Speech by 2021 AMPAP Valedictorian Santiago Andrade, IAP, Director de Información y Tecnología Aeropuerto Internacional Mariscal Sucre – Quito, Ecuador:
Buenos días! Good morning to all, ladies and gentlemen, fellow graduates.
I am honored to have been chosen to speak on behalf of this year’s AMPAP graduating class, which I believe is more special than others. Two years have passed since the last face to face AMPAP Graduation and many of us had the privilege of packing our suitcases, dusting off our suits and heading to Mexico, the land of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, mosaic of realities and beauties.
As we all know, the world from one moment to another stopped, paralyzed, changed. The aviation sector in general had to be redefined and reinvented. We understood or forced ourselves to understand what Charles Darwin concluded a long time ago: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.”
But, what does it really mean to be adaptable to change in our sector? This question is perhaps the main reason for the AMPAP and it is what our instructors had been communicating during our amazing learning time: the importance of systemic thinking, expanding and, if necessary, breaking the mind barriers and visualizing the system and its components, having the sagacity and intelligence to decipher the interrelationships and their potential consequences. Always challenge the horizon. Go beyond.
Our learning path has been the result of long days of endless work in a language many times different from our own, with multidisciplinary teams from different cultures and time zones. These circumstances often made the journey difficult, but there is something that I can proudly affirm: AMPAP graduates do not bow to difficulties, we have an engraved passion for Aviation in our DNA, and we understand that our mission is to shorten distances, reunite family members, and encourage dreams to take off again.
On behalf of all my colleagues, I want to give special thanks to our families and all those people that no one sees, but who are always there inspiring us to go further and to challenge the horizon. Thank you to my wife and kids, Mr Andrew O’Brian and Mr Allan Padilla for giving me the first push 2 years ago. Special thanks also to our airport authorities and our instructors for trusting and supporting us to reach our dreams.
To the ICAO Secretary General, ACI Director General, the Programme Executive and his team, all of the graduates and the participants who are undergoing this unique programme recognize and deeply appreciate the vision and your commitment for making it available to us. This industry that we have chosen to serve requires a collective set of rules and standards of excellence.
Before I finish, I just want to share a deep thought: Over the years, one discovers that everything or almost everything good in life messes up your hair: jumping, dancing, laughing out loud, running, kissing, and of course getting the AMPAP title. Therefore, I wish all of you and the new generations of graduates, a life with messy hair. As many times as we had seen our instructors!
Now, please join me in giving a big round of applause to my fellow colleges & graduates who have worked tireless to attain this coveted recognition and celebrating it in this beautiful city. We are very proud today to bear the designation of International Airport Professionals (IAP) and AMPAP Associates and have our hair a bit messier. Felicitaciones!