My experience working at DAC Aviation over the last 6 ½ years has been anything but ordinary. I joined DAC Aviation in early 2007 as the Security Manager following completion of a master’s degree program in the US. At the time, DAC Aviation had achieved two major milestones in its list of many successes: secured a long-term contract with ECHO; and acquired CMC Aviation, an MRO facility based at Wilson Airport. Given this continued growth that DAC Aviation was experiencing, it was only natural for the organization to invest in additional human resource capabilities with a view to enhance its structures, processes and quality of air service provided to its clients. This is how I got the opportunity to be part of the DAC family.

My role as Security Manager was to develop and implement a company-wide security program that would enhance the safety and security for our customers, our staff and assets, without compromising our ability to provide an efficient and reliable service to our clients. While working towards achieving this goal, we faced several challenges along the way. Nonetheless, as an organization, we drew upon certain core values – teamwork and excellence – in order to deliver on our promises and exceed the expectations of our customers. That meant that our dedicated ground staff and crew went a step further in order to continuously improve and adhere to the highest quality standards.

One of my major highlights among many while working at DAC Aviation has been establishing and implementing our own in-house aviation security training for our staff. Our in-house training has allowed us to tailor our training requirements in order to meet the specific needs of our various clients, and consequently ensure our staff is well trained to address any issues while striking the right balance between security, efficiency and risk management principles. Being equipped with a well trained staff allows DAC Aviation to focus and support with our partner clients with a view to anticipating their needs and promoting an effective and efficient aviation security system in our operation.

While working at DAC Aviation, I have had the opportunity to realize one of my dreams – becoming a pilot. When I joined DAC Aviation, I had attained 40 hours towards my private pilot license. The cost of training was rather expensive, and when I approached the executive management for their support, they were more than willing to assist with my personal goals. Through the support of our Chairman, Emmanuel Anassis, I completed my commercial pilot license in 2010. Following completion of my flight training, DAC Aviation provided me with an opportunity to join the Caravan fleet in 2011, and more recently, I have joined the Dash 8 fleet.

In addition to my Security Manager duties, my duties as a co-pilot have allowed me see to a greater extent the valuable contribution that DAC Aviation has made while partnering and supporting our clients, such as ECHO-Flight. Flying on many occasions from Bukavu to Shabunda on the Caravan, or from Goma to Beni on the Dash 8 in the DRC, I have personally been touched by the positive impact that DAC Aviation and ECHO Flight have made in bringing hope and changing the lives of the local people. To be able to participate and contribute towards this positive change is something that brings fulfillment and satisfaction to my life. Additionally, this has allowed me to see, understand and appreciate the different aviation essentials at work – safety, security, maintenance, quality, reliability, efficiency and teamwork – that lead not only to a safe operation, but a successful operation as well.

Without a doubt, I am grateful for the experience and knowledge I have gained at DAC Aviation, and for being part of the greater DAC Aviation family.

By Lawrence Runana