Keynote Speakers' announcements:
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His Excellency, Mr. Akbar Al Baker
H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker is chairman of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and one of the most recognisable figures in the global aviation industry.
Born in Doha, he is a graduate in economics and commerce and worked at various levels in the civil aviation directorate before becoming Qatar Airways’ Group chief executive in 1997.
The airline operated just four aircraft prior to his appointment. It currently flies more than 200 to more than 150 destinations across six continents.
Qatar Airways was named ‘Airline of the Year’ in 2017, 2015, 2012 and 2011 by global industry body Skytrax.
Dr. Adriana Marais
Dr. Adriana Marais is head of innovation at SAP Africa.
The theoretical physicist holds an MSc (summa cum laude) in quantum cryptography and a PhD in quantum biology.
Since childhood, she has dreamed of living on another planet. She is currently one of the 100 Mars One Project astronaut candidates in the running to move to the ‘Red Planet’ in the next decade.
She believes the establishment of a human colony, and the potential discovery of evidence of life on Mars, would be one of the most profound possible contributions of science to humanity.
Brian Day began his aviation career as an air traffic controller and search-and-rescue (SAR) mission coordinator with Airservices Australia, becoming national manager, aviation SAR.
For eight years, from 2000, he was the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) HQ technical officer, SAR, where he facilitated the development of global civil aviation SAR services.
For five years he managed the ICAO/AFCAC SAR Project to Africa when he evaluated and provided advice to some 35 African states. Later he was a SAR advisor to the UAE's Air Force and its civil aviation authority.
He now consults worldwide – most recently in Qatar – and instructs annually in SAR, safety management and emergency response at the Singapore Aviation Academy.
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