Sustainable Aviation Ecosystem Addressed by Halldale’s Kukel at WAI Conference

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WAI2023 Exhibit Hall.
Image credit: WAI

“The post-pandemic ramp-up has exposed some toxic elements within the aviation ecosystem.”

That was the trigger statement for a presentation on ‘Creating a Sustainable Aviation Ecosystem,’ delivered at the annual Women in Aviation International Conference recently by Allyson Kukel, Halldale Group’s Head of Airline Engagement.

WAI2023 Conference Hosts Record Number of Attendees | Halldale Group

Kukel spoke about creating a human-centered aviation ecosystem using tools and strategies already proven to be successful in aviation training. She focused on three areas:

  • Beyond CRM: fully integrated resource management, by examining the Luton Airport Stack - a group of 15 organisations, all based at London Luton airport, collaborating to discuss safety issues and opportunities.
  • Complementary competency-based training across disciplines comprising the aviation ecosystem. 
  • Expanding peer support programs to fully support the whole of the aviation ecosystem.

The 34th WAI event brought together women and men from around the globe: civil, military, technicians, engineers, pilots, industry, and more.

Industry briefs at the conference addressed various challenges. United Airlines indicated that they have roughly 7% female pilots and whilst that was one of the highest in the industry there is still a great deal of work to do to improve that number.

Delta Airlines spoke about the incredible need for maintenance technicians and how they are partnering with more than 50 trade schools across the US to develop the talent that they need. They also talked about their ‘re-entry into service’ program for women.

Delta acknowledged dropping the requirement for a college degree from 97% of their job descriptions, citing that it is just not necessary for those roles.

A diverse Airbus employee panel spoke about what it was like to work for the OEM, providing real-world challenges.

UPS highlighted their use of drones for deliveries in South Florida and the progress of BETA, their eVTOL partner ( Pragmatic in Vermont: BETA’s Steady Progress | Halldale Group). US Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was on hand after BETA’s electric aircraft made its milestone multi-state flight at the end of last year.

Kukel said the need to build the aviation workforce was apparent in the industry hiring events. From students looking for internships to women trying to re-enter the workforce. Special sessions geared toward military personnel considering the transition to civil aviation. From funding to flight schools, how-to’s for becoming certified as an Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT), and how licensed fixed- and rotary-wing pilots are eligible to participate in the conversion program with UPS.

During the WAI membership meeting, Christine Bohl, Commercial Training Market Director at Boeing, was elected as a WAI board member. Bohl moderated a panel discussion at last year’s WATS conference on Big Data. (This year’s World Aviation Training Summit is 18-20 April in Orlando - WATS 2023 - World Aviation Training Summit | Halldale Group)

The 2023 International Women’s day theme is #EmbraceEquity. “Imagine a gender-equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.” That diverse, equitable, and inclusive world is at the heart of building a sustainable aviation ecosystem that will not just survive the challenges but thrive in the face of them.

Aviation Training Leader Forum (ALTF)

Halldale have also launched the Aviation Training Leader Forum (ALTF), a secure place through which training leaders can continue the conversation year-round. between in person events.


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