Participation in Girls in Aviation Day has spread far beyond the vision of the event five years ago as airports, FBOs, museums, universities and corporate members have joined Women in Aviation International (WAI) Chapters and Corporate Members to help spread the word that aviation and aerospace offer a rich variety of career choices for young women. Girls in Aviation Day is October 5, 2019, and will be celebrated worldwide.
In addition to the United States, Girls in Aviation Day events will take place in 16 countries. They are Australia, Botswana, Cameroon, Canada (four events), England, France, India (three events), Kenya, Italy, Netherlands, Nigeria, Scotland, South Africa (four events), Spain, Switzerland, and Zambia.
“And if you can’t make it to any event, we — or rather Embry-Riddle — has a plan for that,” says WAI Outreach Director Molly Martin. “Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is hosting a virtual Girls in Aviation Day for anyone who can’t physically attend one of the 118 events.”
United Airlines has increased its participation in Girls in Aviation Day 2019 by presenting events at 11 United locations in the United States (Atlanta, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Cleveland, Newark, Houston, and Dulles) and six European locations (London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, and Zurich).
Many of WAI’s corporate members are also presenting their own events. Those corporate members are Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Crew Aviation, Cutter Aviation, Delta Air Lines (through its WING Flight program), National Flight Academy, Pratt & Whitney/United Technologies, Signature Flight Service/Atlantic City, Sling Pilot Academy, Soaring Airport and Airport Authority, and Sonoma Jet Center. Sporty’s Pilot Shop has supplied instructional sectional charts to further fuel the interest in aviation.
“Although photos and videos come close, it’s difficult to describe the enthusiasm these girls show for aviation, many of whom have never touched or ridden in an aircraft,” adds Martin. “Whether it’s a very young girl donning a pilot hat and leather jacket and seeing herself as a pilot, a girl meeting a female role model in any of the dozens of careers represented at these events, or a high school girl learning about aviation majors and career tracks in college, Girls in Aviation Day definitely changes lives – we’re sure of that.”
In all, WAI estimates 20,000 girls will take part in a Girls in Aviation Day 2019. That figure represents exponential growth from the first events in 2015 when just under 4,000 girls participated worldwide.
The 31st Annual International Women in Aviation Conference will be held March 5-7, 2020, in Orlando, Florida.