Oct 2021 2nd edition

Orefile Mthombeni blazes a trail in aviation

Written by More Matshediso

Orefile Mthombeni is one of the people in the aviation space who ensures that an aircraft is safe before it carries passengers. Orefile Mthombeni is reaching new heights in the aviation industry.

She is the technical standards specialist at State-owned company Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS).

Originating from Bloemfontein, Mthombeni leads a team of people who are responsible for checking if all safety procedures have been followed before passengers aboard an aircraft.

At age ,30, she is also the first women to hold this position within ATNS.

The ATNS provides air traffic, navigation, training and other related services to South Africa as well as 10 percent of the world’s airspace.

“My job is basically to assure safety through technical audits and technical investigations on our communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) equipment.”

Mthombeni says CNS equipment are used to guide aircrafts on the route to be taken  in the sky.

Furthermore, she also helps investigate failures of this systems and provides recommendations.

Paving the way to aviation

Mthombeni advised high school pupils who are interested in her field of work to take on subjects such as Mathematics and physical science at high school level.

This will pave the way for a career in Electrical Engineering at a University of Technology or a Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college.

“You will then be required to complete practical experience for your Diploma at the Aviation Training Academy and get employed by ATNS for a minimum of five years,” she says.

Mthombeni joined ATNS in 2012 through the Aviation Training Academy (ATA), where she completed practical experience for her National Diploma in Electrical Engineering (Light Current).

She also holds a Bachelor of Technology in Business Administration and she is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce with the University of South Africa.

For more information, you can contact the ATA on 011 570 0400 or visit ATNS website: www.atns.co.za/com

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