The Avi Assist Experience

Albert de Hoon & Gloria Bitebekezi

Meet Albert de Hoon and Gloria Bitebekezi, guests on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient ft Jay Hillz. The Experience is our weekly radio show airing every Sunday live for an hour at 20.30 hrs CAT on Zambezi 94.1 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. Albert hails from Amsterdam, Netherlands, Gloria from Kampala, Uganda. They are both part time workers for the Avi Assist Foundation, promoting flight safety in East and Southern Africa.

The independent, non profit AviAssist Foundation promotes professionalism in African aviation safety. It analyses the problems and works on practical solutions to them. The Foundation provides pro-active safety support to aviation organisations (government and industry) in the 24 States of the ICAO East and Southern African (ESAF) region. They are also involved with fire fighting advice and there is an annual conference, this year to be held in Rwanda.

Gloria and Albert told listeners that they were in Livingstone to run two short courses on airport wildlife management for airport staff drawn from all over Zambia. We were informed that in most cases birds form the biggest danger to aircraft taking off and landing at airports worldwide and have been the cause of plenty of accidents. Staff at Harry Nkumbula Airport in Livingstone seemed to think that elephant were a bigger problem in their case!

It was Gloria’s second visit to Zambia but first to Livingstone, Albert’s first visit to Zambia. Albert told us he is a full time employee of the Civil Aviation Authority in the Netherlands, while Gloria has her own consultancy in Environmental Management back in Kampala, where she is married to a lawyer. They are both happy to give their services to Avi Assist from time to time.

Gloria has three children all schooling, while Albert has a little girl aged one and a half, already missing him back in Holland! Gloria told us that her musical tastes were for gospel and jazz, while Albert was into house and loved Tiesto among others. The music on our show was good, highlighted by tracks from Foxes, Philip George, The Vamps, Sarkodie ft Stonebooy and Slap D.

While they were in Livingstone the guys hoped to do the rhino walk as well as the ‘under the spray’ tour. Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing ten years from now, Gloria was not sure, while Albert wanted to be happy, healthy and travelling.

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