Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New RAC stewards trained and keen to take to the skies

New RAC stewards trained and keen to take to the skies

New RAC stewards trained and keen to take to the skies

CHHUN Phola is a rather shy 20-year-old woman, at least it seems when she speaks

to the press. Beyond her native Khmer, she speaks Chinese, a little Thai, a little

French and chooses her words carefully, if haltingly, in English when asked questions

about her new career as a flight attendant with Royal Air Cambodge, wringing her

hands tightly and looking a bit worried that she might say the wrong thing.

First impressions aside, Phola has recently been certified that she can scream her

lungs out with the best of them, that she can take charge at an exit door of an airline

in trouble while trying to manage a plane load of panicked passengers, and that she

knows more than the rest of us about what to do when something goes wrong on any

international flight anywhere in the world.

Phola won't be flying around the world. She will be on your next RAC flight to one

of their destinations in the region.

Along with 18 other new RAC flight attendants, Phola just graduated from a three

month training program in Phnom Penh and Kuala Lumpur where, when it comes to safety,

joking around was not tolerated.

To get certified the "scream test" is one of the most important and takes

place in an airline mock-up where cabin fires, emergency landings and ocean ditchings

are simulated. Trainees have to staff the exits, barking out evacuation instructions

and shepherd a cabin load of "passengers" out onto the emergency inflatable

chute.

At the Malaysia Airlines Academy in Kuala Lumpur Nithianandhan Sinnaduria runs the

safety center like a drill sargent at an army commando school. More than 5,000 flight

attendants from around the world come under his watchful eyes every year.

"If they fail the safety test, they are grounded," says Sinnaduria sternly.

"We ground more people than we recruit."

Sinnaduria says all the Cambodians passed the tests. "No problem," he says,

"they did well."

"They told us not to be shy," says Phola, "we screamed very well."

Adds classmate Nget Visoth "if you laughed, you did not pass the course. We

were all very serious."

RAC Chariman Vichit Ith had the look of a proud father when he helped pass out the

training certificates to the new flight attendants on May 29. And with good reason

too. His newly trained air stewards and stewardesses exuded an air of enormous confidence

at the ceremony, sporting their smart uniforms and eager to represent their country

on the national airline.

It was a sight worth seeing.

MOST VIEWED

  • Gov’t not using EU aid for poor

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday refuted as “baseless”, claims that the government had used financial aid from the EU to implement the programme to identify and support poor and vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic. The prime minister was responding to Roth Sothy, a

  • Thai fence said to prevent illegal crossing

    Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provincial police say Thailand is not invading Cambodia after a series of social media posts about fences being built on the border raised alarms. Banteay Meanchey police chief Ath Khem said on Tuesday the information on social media on Sunday and

  • PM to vet NY holiday dates

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance submitted a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking him to formally set a five-day national holiday from August 17-21 to make up for the Khmer New Year holiday in April that was postponed. Finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth sent

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Snaring may spawn diseases

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post

  • Residence cards set for over 80,000 immigrants

    The Ministry of Interior plans to grant residence cards to more than 80,000 immigrants to better keep track of them. The ministry announced the plan on July 10, following the results of an immigration census. “An inter-ministerial committee and many operational working groups have been set up

  • Kingdom produces PPE gear

    Medical supplies from Cambodia have been donated to member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assist in the fight against Covid-19, said an ADB report published on July 9. The report stated that the supplies were donated as a response to global efforts to

  • Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

    At an academic forum on Saturday to celebrate 70 years of Cambodia-US diplomatic ties, Cambodian researchers and officials expressed hope of encouraging US investments and for that country to deepen and improve its bilateral relations. Held at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, it reviewed the past 70

  • ‘Single Portal’ integrated registration system welcomes nearly 50 firms

    Forty-seven companies have successfully registered via a newly-launched information technology e-business registration platform as of the end of the second week of this month, Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Phan Phalla said. Six ministries and state-run institutions have been integrated into a