Veronica Nkunde| Aviation | SIU

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Veronica Nkunde

Veronica Nkunde

After graduating from SIUC in December of 2017, I got a job as an Operations and Security Coordinator at Aspen Pitkin County Airport in Colorado. After spending 9 months there, I moved back home to Zambia. I interned at the Zambia Civil Aviation Authority and most recently got hired to be a pilot for Niner Juliet Logistics Limited. Niner Juliet is a logistics company that serves as an aviation consultancy and a Fixed Base Operator that focuses on aviation management for the general aviation sector and wildlife sector. My position as a conservation pilot has me flying vets, conservationists and other national park workers to various National Parks in the country that are in remote areas with gravel runways. A big part of flying into these strips is ensuring that there are no animals on the runway prior to landing. Animals on the runway is a common occurrence at these strips. Being a conservation pilot also involves doing low level flights searching for poacher camps, poachers and dead animals (likely killed by poachers). It’s a rewarding job because I feel like I am contributing to something bigger and vital in my country. It has only been a couple of months on the job, but I am learning so much and excited for what’s ahead.