Master of Ceremonies
As a renowned broadcast journalist, Aki is the host of TechBusters on CNBC Africa as well as a technology writer for GIBS Acumen and Diversions magazine. He has been a presenter on Talk Radio 702 for the past 18 years.
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.
Phillip Boshielo is a qualified Electrical Engineer and holds a BSc Electrical Engineering, BEng Honours Computer Engineering, and an MBL. He is currently doing his Masters in Engineering.
Phillip brings extensive experience in the area of telecommunications to the ATNS Executive Team. In his current role he provides total asset and technology management as well as translating user requirements and planning, developing and implementing technical support and maintenance to ensure the total life cycle management of CNS and related infrastructure.
Prior to joining ATNS, Phillip was the General Manager of Partnerships, Roaming and Wholesale for MTN Group. He started his working career at Eskom as an Engineer-In-Training, focusing on telecommunications. He then moved to Denel where he worked as an Electronic Engineer, followed by BMW Group South Africa as an Analysis and Test Engineer before his move to Vodacom Group as Senior Specialist of Ventures; he was later promoted to Executive Head of Ventures.
Gaborekwe (Gabo) Esther Khambule, is an expert in aeronautical meteorology and is currently the head of aeronautical weather forecasting at the South African Weather Service (SAWS). She holds an MBA in Meteorology, as well as a diploma in Management Studies and the Management Advancement Programme. She also serves on the board of the South African National Space Agency.
In July 2014 she was recognised for her contribution to the global agenda on aeronautical meteorology at ICAO/WMO Conjoint in Montreal. She represents SAWS in different forums nationally and internationally, coordinates the SAWS Advisory Committee for Aeronautical Meteorology and is involved in regulated aviation tariff negotiations. She was the chair of ICAO Sub Met Group for three successive terms until December 2013 and chair of ICAO Satellite Distribution Operation Group.
Esther currently co-chairs the WMO Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology, Expert Team on Communication, Coordination and Partnership. She is also the chair of Working Group of Regional association 1(RA1) on marine and aviation compliance.
She was a finalist in the CEO meritorious awards event of most influential women in business and government in August 2012.
Dr Sandile Malinga has been appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer for ATNS. As 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.
Zephania Sholobela is an Aerodrome Control, Approach Procedural, Approach Radar and Area Procedural Control rated controller at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka with more than 10 years’ experience. He joined Zambia Airports Corporation in 2000 and became a licensed Air Traffic Controller in September 2004 after serving as an Air Traffic Control Assistant.
Zephania holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Development Studies and is currently the President of the Guild of Air Traffic Controllers of Zambia (GATCOZ) and a corresponding member of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Association Technical and Operations Committee (TOC). TOC is a group of expert controllers who develop policies affecting the global ATC standards and recommended practices for ICAO adoption.
Zephania’s leadership roles has expanded beyond the traditional Air Traffic Controller and has led many strategic initiatives and has been an agent of change within and outside the aviation industry. As an agent of change, Zephania has been instrumental in producing working papers and articles advising relevant aviation organisations in Zambia ranging from:
- ATC procedures;
- Controller-pilot working relationships;
- Airspace management;
- ATC personnel licensing requirements;
- Safety Management Systems (SMS); and
- Airport and air navigation service provision according to ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices.
Peter van Rooyen has been an Air Traffic Controller for the last 26 years and has a diploma in Aviation Safety Management from the International Air Transport Association.
His career started in the South African Air Force in 1989 as a tower controller, followed by Approach Radar validation in 1995. Peter became an instructor at the Air Space Control School in 1997. In 2000 Peter joined ATNS as an Area Controller at O.R. Tambo International Airport, a position he has held for the last 16 years. Also in 2000 Peter joined the Guild of Air Traffic Controllers of South Africa (GATCSA). He has held various position on the GATCSA Executive Board including President – he is currently the Executive Vice President Professional on the Executive Board of GATCSA.
