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Staff Spotlight: James Hamilton

In this article published in Ascent e-magazine, Airways International’s Regional Director Middle East and Africa, James Hamilton, explores working at Airways International and in the aviation industry.

Meet James Hamilton – Airways International’s Regional Director Middle East and Africa, based in our Middle East office in Dubai. James started with Airways International in July 2023 – in this Q&A with James he tells us a bit about himself, his role and Airways International innovation & collaboration.

Tell us a bit about your background and what has led you to this role with Airways International?

I’m a Southland boy who left the shores of New Zealand in 1997 to start a role with DHL Express in Saudi Arabia and have been in the Middle East pretty much ever since with the last 10 years being with Etihad Cargo in Abu Dhabi, as Global Account Manager looking after the largest Freight Forwarders globally.

In my spare time I have always been involved in rugby and was Captain of the Saudi Arabian rugby team in the late 90’s. I’m now retired and have fun with a friend running a podcast called “The Captain’s Table” talking to Dubai identities.

When I’m not in work I can mostly be found in a loud shirt, shorts and flip flops…

What does your role with Airways International involve, and what makes you excited to be joining Airways?

I feel my role is the link between the customer and “the Mothership” Airways International back in New Zealand. I like being the “Voice of the Customer” and want to advocate on their behalf and to keep them up-to-date with our latest developments and offerings.

What has attracted you to the air traffic management industry?

My passion is in the aviation industry, and I’m really excited to get involved in the air traffic management sector and support our customers to ensure a safe and efficient airspace through delivery of world-leading products and services.

Being new to the organisation and the industry, what are your first impressions and key insights into how Airways International can best support the industry and our customers?

Airways International, like a lot of New Zealand companies, comes with a professional aura that is well received within the industry globally. It’s obvious that when a customer chooses Airways International, they will receive a superior level of service.

Airways International is globally recognised for leading innovation in the air traffic management sector. What examples can you give of how we are shaping the future of the sector through innovation?

Innovation is not something that can be harnessed overnight. Airways International has delivered a level of innovation for many years which gives trust to the customer that they are working with an organisation at the leading edge of training and support.

What are some of the key challenges being faced by the air traffic management industry, that Airways International can help to overcome via our products & services?

During COVID many customers put training on hold – I think many people in the industry are now surprised at how quickly the passenger industry has rebounded and are now playing catch-up in relation to training. This is shown by a global shortage of Air Traffic Controllers – we have noticed a considerable increase in training requirements, all with short deadlines for completion.

How do you think ANSPs can leverage collaboration and partnerships to enhance their innovation capabilities?

At Airways International we have multiple partnerships to call upon, so when ANSPs require complex and innovative requirements we can if required gather assistance from multiple parties – in many ways we are a one-stop shop.