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Poppy Khoza: Soaring from rural Dundee to the first female chair of the UN's civil aviation assembly

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Poppy Khoza during her role as chair of the global assembly of the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation in Montreal.
Poppy Khoza during her role as chair of the global assembly of the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation in Montreal.
SACAA

From humble beginnings in rural KwaZulu-Natal, near Dundee, Poppy Khoza's career in aviation has made her not only the first woman at the helm of South Africa's Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), but also the first woman to preside over the global assembly of the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

ICAO's 41st Assembly took place in the Montreal, Canada recently. Khoza says her election to chair the assembly is a sign of how the rest of the world perceives SA's contribution to issues facing world aviation. The assembly meets not less than once every three years, and has numerous powers and duties, although generally it reviews in detail the work of ICAO, a body charged with, among other things, supporting diplomatic efforts that will help align national regulations globally.

Khoza has 20 years' experience in the civil aviation industry - 18 years of which spent in senior management positions. SACAA is tasked with maintaining a safe, secure and sustainable environment, by regulating and overseeing the industry according to international standards.

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