DfT announces latest group of Aviation Ambassadors

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has announced its latest line-up of Aviation Ambassadors for the period 2024-2026, comprising 10 volunteers who will work with the DfT to help deliver a “skilled, diverse and sustainable aviation workforce fit to seize the opportunities of the future”.

The 10 Ambassadors will act as role models to raise the profile of the aviation sector, deliver enhanced outreach activities, and develop and promote career pathways. The DfT says: “Our aviation ambassadors play an important role in inspiring the next generation of aviation professionals, championing the sector and acting as role models for prospective aviation workers from all backgrounds.”

The Aviation Ambassador Group has three main objectives, including raising the profile of the aviation industry; inspiring the next generation of aviation professionals; and championing the sector and acting as role models for prospective aviation workers from all backgrounds.

The 10 new ambassadors are:

  • Alex Durand
    Alex has decades of aviation experience and has been chief executive officer of Klyne Aviation for over 10 years, delivering integrated aviation services that fly clients worldwide. He is also a non-executive director for NUNCATS, a UK electric aircraft innovator, and works as vice chair of the British Business and General Aviation Association.
  • Alice Goodwin
    Alice is an avionics design and development engineer working at Virgin Atlantic. She is responsible for fleet maintenance activities to ensure the maximum safety, integrity and reliability of aircraft systems. She is also a One Young World Ambassador and holds a private pilot licence.
  • Hannah Wells
    Hannah is a first officer with easyJet, as well as an experienced engineer. She is a training first officer for all cadets at easyJet, where she trains the next generation of aviators. She leads backto-work training for pilots returning after maternity leave and mentors cadets on the multi-pilot license programme.
  • Honor Puciato
    Honor is an expert in sustainability and environmental protection skills with over 15 years of experience within the industry. Currently employed at Ricardo, Honor works with several UK airports, including Heathrow Airport Ltd, where she currently manages the air quality agenda of the organisation.
  • Jack Jenner-Hall
    Jack is a 17-year-old glider pilot and aviation advocate from Norfolk who will be entering his second term as an aviation ambassador. He earned public attention in 2020 as he became the UK’s youngest pilot, qualifying as a glider pilot at the age of 14. He competes in aerobatics competitions, winning the sports category of the British Aerobatics Association Dan Smith Memorial Competition in April 2022. Jack has also become one of the youngest instructors in the country, qualifying at 16.
  • Lilya Turner Hurd
    Lilya is a trainee commercial pilot at Leading Edge Aviation. She also studied airline transport management at Buckinghamshire New University. Lilya founded Aviate Navigate Communicate, a start-up that works to break down barriers into the industry. She has spoken at schools and groups all over the country.
  • Mariya Tarabanovska
    Mariya is an award-winning aerospace engineer, entrepreneur and future of flight advisor dedicated to shaping the future of sustainable aviation. As the founder of Flight Crowd, a non-profit organisation focused on electric aviation, Mariya leads initiatives to educate and empower the future of flight workforce.
  • Michael Glen
    Michael has more than 10 years of experience in aviation and currently works as an airspace, noise and air traffic management specialist at Heathrow Airport. Outside of work, Michael continues to champion the sector as a sector commander in the Royal Air Force Air Cadets.
  • Mohammad Taher
    Mohammad is an award-winning educational influencer and engineer focusing on giving a ‘behind the scenes’ look into the aviation industry. Known as ‘The Airport Guy’, he uses the power of short, sharp and engaging video content across social media and has built a community of over half a million people by bringing to life the roles and operations across the aviation industry.
  • Nurina Sharmin
    Nurina has a masters in aerospace engineering and is an aerospace engineer with an impressive academic background in modelling and computational simulation. She works as a research lead and outreach ambassador with Flight Crowd, a non-profit organisation and Reach for the Sky Challenge Fund recipient focused on the future of flight.

Author: FTN Editor

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