We spoke with Mr. Wayne Lim, Acting General Manager of KidZania Singapore, on his thoughts about getting kids to fall in love with flying and aiming to join this prestigious career!
Many of our kids may wish to be pilots when they grow up, but do we know how can we help them achieve the goal or how does one even start the journey to become a pilot. With a full-winged Boeing 737 and an Aviation Academy, we spoke to Mr. Wayne Lim, Acting General Manager of KidZania Singapore, on his thoughts.
- How do you suggest we nurture the love for flying among the young?
One way to nurture the love for flying among the young is to expose them to this industry. Exposure is one of the key elements to spark one’s interest in absolutely anything. In KidZania Singapore, we believe that role-playing is an embedded behaviour in kids. They perform it naturally without previous learning or adult explanations.
Built within the City, we are one of the first KidZania City to have an actual full-winged fuselage of a Boeing 737 aircraft. This facility is also the home to the City’s Aviation Academy where kids can truly immerse themselves in the aviation industry – learning how to be Pilots and Cabin Crew.
Based on our recent KidZ Survey, almost one-third of kids surveyed are keen to pursue a career in the Aviation industry (as a Cabin Crew and Pilot) after being exposed to the aviation industry.
- How does the partnership with Qatar Airways help prepare little ones to be Pilots?
KidZania Singapore’s partnership with Qatar Airways has been very key in sparking the interest of the Aviation and Travel industry to the young. Families get the rare chance to come up close with a real plane body and to have a taste of the level of realism that KidZania Singapore represents. Visitors entering KidZania Singapore will be greeted at the Qatar Airways branded airport terminal (ticketing counters), complete with check-in desks and personnel dressed in Qatar Airways uniforms.
The love and passion for flying and serving in this industry plays a key role, which we continuously help nurture this in kids today. This is why the role-play activity itself is infused with realism by the industry experts from Qatar Airways to ensure that kids are empowered, inspired and educated with real-world authentic experiences.
KidZania Singapore in partnership with Qatar Airways also has fully functioning state-of-the-art flight simulators where kids can experience flying two of Qatar Airways’ flagship aircraft – the 787 Dreamliner and the A380 superjumbo aircraft. Kids are also able to learn how to make safety announcements, ensure the comfort of their passengers onboard, and pick up the basic etiquette on serving Cabin Passengers.
Most importantly, we help kids gain a deeper appreciation for the skills needed and responsibilities required to be part of this industry.
- If you were trying to introduce being a pilot to a 5 yr old, what would you tell him or her?
I would say that “I believe in you” and to “start small”. You can watch airplanes take off at the airport or marvel at the aerobatic manoeuvres of fighter jets during air shows. Although it might seem as though there’s a long runway to go, take the first step in realising your (child’s) dream by getting (them) in the pilot’s seat of a true-to-life flight simulator to experience what it’s truly like to helm a plane.
- If a 5 yr old wants to be a pilot, how will you suggest he / she starts, and what is the "route" to become a pilot from 5 yrs old?
One’s journey to becoming a pilot always starts with their exposure to the Aviation or Travel industry – whether it is on a flight to another country, hearing stories from people in the industry, or even watching movies about travel or flying planes. At KidZania Singapore, we help give this exposure to the kids which then in turn sparks their interest to know more and later on even become a part of the industry.