile (ENAC). As an aeronautical engineer (ENAC) and thanks to her first three years' experience as cockpit test engineer, she has gained solid knowledge in airborne systems and AIRBUS Cockpit HMIs.

Currently, Sandrine is working for Côte d'Ivoire Civil Aviation Authority as an Air Navigation Services Safety Oversight Inspector and Head of CNS department.

Her main fields of interest and expertise in ATM include: Safety Oversight, ICAO regulations, ADS-B applications, Safety Nets, consolidation of operational needs and formalisation of requirements, CNS-ATM Systems, Air Traffic Control and Cyber Resilience. She also has experience in statistics and econometrics.

She has a specialised Master's degree in Statistics and Econometrics from Toulouse 1 Capitole University (e-learning continuing training). She also completed a host of courses as further training including: Air Navigation Services – Communication Navigation Surveillance Auditors, State Safety Program (SSP) and Safety Management System (SGS) and more.

Her work with Yves Aragon on the 'Estimation of Air Traffic loss at Toulouse Blagnac Airport after September 11, 2001 attacks' was published by Bentley University publications in May 2008.
François-Xavier Richard is Thales's Senior Business Development Manager for Africa and the Middle East.

He has a radar engineering background with more than 15 years' experience in Defense Systems within Thomson-CSF after which he switched to Thales's Civil Aeronautical department.

François-Xavier has more than 18 years' experience in CNS/ATM, focusing mainly on the European, Asian, Middle Eastern and African regions. His work now focuses on emerging technologies in the ATM domain through digital transformation of the aeronautical industry which includes cybersecurity, UTM and virtualisation.


Poppy Khoza is the Director of Civil Aviation (CEO) of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA). Having worked in various management portfolios, Poppy has extensive experience in the field of aviation with over 15 years' experience in senior aviation management positions. Until recently, she served for two years in a row as the Chairperson of the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) Aviation Security Panel, a historical position for a woman.

Poppy is the recipient of many awards: Best Chief Executive Officer Award –Annual Transport Awards 2015 and 2018, Business Leader of the Year – Oliver Empowerment Awards 2018, Public Service Leader of the Year award – 15th Oliver Empowerment Awards 2016, Agencies and Regulatory Authorities – South Africa's Most Influential Women in Business and Government Awards 2012.

Under her stewardship, the SACAA scooped the Best Performing Institution in Transport Award on four occasions, making the SACAA the only entity to have received these prestigious awards since the inception of the Transport Awards in October 2014. The SACAA has also received, for five consecutive years, the Clean Audit Award – Auditor-General of South Africa, Top Performing Public Service Award – National Business Awards 2015, Public Service Award – National Business Awards 2017, and the Investing in People Award 2017.

  Under her leadership, the SACAA continues to make strides in improving aviation safety and security in South Africa, as attested to by the results of the May 2017 ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) audit. The results indicate that South Africa has increased its compliance rating and, notably, did not attract a significant safety concern.

Poppy has championed the transformation of the SACAA and it now boasts 50% capable female executives, a historical achievement under her stewardship. She is passionate about meaningful change and aspires to provide good leadership in the aviation sector, in the interests of continued outstanding performance.
Hennie Marais started his career in aviation in 1980 and obtained Aerodrome, Approach and Area Procedural and Radar validations. He has worked as an Aerodrome, Approach and Area Procedural and Radar controller at various airports and Air Traffic Control Centres within South Africa and also served as an on-the-job training instructor and validation examiner. He has served as the Head of ATS Training and Manager: Compliance and Standards at the ATNS Aviation Training Academy.

In September 2004 he was transferred to the Isando Corporate Offices as Manager: Standards Assurance. In this post he was responsible for the safety and regulatory oversight function within the company. He was appointed as Senior Manager: ATM Planning, Research and Development at the ATM/CNS Department in Isando from July 2006 and was responsible for the strategic planning of the ATM services to be delivered by ATNS into the future.