Peter is a member of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers (IFATCA) and since 2002 has been elected to the professional and legal committee (PLC) of IFATCA, working on various interesting topics and presenting papers at the annual IFATCA Conferences some of which include Fatigue Management in Air Traffic Control and Remote Piloted Aerial Systems. Peter has been
Another great opportunity came my way when the IFATCA Executive Board appointed me the Chairman of Committee C at IFATCA annual conference for the last 2 years running, facilitating the deliberations of the Professional and Legal issues in Air Traffic control around the world. The experience in GATCSA and IFATCA has broadened my overall knowledge and has given a good international context to a number of important issues that affect Air Traffic Control in South Africa and Globally.
Dr Lee-Anne McKinnell is currently the Managing Director of the Space Science Directorate of the South African National Space Agency. She has held the position of Managing Director for seven years, prior to which she was a researcher with a joint position between the previous Hermanus Magnetic Observatory (a national facility of the National Research Foundation) and Rhodes University.
Lee-Anne holds a PhD in Space Physics from Rhodes University and an MBA from the Business School Netherlands. She has a B3 rating from the NRF, extensive international research experience, and has represented SANSA and South Africa on a number of international and national committees in the space science and technology field.
Ferlicia Ward started her career at ATNS in 2007 as part of the ATNS bursar programme. She worked as an Aeronautical Information Management Officer until 2011 after which she joined the Air Traffic Management Office as a Flight Procedure Specialist. She was later promoted to Principal Flight Procedure Specialist in 2015 and is in charge of the Flight Procedure Design office with a staff complement of six. She has completed her final year studying BA Communications Science through UNISA and will be graduating in 2017. She has also obtained certificates in project management, leadership and supervisory skills, human factors and safety management.
Dr Glen Snedden has worked in the field of gas turbine research for the past 20 years as part of the CSIR’s Aeronautical Systems Competency. During that time he worked with engines and engine manufacturers from five different companies, ranging from Eastern Bloc to the USA on military engine life improvement analysis and experiments. He led South African involvement in two large collaborative EU Framework projects, VITAL and FUTURE dealing with high bypass engine efficiency and fan blade flutter respectively. In addition, he has been a test engineer in South Africa’s tri-sonic wind tunnel (MSWT) the largest facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
He is now leading a small team of engineers and a network of university and SMME collaborators in the quest to develop small gas turbine engines of interest to the local market as well as international OEMs.
His tertiary education was initially through the then University of Natal, obtaining an MSc in Mechanical Engineering in 1996 which was followed by a part time BCom in Management through UNISA in 2003. His PhD was obtained from Durham University in the UK in 2012.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and Executive Secretary of the International Society for Airbreathing Engines as well as the current President of the Aeronautical Society of South Africa and lecturer at the University of Pretoria.
Matita Tshabalala has been in the aviation sector for 13 years and has worked in different departments such as operations, HR and safety. His interest is in cognitive psychology, complexity/chaos theory and systems thinking. He has written articles highlighting the importance of not only focusing on human error but looking at the system or the environment in which people operate.
He is registered with the Health Professions Council Of South Africa (HPCSA) as an industrial psychologist and, since aviation psychology is not a recognised stream of psychology by the HPCSA, he is registered with the European Association for Aviation Psychology (EAAP) as an aviation psychologist. In 2014 he presented a paper at the conference organised by EAAP in Malta titled ‘Occupational stress and coping resources in Air Traffic Control’.
Michele Ruiters has a Ph. D. in Political Science and a Certificate in Women’s Studies from Rutgers University in the United States. She is an Africa Specialist in the strategy division at the Development Bank of Southern Africa where she works on Africa-focused research and strategy development. Previously, Michele was an academic and published in the areas of international relations, development issues and on gender-related topics. She has been in the DFI sector for eight years.
Thabani holds a BEng (Hon) Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pretoria, a BSc Eng in Electrical Engineering from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, a National Diploma in Electronic Engineering from Technikon Natal, a Diploma in Management of ANSP (IATA Institute) and completed the International Executive Development Program with Wits University and the London Business School. He holds a World Executive MBA through the George Washington University, USA. Thabani serves as the CEO of ATNS and as the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) Africa Region Chairperson.
