Rosina Booth, 29, always wanted to be a pilot and started lessons when she was just 16.
She trained on “weekends and weeknights”, but the cost of lessons became prohibitive, and post-September 11 an aviation career looked “doubtful” as the industry downsized.
As a contingency plan, Booth had completed a Bachelor of International Business at Flinders University in Adelaide, and became an airline’s human resources consultant.
But when Regional Express (Rex) Airlines advertised its cadetship in 2008, Booth saw her chance and successfully enrolled in the newly established flying training school.
Now a first officer, Booth’s career is on course in a company that values training. Rex cadets and pilots all have an opportunity to earn a Diploma of Aviation through the National Workforce Development Fund, a qualification developed by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council.
“Rex is really encouraging with helping our career progression within the company,” Booth says. “It’s good for motivation as well, to know they have a plan for us.”
It’s good to keep learning, thinking outside of the square and getting more experience.
The NWDF “is a great initiative. I finally have some formal academic recognition of all the work that’s involved in becoming a commercial pilot. And an academic qualification can be quite important to pursue positions in management roles.”
Continuous training is also beneficial in a “progressive industry” where “technology is really changing,” Booth says. “It’s the type of job where you never stop learning. There are always new challenges,” like the iPads now installed in every Rex aircraft cockpit.
“And working for a regional airline has challenges which are unique to regional flying. We fly to country areas where an airport might not have the equipment you would see at a major aerodrome, even basic things like navigational aids and slope guidance.
“It’s good to keep learning, thinking outside of the square and getting more experience.”
Booth carries much responsibility in her day-to-day job. Working alongside the captain, “we create a flight plan for the day”: assessing the weather en route, carrying capacity (the payload”), and fuel required, while communicating with the many parties required to perform a successful flight.
Heading out to the tarmac, Booth takes to the sky where she and the captain take turns at “pilot flying” route and approach responsibilities and “pilot not flying” monitoring.
“Within the next three years I should be eligible for a command, a captaincy, with Rex,” she says. “I really enjoy flying, I see myself staying in the industry for as long as I can.”
Click here to download PDF version.