Hennie is a member of the ICAO ATM Requirements and Performance Panel.
Jeoffrey started his career in 1991 as an Air Traffic Control trainee. After completing his training, he worked as an aerodrome and approach controller at various Air Traffic Service Units. Prior to becoming an Executive: ATM/CNS Planning & Standards, Jeoffrey served in various management positions within ATNS and also worked at the South African Civil Aviation Authority as Senior Manager responsible for Air Navigation Service. There he was responsible for regulatory oversight for ATS, AIS, CNS and procedure design services. In his portfolio, Jeoffrey leads the strategic planning of Air Traffic Management, Communications, Navigation and Surveillance systems and infrastructure at ATNS and has represented South Africa in international and regional forums that are responsible for the Planning and coronation of Air Traffic management and infrastructure deployment in the region.

Jeoffrey completed his International Executive Development Program with WITS and London Business School and holds a BCom degree and other Aviation management qualifications.

He represents South Africa at various international forums and currently is the ICAO Panel member of the Separation and Airspace Safety Panel.


Eddy Kioni has been a Board Member and the Deputy CEO of the Régie des Voies Aériennes de la République Democratique du Congo (RVA) since March 2012. He completed his postgraduate studies in e-Business Project Management at Groupe ICHEC-ISC/Saint-Louis in Brussels and is the holder of a master's degree in political science from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

He has performed various functions in the public sector since his return to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007. He was successively: Senior Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Agriculture, Coordinator of the Economic and Technical Commission of the Congolese Government, and then Chief of Staff for the Minister responsible for Hydrocarbons.

Eddy also has vast experience in the strategic and operational management of businesses. From 2007 to 2011, he was a Board Member of the National Electricity Company (SNEL), the Congolese Hydrocarbons (COHYDRO) and KINREX (a subsidiary of the British producer of crude oil PERENCO-REP) in his capacity as Censor at the Board level. From 2009 to 2011while serving as the Deputy President and member of the International Executive Board in charge of marketing, administration and human resources, he also led the operations in DRC of the Canadian agro-industrial group FERONIA Inc. as CEO.
Takalani Nemaungani is currently the Acting Chief Director for the Astronomy portfolio at the Department of Science and Technology. Astronomy is a flagship project that receives the single largest investment from the Department of Science and Technology budget. The Astronomy portfolio has three focus areas which include the following:
  • development of radio astronomy through the MeerKAT, SKA and HartRAO telescopes;
  • development of the multiwavelength astronomy community working towards common scientific goals and maximising the ROI through excellent scientific research, human capital development and socio-economic benefits to industry and communities. This includes the SALT telescope, optical astronomy at large and the gamma ray community; and
  • protection of the declared Astronomy Advantage Area in the Karoo to prevent interference from radio and light sources.
Working closely with Dr Bernie Fanaroff, the former Project Director of SKA South Africa and Minister Naledi Pandor, Takalani played a pivotal role in bringing the SKA project to Africa in his role as the central lobbying campaign coordinator. Prior to joining the Astronomy division, he was the Director of the Global Projects unit within the International Cooperation and Resources division of the Department, where he was the Project Coordinator of the Promoting Africa-Europe Research Infrastructure Project (PAERIP), an EU FP7 funded project which involved four partners from Europe and four others from Africa. He also facilitated foreign investment by multinational companies into R&D capacities and programmes in South Africa which include the recently established IBM's R&D Research Centre in Jhb and CISCO's Centre for Broadband at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth.

