Airport tours give learners insight into aviation world Peter Pan pupils on a tour to Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport

Reginald Chirenje

Youth Interactive Correspondent

As the academic year enters its second term, the bustling Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport welcomes new groups of young learners who are eager to explore the world of aviation.

The educational tours, a treasured experience, provide a unique opportunity for pupils to gain insight into the intricacies of air travel, while also fostering a sense of excitement and wonder about the wider world.

For many of these pupils, this may be their first-time setting foot in an airport, let alone traveling by plane.

The Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (RGMIA) management, recognising the importance of nurturing a spirit of exploration and curiosity in these young minds, eagerly welcome the students with open arms.

As the pupils begin their tour, they are struck by the hustle and bustle of the terminals.

The energy and excitement of the airport are palpable, as travellers from all corners of the world rush to catch their flights, with others waiting patiently for their loved ones to arrive.

The first stop on the tour is the check-in counters, where the pupils are introduced to the process of checking in for a flight and given an overview of the various travel documents required for both domestic and international travel.

The pupils, many of whom have never seen a passport or boarding pass before, usually marvel at the intricacies of this process.

The Airports Company of Zimbabwe (Private) Limited enthusiastic and knowledgeable customer service crew answer questions from the pupils with patience and humour, using real-life examples to illustrate the various steps involved in preparing for a journey.

The tour continues to the security checkpoint, where pupils are given a demonstration of the technology and procedures in place to ensure the safety of travellers.

As the pupils watch the security personnel at work, they are struck by the attention to detail and efficiency with which each passenger is screened.

They learn about the various items that are prohibited on flights, as well as the reasons behind these restrictions.

School tour groups are usually intrigued by new advanced security scanners, which can detect even the smallest of items hidden on passengers.

This came as a result of the newly expanded international terminal building.

After the security checkpoint, the group of the pupils moves on to the departure gates.

This is where they witness the frenzy of activity as passengers prepare to board their flights.

As the pupils observe the flurry of activity around them, tour guides will be pointing out the various airport staff involved in the boarding process.

From the gate agents, checking tickets and scanning boarding passes, to the ground crew loading luggage and cargo onto the planes, pupils are usually awestruck by the level of coordination and teamwork required to ensure a safe and efficient flight.

For some pupils, the prospect of international travel is both exciting and daunting.

As the tour comes to an end, the pupils are usually left with a sense of wonder and inspiration.

The airports, which were once mysterious and intimidating places for many, now hold a new found fascination for them.

The majority of the pupils return to their schools with a greater understanding of the aviation world, and a deeper appreciation for the complex systems that make air travel possible. Many of them go away with wonderful memories after the educational tour.

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