Mr Alfred Capchin Mtilatil
Director of Civil Aviation
Department of Civil Aviation, Malawi
A little detour in his university days didn’t stop Alfred Capchin Mtilatila from finally pursuing his dream of being an aviation engineer and rising the ranks to head Malawi’s Department of Civil Aviation.
Alfred was fascinated with planes as a boy and keen in aviation engineering. “However, though I was good in related subjects, I didn’t study engineering in university,” he shared. So as a fresh graduate, he jumped at the chance when the Malawi air force was offering courses in aircraft maintenance and began training to be a licensed engineer. After seven years in the air force – and deciding whether to sign on for another ten years – there was an opening in the Civil Aviation Authority. It was perfect timing and in 1999, Alfred joined the authority as a principle airworthiness inspector and over the years, rose to his current position as Director.
He reflects that though his entry to aviation was not a direct one, his experience and strong technical background have proved very useful. “When I crossed over, I already knew how engineers worked and the processes. That gave me an understanding of the work flow and helped me do my job as an inspector better,” he recalled.
During this time, two of Alfred’s most significant and challenging career milestones were taking the lead on several aircraft accident investigations, and being team leader for a review of the Malawi’s aviation subsidiary legislation. The team worked for three years before the long legislative approval process in 2013. “I had wondered if my work would ever see the light of day and to finally see it gazetted was an exciting time. It felt rewarding to contribute in a concrete way.” As Director, he hopes to continue building the skillsets of Malawi’s aviation professionals – and help young people achieve their dreams. “We want to offer clear career progression for our youth and grow the professionalism of Malawi’s aviation sector,” he said.