Trained as a young engineer from Wits University he began his career in 1994 in the private sector in companies such as Samancor and Sasol before joining the CSIR as Business Area Manager in Manufacturing and Materials Technology division in 2000.  Whilst at CSIR, he became the African secretariat for the World Association of Industrial and Technology Research Organizations (WAITRO), representing the interests of 50 research institutions spread over 25 African countries in the global network. In his pastime, "TK", as he is popularly called, is involved in road running races and is registered with the DST's Sumbandila Athletics Club.
Aarti Panday [MRAeS], is a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society. She holds a BSc Eng Aeronautical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Mechanical Engineering and an MSc Eng degree from the same institute. At the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), she is a Business Development Manager in the Strategic Engagements & Corporate Relations Unit, where her focus is to support innovation within government and its various agencies and enterprises at national and provincial level. Aarti also lectures the Flight Dynamics and Control course within the Postgraduate Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering programme at Wits University. 

Aarti's career experience in the aviation industry exposed her to both military and civil aircraft and systems, manned and unmanned aircraft, as well as helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. She has also spent several years working in aircraft certification in the regulatory environment. Aarti's journey at TIA started with her putting her technical and sector background to use in the assessment of funding proposals in the Advanced Manufacturing Strategic Technology Area. She has previously managed various technology development projects funded by the Agency. 

Aarti has participated in various forums and initiatives aimed at the development of the aviation sector throughout her career. In 2015, Aarti was named amongst the Top 200 Young South Africans in Science and Technology by the Mail and Guardian. This accolade highlighted her contribution to the aviation sector as a young person. In 2017, she won third place at the annual AVI Awards for her entry which saw an aircraft controller incorporating artificial intelligence into the control design to allow for fully autonomous unmanned aircraft missions.
Boni Dibate is currently the Director of Africa Affairs at the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation. She holds a BA in Social Science and MSC degrees in Clinical Psychology from the Medical University of Southern Africa.  She obtained her Top Management Program for Public Enterprises in SA certificate at the National University of Singapore and has completed a Senior Executive Development Program from Harvard/Wits Business Schools. Alongside this she completed an Airline Management Integration Program from IATA Aviation Training and Development Institute in Singapore and also possesses a Creative Airline Alliances and Strategic Partnerships certificate from Amman Jordan.

She recently obtained a Diploma in International Coaching from Newfield Network Boulder, USA.

Prior to this Boni was Executive: Human Resources Manager at Transwerk, Chief Executive Officer of both Esselenpark Centre of Excellence and South African Express Airways, was Group Executive Manager: Support Services at Transtel as well as COO and Executive Manager: Service Delivery at Air Traffic and Navigation Services SOC Limited. Lastly, She was President of the Business Womens' Association, past-Chairperson of East Gate Airport and past-Director of Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) and past-Chairperson of the South African Express Airways on their Ethics and Transformation Committee.
Chris Zweigenthal has over 24 years' experience in the airline industry most notably with South African Airways, where he held senior positions in the Petroleum Affairs, Flight Operations, Marketing Planning and Global Passenger Services departments, as well as with SA Alliance Air (Uganda) as Managing Director.

In February 2002, Chris joined the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) as Deputy Chief Executive and was appointed Chief Executive in 2009. AASA has 20 Airline Members, which are the commercial scheduled airlines of South and Southern Africa and 31 Associate Members comprising industry manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and partners of the airline industry.
Dr Francois De Villiers Maasdorp is a Principal Researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, South Africa, where he leads the Passive Radar research in the CSIR project "Passive Radar Qualification Test for ATC". This project has a strong potential to enable a new industry in South Africa focusing on Air Traffic Control (ATC) and defence applications.

Francois has obtained a B.Eng. in Electronic Engineering in 2001, B.Eng. Hons (Cum Laude) in 2003, M.Eng. in Electronic Engineering (Cum Laude) in 2008, all from the University of Pretoria, followed by a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cape Town in 2015.

He joined the Defence, Peace, Safety and Security business unit of the CSIR in 2006 and since then, has worked in the radar and electronic warfare applications group. He has experience in radar, signal intelligence, civilian and military communications, Global Navigation Satellite System as well as modelling and simulation. From 2008, he led the passive radar/passive coherent location research and development at CSIR that includes a research sabbatical in 2015 at Armasuisse, Switzerland in collaboration with the University of Cape Town.

