By Captain Michael Faasolo
To the world of airlines and public flying, an airline is perhaps represented by aeroplanes, airline services, air fares, flight and cabin crew and TV advertisement. Whilst all these good things combine to put up the front smiling face of the airline, we often do not get to hear nor have the avenue to cage into the behind the scene of those who work outside normal hours.
This great team of local Tongan qualified aircraft engineers work tirelessly, serving the airline's aircraft after hours preparing them for service the next day. In cohesion with another team, the Operation Control Centre they provide information back and forth in ensuring that any recorded defects or engineering snags to the aircraft are being monitored and rectified signed off by a qualified engineer before aircraft is being released to service. Another less mentioned area but vitally important is Flight Training.
Real Tonga pilots are being trained in Melbourne Australia utilizing the Simulator Training Center of Ansett. This Training organization is one of the world's highly recognised facilities for Flight Crew Training hence gaining the approval of both Tonga Civil Aviation Department and Real Tonga. All our pilots go through Flight Training every six months in addition to the undergoing of yearly and six- monthly Medical Checks by New Zealand and Tongan approved aviation medical doctors. By law and the heavy demand of Safety all our pilots must undergo these medical checks.
Quietly working in the background but highly effective is our Quality Assurance team. These qualified people function day and night to provide a guaranteed highest level in safety and industry best practices to ensure safe operation of the whole operation. Their tasks range from engineering, training, quality and safety practices to ensuring both ground and flight operations of the airline are in safe manners.