Ms Ruta Ioata
Ministry of Communication, Transport and Tourism Development, Kiribati
Ms Ruta Ioata took a leap of faith in 2009 and made a career switch from administration work to airport management in the hope of contributing to the advancement of her country’s aviation system. Starting out in an industry that she has no prior training in, aviation presented exciting learning opportunities for the public administration and management graduate. “There is just so much to learn from this industry. When I first started out, I had to familiarise myself with ICAO’s 18 Annexes. Now, I am continuing to learn new rules and regulations pertaining to the industry,” she said.
“There is a gap between the aviation system of other countries and what we have back home. It is this disparity that motivates me to give my best in order to achieve more for my country,” Ms Ioata promptly added.
Recognising the limitations of her lone efforts, the perceptive 31-year-old hopes to see a stronger focus within her hometown of Kiribati on developing and maintaining its aviation infrastructure. She shared that the five-year upgrading project at the island nation’s Bonriki and Cassidy International Airports is an example of such a positive focus. “I am looking forward to the completion of the project which will see enhanced facilities and security standards at the airports,” she enthused.
An advocate for self-improvement, Ms Ioata is an active participant of SAA’s training programmes, with her most recent visit to the Academy in January this year for the Aviation Security: Auditing Techniques and Developing Security Manuals course. She commented, “The courses here have been very informative, providing me with insights on tackling aviation challenges.”
For Ms Ioata, trips to Singapore also bring along other opportunities for learning. “Singapore is an interesting country which invests a lot in her people. Because of that, the country is booming. Kiribati could learn much from Singapore’s commitment to excellence,” she pointed out.
Amidst her extensive work responsibility of overseeing the operations of Bonriki International Airport and 16 other outer island airports, Ms Ioata loves nothing more than spending time with her two young children. To unwind, she also indulges in her favourite volleyball sport, often roping in her colleagues for a game or two to foster team bonding. “Just like many aspects of aviation, teamwork is important in airport management – we have to work like a family.” Although relatively new to her role, Ms Ioata is on the way to mastering the workings of the industry.