Francois is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He has produced several technology demonstrators, published over 15 papers in leading international journals and conferences, and won several prestigious awards including the IEEE Harry Rowe Mimno Award for best paper in 2014 as well as the CSIR DPSS Emerging Leadership Award in 2015.
Gawie Bestbier is the General Manager: Air Safety Infrastructure at the South African Civil Aviation Authority and is responsible for Airports, Airspace, CNS, Procedure Design and Cartography, and AIS.

Gawie has a degree in Electronic Engineering (University of Stellenbosch,1988) and registered as Professional Engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa in 1995.
He has been with the SA Department of Transport since 1989 and has some experience as an Avionics Instructor in the SA Air Force. He was responsible for Radar and Display systems in the Department of Transport and became the Chief Engineer responsible for Ground Navaids. Gawie worked with a small team to set up the SA CAA in 1996 and joined the SACAA at its inception in 1998 as Project Manager, taking on the responsibility for airport safety oversight. He has been the Executive responsible for Air Safety Infrastructure since 2007.
Gawie also obtained a wealth of additional experience by acting in various diverse positions in the SACAA including as the Executive responsible for Air Safety Operations as well as Accident Investigations.
Patrick Ndlovu is an astute aerospace and defence professional, with over 19 years' experience in the aerospace sector. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering from the University of Natal, South Africa and a Master's degree in Satellite-Based Communication, Navigation and Surveillance from the Ecole National del' Aviation Civil in Toulouse, France. Other qualifications include the ATNS Management Development Programme from GIBS in 2002 as well as the Denel Executive Development Programme obtained from Henley in 2016.

Patrick's career in aerospace started at ATNS in the year 2000 where he served as a Project Officer responsible for Air Navigation Infrastructure Projects throughout the African continent. He then joined Armscor in 2002 where he served as a Technical Manager, responsible for various defence projects in aeronautics as well as command and control. In 2009 he established his own engineering business, Infinity Integrated Solutions – an engineering and consulting firm that services the aerospace and defence sectors with solutions, strategic advisory and engineering solutions. Patrick served as the Chief Executive Officer at Infinity Integrated Solutions for a period of 5 years.

In 2014 he joined Denel Dynamics as the General Manager for Denel Spaceteq, The Space division of Denel Dynamics was tasked with providing space solutions to the market.  In 2016 he was appointed as the Executive Manager: Programmes looking after the Space, UAVs and Missiles portfolios at Denel Dynamics. Patrick was then reassigned to do Business Development for Denel Dynamics in November 2018. He is currently serving in this role as the Business Development Executive.

