Top Job Advertised- Can Another Local Lead CAAF?

Can a local lead? Well, the obvious answer is Yes and we have proven that time and again.
16 May 2021 13:21
Top Job Advertised- Can Another Local Lead CAAF?
Top: The first local CAAF chief executive late Jone Koroitamana, former CAAF chief executive Norman Hok Yok Yee, and former CAAF chief executive Netava Waqa. Bottom: Former acting CAAF chief executive Ajai Kumar and Acting CAAF chief executive Theresa O’Boyle-Levestam.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji (CAAF) has advertised its chief executive position.

The advert said CAAF was seeking to recruit an experienced, visionary and dynamic individual for the position of Chief Executive (“CE”) to be in the CAAF head office in Nadi, Fiji.

The advert said: “The primary purpose of this position is to lead and steer CAAF to achieve its strategic objectives as set out under the Act and by the Board.

‘And to fulfil its vision “to be a model aviation regulator’ and ensure that CAAF’s functions are fulfilled under the relevant laws and regulations.”

On the CAAF website on its vacancies section, it highlighted key responsibilities, person specification, knowledge and experience, skills and abilities., as per our fact box.

The statutory organisation’s board chair Nilesh Prasad in an earlier interview said:

“CAAF has completed a job evaluation for the position of chief executive which was completed by an independent HR Consultant.

“Based on the recommendations CAAF has obtained approval to proceed with recruitment.

“Being a critical role to the aviation industry, the vacancy will be shortly advertised locally and internationally to recruit the best candidate for the role.”

Local leading

Can a local lead?

Well the obvious answer is Yes and we have proven that time and again.

But from a technical perspective it does not matter where a person is from provided they have the knowledge, skill and capacity to lead such an organisation and its people.

CAAF has been headed by locals since its creation and has built an enviable reputation within the Pacific Islands for aviation safety.

Jone Koroitamana, Fiji’s first local and former chief executive officer of CAAF and was recognised internationally for his work on aviation safety and represented Fiji on the Council of the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Mr Koroitamana came from the era when New Zealand ran Nadi Airport.

He was a highly qualified air traffic controller. Norman Hok Yok Yee took over after Mr Koroitamana left.

Mr Yee spent 46 years in the civil aviation fraternity beginning as a radio technician worked his way up to become the chief executive retiring in 2007.

He has had many firsts for Fiji such as the introduction of GPS in all the domestic aircraft with the help of the USA Federal Aviation Agency.

This enabled pilots to fly directly to any airport in Fiji.

With the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Mr Yee was a member of a group involved in the introduction of new technologies using satellites which made aviation safer and more efficient worldwide.

Netava Waqa took over after Mr Yee resigned. Mr Waqa is currently the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO) Operations Manager based in Vanuatu.

He joined PASO after 11 years as CAAF chief executive.

Mr Waqa is now employed with the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO) in Vanuatu as the Operations Manager. In light of COVID-19 Mr Waqa is currently in Fiji.

PASO is an international organisation providing quality aviation safety and security service for Member States in the Pacific.

The current acting chief executive Theresa O’Boyle-Levestam succeeded Ajai Kumar who was acting for sometime after Mr Waqa left CAAF.

Mr Kumar is now retired. Ms O’Boyle-Levestam also comes from an air traffic control background.

It is understood the top executive position was last advertised early last year. The recruiting agency then PricewaterhouseCoopers, in that advertisement said the contract was for three years from the date of the appointment.

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