AIFA Key Personnel

Acting Chief Executive Officer:
Francois (Pikkie) Siebrits

Pikkie joined the South African Air Force in 1970. He received his wings in 1971 on the Impala. He did instructors' course on Harvards in 1974 and completed his instructor tour in 1979. He left the SAAF in November 2001 after successfully completing flying courses and tours on Impala, Mirage, Buccaneer and Boeing 707 aircraft.

He flew as a commercial pilot from 2002 - 2014, attaining just over 11,500 hours.

He started giving MCC and High Performance lectures to AIFA students on a part-time basis in 2014 and was appointed acting CEO of AIFA in February 2018.

CFO:
Steven (Shouhua) Dai

Steven holds a Masters Degree of Accounting from the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences.

He joined AVIC-International situated in Beijing as an accountant and joined the AIFA team as CFO in South Africa during 2017.

He is primarily responsible for managing the financial risk of the company. He is also responsible for financial planning and record-keeping as well as financial reporting to higher management.

COO:
Charl (Sarel) Smal

Sarel completed 23 years of service in the SA Air Force flying fighter aircraft. Four years ab initio training on Harvard aircraft with seven years combat flying training. He also completed three years as low-level aerobatic display pilot at 85 Combat Flying School, attaining a total of 1500 flying hours instruction. He obtained a B. Mil Degree at the Military Academy and a Military Management Diploma at the SA Air Force College. He served as Operations Officer at 85 Combat Flying School for 5 years.

He completed 20 years of farming a Pork Production Unit with a Bonsmara Stud and a Pecan orchard.

He joined AIFA in May 2017.

Safety Manager: 
Herman Fondse

Herman matriculated in Bronkhorstspruit, 1973.  He joined the SA Air Force in 1974 and served as navigator until 1979. He completed pilot training in 1980 and served as a pilot on Harvard, Kudu C4M, Cessna C208, Dakota DC3/C47, Pilatus PC12, King Air 200/300, Transall C160Z and Falcon 50 aircraft.

During his military flying career he gave instruction on various aircraft and amassed more than 3600 flying instruction hours.  He also saw service as OC 41 Squadron and served as Senior Staff Officer Air Force Operations at the SA Air Force Inspector General. As a commercial pilot he saw service on King Air 200 and 350 aircraft in Zambia, DR Congo and Afghanistan.

Herman Fondse joined AIFA in June 2016 as Safety Manager and King Technical lecturer. 

HR Manager:
Vernon Van Niekerk

After matriculating in East London, Vernon completed a Bachelor Degree in Human Resources at the University of Free State.

He has worked in HR, IR and general finance for more than 15 years. He was previously employed by KFC, Wimpy and Engen.

He joined AIFA as HR manager in 2017.

His motto in life is: “We are in the people-business, empowering tomorrow's leaders.”

Head of Training:
Andrea Griesel

Andrea obtained her pilot’s licence in 1997 in Bloemfontein. She lived and worked abroad for 6 years before returning to South Africa to continue her career in Aviation. Andrea holds a Diploma in Educational Development, is qualified in Aviation Quality Assurance, Aviation Safety Management  as well as being a Grade II Multi-engine instructor.

She joined AIFA in 2011 as CFI of the Oudtshoorn base, a position she held for 3 years. She became head of  Standards in 2014. She was appointed as Safety Manager in 2017 and became Head of Training in 2018.