Other credentials include serving as the member of the Board of Directors for the South African Civil Aviation Authority from 2001 to 2014.
Arthur Bradshaw started his career in aviation in 1970 and his vast experience has led to his current role of advisor to the ATM community through Air Traffic Management System Advisors. His career highlights include:
  • Joined the South African Department of Transport as a Cadet Air Traffic Controller, January 1970.
  • Qualified as an Aerodrome Controller at Johannesburg International Airport, 1972.
  • Obtaining additional validations at Phalaborwa, Lanseria, Wonderboom and Rand, then the busiest aerodrome in the southern hemisphere, with 1200+ movements per day recorded.
  • Obtained Approach, Area and Radar Controller validations at the Johannesburg ATC Centre, 1973.
  • Obtained a Private Pilot's Licence, 1980.
  • Appointed as the first Approach Standards Officer after introducing the concept of standards assurance in ATC, 1987.
  • Promoted to Chief ATC Johannesburg Region, 1989.
  • Promoted to Director, Air Traffic Services at the Department of Transport, 1991.
  • Appointed as Head of Aeronautical Search and Rescue Operations, 1992.
  • At the commercialisation of Air Traffic and Navigational Services (ATNS) took up the option to join the Company and was appointed as Divisional Manager Air Traffic Services, April 1994. Played a major role in the transition from Civil Service to this profitable commercial entity.
  • Part of the specialist team tasked to review National Civil Aviation Policy relating to Airspace, ATS and Airports.
  • Was instrumental in the drive to commercialise the South African services since the 1988 crisis in ATC and was a member of the Task Group who worked on the commercialisation policy document to make it all happen.
  • In the early nineties was appointed to the Minister of Transports Committee tasked to propose the transport strategy into the future. (Moving South Africa)
  • Responsible for driving the ATS rationalisation in RSA. Project FAME. (Future Airspace Management Efficiency).
  • Was responsible for the reconstruction of specific regulations governing ATS and, the enactment of aeronautical SAR.
  • Represented South Africa at various international conferences on diverse aviation subjects.
  • Appointed to the ICAO ATM Concept Panel in 1998. Later appointed as chair of the panel renamed ATMRPP (ATM Requirements and Performance Panel).
  • Retired from ATNS in Dec 2005 as; General (Executive) Manager Air Traffic Management (Planning and Standards).  Encompassing the Operational Planning, Aeronautical Information Services and Standards & Quality Assurance Departments, and; Head of Aeronautical Search and Rescue Operations RSA.
  • Was appointed by the Minister of Transport to serve on the ATNS Board May 2008 to September 2011. Member of the Audit and Risk, and Procurement committees.
  • Currently a member of the Institute of Directors (IOD) since 2010.
Arthur is also the recipient of numerous awards during his career including:
  • The CANSO life time award in 2006 for outstanding achievement in Global ATM;
  • The ICAO Laurel award for contribution to the effort in establishing global ATM;
  • The South African Minister of Transports' award, (2005) for effort and contribution in the establishment and operation of Aeronautical SAR Operation. This award was in fact named the 'Arthur Bradshaw' award; and
  • The ATNS Chairman's award (2005) for contribution in promoting the company, the profession and South Africa in the provision of an ATM service.
Mr Tshepo Peege is the current Representative of South Africa on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). He previously served in the same position from 2003 to 2011 where he was responsible for the South African Mission since the election of South Africa in 2003. He was called upon to retake his position as Representative of South Africa in 2014 and has served since.

Tshepo has served on the ICAO Council as the governing body's first Vice-President, Dean of the Council, Chairperson of the Human Resources committee, Chairperson of the Working Group on Governance and Efficiency, and as member of several committees of the Council including the Air Transport Committee and Finance Committee.

He was previously the Chairperson of the South African Development Community (SADC) Civil Aviation Committee and was later elected as the President of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC).

Tshepo graduated with a master's degree in Transport Policy and Management from the University of North London, United Kingdom. He holds several aviation qualifications including Aeronautical Engineering (Dublin, Ireland), Avionics (Civil Aviation Academy, Ethiopia), Aviation Safety Program Management and Aircraft Incident Investigation (University of Southern California, USA).

Furthermore, through Singapore Aviation Academy, he also gained qualifications in Airport Operations and Transport Development, Integrated Safety Management System and the Civil Aviation Chief Executive Program. He also obtained qualifications in Airport Management from the Aviation Management Training Institute (AMTI).

On the airline side, besides the Airline Management Integration qualifications from IATA, and the Flight Safety and Human Factors qualification from ICAO, he holds the Flight Engineer License, having logged over 4000 flight hours in the Boeing 727 aircraft.

Tshepo is the recipient of several aviation awards and has been a speaker and panellist at several high-profile aviation meetings, seminars and conferences.  
Kevin Storie is the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA). He currently serves as Board member of the Aero Club of South Africa (AeCSA) and of the Soaring Society of South Africa (SSSA).

Kevin also previously served as General Manager of AeCSA, is an Aviation Training Organisation (ATO) owner, and is a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) in the recreational aviation sphere.
Sam Twala obtained his bachelor's degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Pretoria in 2009. With a passion for aviation and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), he enrolled for a Postgraduate Diploma in Aviation through Singapore Aviation Academy in conjunction with Massey University in 2014. He graduated with merit as a Master of Aviation from Massey University School Aviation in 2016, with a focus on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems.