Thabani has over 10 years' experience in aviation, specialising in Air Traffic Management. An engineer by profession, he has previously worked for a number of major companies in various senior positions including Eskom, Transnet Ports Authority and NERSA. He is a registered professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa, a member of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers as well as the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa. Thabani is a member of the Air Services Licensing Council.
Tshepo Peege is the South African representative on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
He previously served in this same position from 2003-2011. During his assignments at the ICAO Council he has served as the governing body's first Vice President, Dean of the Council, Chairperson of the Human Resources Committee and a member of several other committees including the Air Transport and Finance Committee among others.
Tshepo occupied the position of chairperson of the SADC Civil Aviation Committee in prior years and was later elected as President of the African Civil Aviation Commission. He has a master's degree in Transport Policy and Management from the University of North London and holds several other qualifications which span a period of 38 years in aviation.
These include amongst others, the following: over 4,000 flying hours on the Boeing 727 with Ethiopian Airlines, Vice-President Corporate Safety and Security and Environment with SAA, CEO of Gateway International Airport in Polokwane, Chief Director: Aviation Safety, Security and Environment with DOT, Aeronautical Engineering, Aviation Safety Program Management, Airport Operations and Transport Development, Airline Management Integration, Aircraft Accident Investigation, Head: Search and Rescue, Head: National Aviation Security Committee with DOT.
Lionel Bernard-Peyre has 20 years’ experience in Air Traffic Management in a variety of roles focused on tools and concepts for enhancing safety, capacity and efficiency in airport operations. Thanks to his business development position at Thales, Lionel travels to various airports around the world to understand operational and local constraints.
His knowledge in arrival and departure management tools and tower systems enable him to propose smart solutions to support efficient operations between Air Traffic Controllers, airport and aircraft operators.
Prior to moving to Thales, Lionel was an engineer and consulted for Steria, Sofreavia and Egis Avia to support air navigation service providers in operational and R&D projects. He graduated as an engineer from ENAC University in Toulouse, France in 1994.
Dumisani Sangweni has worked in the airline industry, transport sector and broader corporate and public sectors as a business analyst, consulting at executive management levels, for over 15 years. Dumisani was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) by the ATCL Board in 2004, a joint venture company between South African Airways and the Government of Tanzania. Prior to this he worked in various commercial executive roles at SAA.
He graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in the USA with an undergraduate BSc in Aviation Technology and completed a postgraduate diploma in Transport Economics and Business Administration (PBL) from the University of Johannesburg and the University of South Africa.
With a BSc in Aeronautical Engineering from Wits University, Pfumelani Mbulayeni has over 15 years’ experience in various roles both within the civil aviation and defence sectors in engineering and compliance. Her other management and aviation specialist qualifications include the Management Advancement Programme from Wits Business School and she is currently enrolled in an MBL programme at UNISA.
In 2011 Pfumelani started her own consultation company and was a full-time consultant until June 2013, when she joined Denel Aviation as Head of Quality and SHE, taking responsibility for some 11 accreditations. She still consults on a part-time basis, specialising in quality systems in aviation and engineering solutions.
Lawrence Zimba has four years’ experience in aviation working for an ANSP in South Africa as a systems engineer, including training from one of the largest aviation system integration providers in France. Lawrence holds an Advanced Master’s degree (cum laude) from France specialising in Satellite-Based Communication, Navigation and Surveillance. He also holds a BEng Electronics Honours (cum laude), and a first-class BEng Electronics degree from the University of Pretoria.
Lawrence has represented South Africa at the International Civil Aviation Organization as a panel member of the Navigation System Panel in Montreal, Canada. He also represented South Africa at the African Civil Aviation Commission specifically on the topic of satellite-based technologies. He is currently an industry support manager at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) working on programmes focusing on using current CSIR hi-tech technologies to transfer knowledge to industry in order to support SMMEs and established organisations in the hi-tech environment.
Silas Silas is the Director of Air Navigation Services at the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana. He obtained a Bachelor of Administration in Aviation Management at the University of Pretoria and studied aviation at Bailbrook College, Bath. Silas also studied aviation at the Singapore Aviation Academy and at the School of Aviation, Nairobi.