SHORT LEFT He designs flight procedure
MEET the man who knows the short lefts and short rights in the air, Zwelithini Vilakazi (37) a flight procedure designer at Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS).
What does your company do?
The company is responsible for the provision of air traffic control within approximately 10% of the world s
’ airspace, including South Africa.
It also provides navigation and related services like procedure design, aeronautical information, search and rescue, navigational aids maintenance and various technical services.
What do you do at ATNS?
I design visual and instrument flight procedures (instrument flight rules) and airspace and air routes. This means that I m responsible
’ for procedures that involve a series of predetermined manoeuvres using flight instruments to offer protection from obstacles such as buildings, masts and terrain [features]. That is, I m a civil engineer
’ of the sky.
What does a typical day
in your job entail?
A typical day involves interaction with local and international clients, the South African Civil Aviation Authority, the air traffic regulator, the airports company and environmental agencies. Projectrelated meetings are conducted and, of course, the bulk of the day is spent designing procedures.
What do you like and dislike
about your job?
I actually like doing what I do. I also like seeing my work being published in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) and seeing it being used by pilots and air traffic controllers. But I don t like it when clients
’ request specific procedures, and later reject that work as being unusable. I also don t like the slow pace at
’ which the industry in Africa is implementing new technologies.
Has it always been your dream
to do what you do?
Not really. As someone from the ekasi we did not know anything
CIVIL ENGINEER OF THE SKIES: Flight procedure designer Zwelithini Vilakazi.