Sam began his professional career as an engineer in training in a high-tech military company. As a trainee, he gained experience in areas such as laser design, optical sensors and image processing, among others.  He joined the South African Civil Aviation Authority in 2011 as a certification engineer specialising in avionics. His responsibilities included evaluation and approval of design data for minor and major aircraft modifications, conducting type validation of foreign aircraft, initial approval of design organisations and renewal audits. After two years in the certification engineering department, Sam joined the UAS department as a "UAS specialist". There he developed the regulations and technical standards for RPAS, known as Part 101 today.  

Sam served as a special adviser to the South African member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Unmanned Aircraft System Study Group (UASSG) from May 2013 to July 2014. He also served as the South African member of the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking of Unmanned Systems (JARUS) from April 2013 to February 2016. He later served as South African representative and a member of the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Panel (RPASP) from its inception in November 2014 until February 2016.  

Sam left SACAA to join Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS), where he worked as Senior Systems Engineer of Communications, Surveillance and Navigations (CNS) systems in the planning department from March 2016 until February 2018.
Zia Meer became a South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) Training Inspector in 2014, is a member of the RPAS Project Team and Technical Advisor to the South African Member of ICAO RPAS Panel in Montreal.

Zia is an experienced Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor and has served as Air Traffic Service Officer (ATSO) at ATNS Lanseria from 2004 to 2014. He has delivered RPAS presentations to several forums including the 2nd ICAO RPAS Symposium held at ICAO, Montreal in September 2017.  
Mr Kaven Naidoo is currently the Manager of the Aeronautics Systems Competency at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's (CSIR) unit for Defence, Peace, Safety and Security (DPSS). He has completed a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and has a PhD with a specialisation in supersonic aerodynamics. He has been active in the field of computational and experimental aerodynamics since 1999 and has completed the Executive National Security Programme at the South African National Defence College in 2014.

Kaven's primary responsibilities as Manager of Aeronautics Systems Competency include strategy development, business development and operations management. Being accountable for the aeronautics research strategy at the CSIR requires ongoing engagement with researchers, managers, technology leaders, industry leaders and stakeholders both internally and externally. His mandate is to develop the technology investment strategy for CSIR Aeronautics in the areas of Unmanned Aerial Systems, Propulsion Systems, Missiles, Weapons Integration, Aircraft Design and Optimisation, Flight simulation, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Aerodynamic test and evaluation and various other areas. This is done with the primary objective of supporting a national strategic aeronautics capability serving the national interest. The Aeronautics Competency unit recently made the cover story for South Africa's Engineering News.

He is currently the South African representative to the International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR) which is an alliance of the heads of all the major Aeronautics Research Institutes around the world including NASA Aeronautics (United States), DLR (Germany), NLR (Netherlands), JAXA (Japan), TsAGI (Russia) and others, representing more than 30 000 aerospace researchers globally. This alliance aims to combine forces and resources to address the world's most pressing aviation challenges. He led a team that organised the eighth Global Summit of IFAR in Pretoria in October 2018.

   Kaven is currently serving on the Organising Committee of the Department of Transport's Annual Transport Conference. He previously led the development of a national aerostructures roadmap for advanced manufacturing on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology.

Between 2005 and 2007 he was the Research Group Leader of the Computational Aerodynamics Group within the Competency unit. Since 1999 he has led various computational and experimental programmes for the Department of Defence and Denel Dynamics. These included the development and validation of simulation methods for risk assessment on the Oryx helicopter as well as countermeasure system development for the Rooivalk attack helicopter. His experimental experience includes the development of systems for the supersonic wind tunnel as well as leading test and evaluation programmes for various missile programmes. He has presented at local and international conferences and his work has been published by accredited journals.
Mr. Simon Zwane has been the Senior Manager: ATM Research and Planning (ATM/CNS Department) since August 2016.

