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According to the FAA, only about 6% of active Airmen Certificates are held by women. The International Society of Women Airline Pilots (ISA) notes that “an even smaller percentage” of active airline pilots are women.
To encourage more young women to consider aviation-related fields, the Women in Aviation International organizes an annual “Girls in Aviation Day.” Yesterday, girls and women rallied at events around the US and around the world, from Australia to Zambia.
Here are some of the events that were held in the US:
Delta kicked off “Girls in Aviation Day” with an all-female charter flight from Atlanta (ATL) to Pensacola (PNS), with 120 girls from Atlanta area schools along for the experience. And it’s not just the flight crew and passengers that were female. As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
All of the Delta employees involved in the flight — including dispatchers, gate agents, ticket counter agents, baggage handlers, charter coordinators, pilots. mechanics and flight attendants — will be women.
The first officer for the flight, Crystal Barrois, is pregnant. Delta’s organizer for the event and general manager of pilot development at Delta, Beth Poole, explained that “the girls will actually see you can have a family, you can be pregnant and be a pilot.”
Delta’s first ever female pilot, Joy Walker, also joined the girls for the flight. Now retired after 30 years of flying, it was surely a wonder for the 12-18 year old girls to hear about her three decades of flying.
In Pensacola, the field trip continued at the National Flight Academy and the National Naval Aviation Museum, where the girls met a female Blue Angel pilot.
Delta also hosted a group of girls at the Delta Flight Museum, where the girls got the chance to learn about becoming a pilot firsthand from female pilots:
American Airlines regional subsidiary Envoy Air helped welcome “hundreds” of girls to the Frontiers in Flight Museum in Dallas. Participants got to explore the museum, meet pilots and even try out flight simulators.
United Airlines held “Girls In Aviation Day” events in San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Denver (DEN), Orlando (MCO) and Chicago (ORD). A film crew was on hand to record the participating girls learning the ins and outs of airport operations — from visiting the air traffic control tower to trying their hand at marshaling aircraft.
Last but certainly not least, Minneapolis/St Paul-based airline Sun Country was a main sponsor of the local “Girls in Aviation Day,” which boasted attendance from “over 2,000 girls.”
Did you participate in “Girls in Aviation Day?” Let us know about your event.
Featured image courtesy of Delta via Twitter.
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