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Hamilton man receives national aviation award

Hamilton man receives national aviation award

Rocky Rua (37), of Maori descent, is one of only ten people nationwide to receive an award at this year's Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) Annual Dinner held in Wellington this month (22 May).

Mr Rua, a flight safety officer at Hamilton-based flight training organisation CTC Aviation, was the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Michael J Neville/Boeing Airplane Company Award.

Chairman of New Zealand Aeronautical Trusts Limited (NZATL), John Mounce, said the award is managed by the NZATL and was established following seed funding from Boeing back in year 2000.

"The aviation award Rocky received is a memorial to the late Michael Neville, who was once a very well respected aviation lawyer in New Zealand," he said.

"It is made to a young person working in New Zealand's aviation industry who demonstrates excellence in work ethics, values, results, and has intention for further study or learning.

The first award was offered in 2000 and there have been only 10 awarded to date, with Rocky being the deserving eleventh."

CTC Aviation Chief Operating Officer – Ab initio Training (NZ), Peter Stockwell, said the flight training organisation "couldn't be more proud" of Rocky's achievement.

"Rocky has worked for CTC Aviation since 2011, initially as a flight instructor, and more recently as a flight safety officer," Mr Stockwell said.

"In his flight safety officer role, he is making a significant difference through the introduction of new initiatives and programmes such as a new company safety 'identity' and a safety magazine.

"He has completed ongoing professional development and training, achieving a higher than average first time pass rate in all flight tests.

"Rocky takes great satisfaction in his work and upholds our company's 'Committed to Excellence' standards that we pride ourselves on," he said.

Concurrent with full-time work during 2014, Rocky completed a Master of Business Administration Degree (MBA) in Indigenous Management at the University of Waikato.

His Masters dissertation focussed on assessing Maori participation in flight training and identifying scope for increasing participation in line with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

"Maori have been historically under-represented in aviation. It is my desire to continue to encourage participation by Maori in the area of pilot training and to further identify areas for improved Corporate and Government collaboration," Mr Rua said.

"I feel very honoured and humbled to receive the Michael J Neville/Boeing Airplane Company Award. I look forward to utilising my professional and academic experience in making positive contributions in both pilot training and aviation safety."

Prior to joining CTC Aviation, Rocky gathered experience in both an airline and the education sector, including working as a flight attendant and learning and development facilitator for Qantas Airways, and as a flight instructor at the Waikato Aero Club.

"In recognition of Rocky's professional performance, commitment to the flight training sector and in particular flight safety, his enthusiasm for ongoing professional development, and his strong interest in furthering the participation of young Maori in aviation, we are proud to present Rocky with this award," Mr Mounce said