Simon was an ATM Specialist before being appointed to his current role and has also served as an Interim Manager ATS, Pool Manager, ATCO 3, OJT Instructor (O.R. Tambo), DE and Guest Instructor (ATA).

He is the current chair of the ICAO Airspace and Aerodrome Operations Sub Group (AAO SG) as well as the improvement of air traffic services over the South Atlantic (SAT) and Future Air Navigation System (FANS I/A) Interoperability Team – SAT/FIT.
Ms Nokuthula Phakathi's current responsibilities include Communication Surveillance and Navigation (CNS) infrastructure research and development, as well as aviation infrastructure planning provision within South Africa.

Nokuthula is registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) as a professional electronics engineer and registered with the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) as a senior member.

She has over 10 years' experience in telecommunications, defence and aviation, and has represented South Africa at various global aviation technical committee meetings, including that of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Nokuthula is actively involved in the professional matters of ECSA and SAIEE while pursuing her interests in cyber security and research activities.

  She has obtained various technical and management qualifications with several institutions including Wits Business School.
Dhipak Lalla was appointed as Manager: Central Airspace Management Unit (CAMU) at ATNS in 2017.
The CAMU is responsible for managing the flow of air traffic in the South African airspace.

Having started his career in 1997 in the South African Air Force, Dhipak validated as an Air Traffic Controller in 2001 and went on to work at various Air Force bases. He joined ATNS in July 2006 and validated as an Approach Procedural Controller at Wonderboom Airport (2007) as well as an Approach Radar Controller at Johannesburg Approach Control (2010).

In 2011 he was appointed as Pool Manager for the Johannesburg Approach Control Unit. In 2016, Dhipak worked as an Investigation and Standards Specialist in the Standards and Regulation Department.

Dhipak holds an IATA Diploma in Safety Management Systems as well as a Diploma in General Management. 
Mr Hein Reid started his Air Traffic Controller (ATC) career 37 years ago, in 1981. He holds qualifications in Aerodrome Control, Approach Control, Area Control as well as a few military qualifications in Ground Control Approach, Homer Control and Military Flight Information service. He holds both Grade 1 and Grade 2 Instructor's qualifications and was a Designated Examiner for several years. Some of his other achievements include:

  • During 1999, while employed as a Principal ATC at Johannesburg, he rewrote the Station Standing Instructions (SSIs) for the Johannesburg Area Control Pool;
  • During the same time, he also developed a train-by-objective validation training syllabus for the Area (En-route) Control pool;
  • He developed the Station Allowance Matrix (SAM) for Air Traffic Service personnel – currently used at ATNS to recognise different workloads at different air traffic service units. The SAM considers variables in the Air Traffic Control environment and determines a mathematically calculated station (regional) allowance for different units/stations;
  • He designed the "Staff calculator" – currently in use in ATNS Operations to calculate the staffing demand at various units/stations. The calculator considers hours of duty, service level agreements, legal restrictions on operational hours for controllers, etc. and calculates the required number of staff for a given position/unit;
  • He designed and implemented an Air Traffic Control delay measurement tool for ATNS;
  • He managed an industry-wide work group on measuring Air Traffic Control delays – for the first time in the history of aviation in South Africa, there was an industry-wide accepted definition of ATC and other delays;
  • He planned and managed ATM Operations in ATNS before and during the successful Soccer World Cup 2010 – invaluable experience gained during this event afforded him a near unique qualification in Air Traffic Management anywhere in the world; and
  • Developed a first-ever Human Capital Implementation Plan for Air Traffic Control Operations in ATNS.

Hein completed his MBA studies in 2017 where his research project focused on the impact of the ATNS safety culture on its safety performance. He passed the dissertation stage with distinction and was invited to participate in a doctoral studies program.